Characterised as the “Ultimate Christmas Destination in London”, Winter Wonderland surprises and delights this first-time visitor. Nestled in the heart of Hyde Park, this Christmas festival meets Carnival Fair has set up shop for its six-week run this holiday season: having not run last year.
Marketed towards both local Londoners and visiting tourists, this delight of Christmas cheer is sure to satisfy any age bracket. While entry tickets are priced between £5 to £7.50 (depending on the time spot you select), the inside attractions will set you back some, but the joy is well worth it.
For those looking to enjoy winter festivities, the Ice Kingdom (£8) and Ice Skating (£10.50) will amaze the young and old. For the older crowds looking to enjoy a fun evening out with friends, Bar Ice (£14), is a Studio 54 themed bar with everything in sight created out of ice – so rug up because the temperature is only -10 degrees Celsius! However, if you’re not looking to buy this drinking experience, there are plenty of other bars dotted around the park for your enjoyment.
Other entertainment on offer includes the iconic Giant Ferris Wheel (£8), the Zippos Circus (£14) with its acrobatic and comical routines and Cirque Berserk (£12): the thrills and stunt show.
Whatever the time of day, there’s a plentiful variety of food on offer. From traditional carnival sweets to an international array of cuisine, you won’t go hungry looking for a bite. If you would like to pre-pay for your meal, the Bavarian Village food packages (starting at £9.50) can offer you a variety of Oktoberfest inspired feasts – vegan and vegetarian options are available.
Thrill-seekers will find themselves pleased with the array of exciting rides speckled throughout the park. For ride entry, you can either buy a handful of tokens or simply pay for the ride before you queue. I would recommend buying each ride as you go – so that you don’t end up with a leftover ticket. Some of the most popular rides this year are the: Haunted Mansion, Ice Mountain, Euro Coaster, Munich Looping (upside-down rollercoaster) and the Ice Slide. From my experience, I would recommend the Euro Coaster and the Ice Mountain, but be prepared to get thrown around – definitely wait to ride after eating.
If you’re in need of a break from the rides and attractions, there are plenty of European-style Christmas markets for your browsing pleasure. Shopping on offer includes: winter clothing, tree ornaments, special gifts, jewellery, unique food bundles and so much more.
For someone who is used to a warm Christmas spent by the pool; Winter Wonderland provided exactly what I needed to get into the wintry holiday spirit. Great for a large group of friends, families, couples and individuals alike, treat yourself to some holiday joy this year and visit Winter Wonderland.
Photo by Samantha Burgess