Cool California Christmas

LA Kings Holiday Ice at Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE

A friend of mine showed off a picture on his phone: “Check it out!”

I wasn’t very impressed by the image in front of me: a bunny hill, notable only in that it was very busy.

“So?” I yawned.

“It’s inside a mall!” Sure enough, closer inspection of the small screen revealed ceiling instead of sky at “Ski Dubai” at the Mall of the Emirates. Something mundane became something incredible by being where it shouldn’t be.

By the same token, the snow and ice you may currently bemoan is a wonder worth visiting when you find it in California at Christmas! Some of the coolest (pun intended!) attractions can be found in sunny Southern California, where they are no stranger to novelty!

Cool California Christmas

Queen Mary Chill

Long Beach

The art deco Queen Mary in Long Beach is the grande dame of Chill. The normally warm and sunny ship/ hotel and attraction centre uses 2 million pounds of carved ice to transforms into an Ice Kingdom complete with tubing on the ice slides, a giant candy cane forest, a penguin village and ice skating! Didn’t bring your parka? Don’t worry; you can borrow one of theirs!
Dec. 2-7, Dec. 9, 2014 – Jan. 4 & Jan. 8-11, 2015


Who else but LEGO could take winter creativity to these heights? 30 feet tall to be exact. That’s the height of the LEGO tree that is lit nightly in December as part of Holiday Snow Days, Winter Nights at LEGOland California Resort in Carlsbad. For more wintery fun in the warm California sun, visitors have the chance for target practice with snowballs, ice tubing and new this year, ice skating!
December 6, 13, 20-23, & 26-30, 2014


At Universal Studios Hollywood, it’s a miserable Grinchmas for all! The Grinch with the heart that’s two sizes too small plays host to all sorts of winter frivolity. Located right next door at Universal CityWalk, the fun is free and plentiful! Enjoy live musical entertainment, photo ops with Santa and a magical hourly snowfall in Santa’s Snow Zone.
On until December 25, 2014


Cool California Christmas

ICE at Santa Monica

Santa Monica

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Santa Monica probably isn’t ice skating, but ICE at Santa Monica just might change that! The 8000 square foot rink in downtown Santa Monica gives locals a chance to test out their ice legs, and maybe a few Canadians the chance to show of theirs!
On through January 19, 2015

Los Angeles

The City of Angels also has some cool opportunities to flex your skating muscles. Historic Pershing Square has a Holiday Ice Rink with special theme days throughout the season, like “Wicked Wednesdays” and a special family skate on December 21st. Not to be outdone, the L.A. Kings Holiday Ice Rink in the Nokia Plaza L.A. Live hosts daily skates with special Supper and Skate packages available (some with kid’s menus too!) for those inclined.
Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square until January 13, 2015, L.A. Kings Holiday Ice Rink until December 31, 2014.

If you can’t get enough snow where it shouldn’t be, The Grove LA  and Americana at Brand  feature a nightly snow fall at 7 pm and again at 8pm every day until Christmas Eve. They also are featuring live Christmas music, Santa’s Cottage and an 100 foot tree!
On through December 24

If your trip to the Golden State is after the Christmas rush, you can check out Snow Days at the LA Zoo. Some of the animals are going to have a ball discovering the snow blanketing their habitats, where snow so rarely happens! The human visitors can enjoy the white stuff too…don’t forget your mitts!
January 24 & 25, 2015

For many Canadians, a trip to Southern California is all about at sun and sand, but with these fun ideas, you can have a little touch of our frosty home in the midst of it when you travel to a California Christmas!