Experience an Icy Adventure Before Time Runs Out

by on March 7th, 2015
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Are you still looking to get yourself in the Christmas spirit? It’s a little tough since we have no snow on the ground, making the chances of a White Christmas in Connecticut quite slim.

There is a magical winter wonderland that you should visit during these last few days before Christmas.

Imagine stepping inside a 6-foot snow globe and encountering beluga whales and polar bears. As you do so, you place your hand in the snow, and compare your print to the polar bear’s. You can also compare your height to a polar bear as well. And then you, your friends and your family can take a seat on an oversized icy throne, quite cold to touch.

While exploring a 22-foot Ice Palace dome, you are greeted by bears, foxes, penguins, and other animals while snow continues to fall.

You meet an Ice Princess and Santa Claus in this magical place which brings winter to life.

While such a place might sound like the North Pole, it is called Ice Palace 2011, and it’s in the West Farms Mall Center Court in West Hartford. Folks can tour the exhibit area, which includes interactive elements and a light show, free of charge.

Each year the mall hosts a multi-sensory holiday experience. Their newest Ice Palace is based loosely on the mall’s popular 2010 exhibit which centered on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader that was released in theaters on Dec. 10, 2010.

While that experience centered around the fantasy of Narnia, this is more reality based with footage from BBC Earth.

In 2009, the mall’s centerpiece was based on The Polar Express.

Of all the various Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachuetts mall web sites I’ve visited, West Farms Mall is the only one to boast a multimedia exhibit area that complements a visit to Old Saint Nick.

This awesome attraction makes the overized ornaments, lights, and wreaths that most experience at their local malls look quite basic.

Based on several visits to the West Farms Mall through the years, I can say that it’s worth the trip to take the kids or for the “kid” in you. Plus you can finish your holiday shopping at one of Connecticut’s largest shopping centers.

Just make sure you hurry before it melts away, the last day of operation for Ice Palace 2011 is Saturday. The mall’s center court is located outside the Macy’s Men’s Store and Furniture Gallery on the first floor.

If you want to pay Santa a visit, go between Dec. 18 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. or Dec. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Ice Princess will be there Dec. 23 and 24.

Photo packages are presented by Snapfish. Each package includes a free 8 x 11, 20 -page photo book. High resolution portrait CD’s are also available for an additional cost.

If you just want to see Ice Palace 2011 from afar for yourself, you can visit during the mall’s extended hours Dec. 18 to Dec. 23 from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Dec. 24 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The West Farms Mall is located near the intersection of Interstate 84 and Route 9 on the Farmington/West Hartford line. It is located at 500 Westfarms Mall in Farmington. You can setup your GPS to the address: 1500 New Britain Ave. in West Hartford.

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