A few weeks ago there was a Groupon for Polar Play at the OdySea Complex in Scottsdale, so we had to check it out. Plus our exchange student, E, was kind of complaining that it was too hot outside (Just kidding!). So, we headed to OdySea, which is approximately an hour drive from Surprise. the OdySea Complex also has Butterfly Wonderland and the OdySea Mirror Maze
Polar Play is also a bar with alcoholic drinks and goes to 21+ after 7pm. Alcoholic drinks are served during the day while children are allowed in the freezer.
We parked on the northeast side of the complex. It was a bit of a distance to walk if you have a little tyke that is just wobbling. Polar play is on the bottom floor of the complex. If you haven’t been to the Scottsdale OdySea Aquarium, it is similar to a two story outdoor mall with a large round center.
I wouldn’t recommend Polar Play to children younger than three, since the temperature inside of the “freezer” is 23 degrees.
Check in Counter and Lounge. The blue “window” that you see is the bar->freezer window for delivering drinks. There is also a store where you can buy themed apparel. There are a lot of oversized games to play in the lounge area while having a drink (alcoholic or non alcoholic)-Jenga, Connect Four and Uno
Once you pay, you will receive a color coded wristband with your time written on it. We had a bit of a wait so we headed to Frozen Penguin Ice Cream. They bake their own cookies to make Ice Cream Sandwiches and Dreyers’ Ice cream.
They enjoyed their ice cream, as you can see!
We headed back and got Jackets for ourselves. I highly suggest wearing warm clothing underneath the jacket as well. It is about 23 degrees Fahrenheit in the freezer, so it is cold. Refreshing at first, but cold. There are an array of different sizes of jackets. You can see the bathroom in the back of the jackets. Unfortunately, there is just one bathroom. I think this was extremely bad planning for a place that has children & alcohol. There are bathrooms outside of Polar Play (just like a mall), so you may want to hit those before you head into Polar Play. Your visit in the freezer is a timed visit of about an hour, so you don’t want to have to waste that time waiting for a bathroom.
The rules. So, if parent or one child has to leave the bathroom, everyone in your party basically has to exit! Be warned!
The floor of the freezer is not ice, so no ice skates are needed.
There are two entrances into the freezer. If you have ever worked in a grocery store or a restaurant with a freezer, you might start feeling nostalgic. Between the two doors is about enough room for about 6 people to fit in there. After door #2, you will enter the freezer (Play area). I was thinking that the two doors were there to keep the cold in, but there is only one exit door and there is a window from the freezer to the bar for drinks, so maybe it was just to make you feel like you were being transported to the frozen tundra. I’m not really sure!
Also, the light colors are constantly changing, so for some people it may be a little overwhelming. There was also soothing music playing while we were there.
There were cotton snowballs to throw, frozen cornhole, frozen “ice/table hockey” and places to sit and look at the ice sculptures. A few things I realized sort of quickly-my body didn’t do well with the hot of the outside, to the temperature of the inside of the lodge to the frozenness of the freezer. I started feeling really lightheaded so I ended up spending my time in the lodge. There are also a bin of gloves to grab from a bin outside. You may not feel the cold as you first enter (it feels refreshing at first), but your body will get cold, so it’s good to have the gloves stuffed in the pocked of the borrowed jackets. Also, if your body was very warm as mine was, and you go and sit on the seats inside (the ice seats), your behind may get wet from you melting the seats a bit. OUCH!
My kids had a fun time playing in the freezer, but an hour was probably a bit more than what we needed for an experience. They liked playing with the “snowballs” and getting each other. However, I did notice that people who had alcoholic drinks had plastic cups and I kept thinking that one of those snowballs was bound to end up in someones cup. So, if you get one, cover it with your hands or……. ewwwwww!!
The exit door. (just one)
The big screen TV I enjoyed as I tried to adjust my temperature!
The Polar Play experience was cool (pun intended) but I think it was more suited for a bar/party experience. My kids did have fun and it was different for them being in the cold, even though they were all born in Connecticut! HAHA!
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