An LGBT-Friendly Ice Kingdom
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
December 21 2012 5:00 AM ET
Woven around the entire event area is a holiday village where you can take photos with Santa, watch stilt walkers or other entertainers, decorate gingerbread houses, buy campy (and delicious) holiday fare, walk through tons of faux snowpeople, and send a letter to Santa via a North Pole mail drop (no word on what happens to attendees' letters after Christmas, but I'm sure the Queen Mary staff has a plan).
There are specials for military members and accomodations for school groups and disabled attendees, and if you buy tickets to any of Chill (ticket prices are separate for the Kingdom, sledding, and ice skating), you get a day pass to the Queen Mary, which has several exhibitions (recommended: the renowned Diana: Legacy of a Princess show), some award-winning eateries, a museum, 17 amazing art deco salons, and a tri-level, 45,000-square-foot exhibit hall. The boat, whom everyone refers to with female pronouns, is said to be haunted too, but you may have to stay overnight at the Queen Mary Hotel to find out.
Long Beach is an easy day trip from anywhere south of Santa Barbara and just an hour from Los Angeles, and the city has plenty of LGBT-friendly bars and restaurants as well if you want to make it an overnighter. For more info on local LGBT resources, check out The Center.