Whether you are the ‘bah humbug’ type of person at Christmas who would rather stay in bed until it’s all over or, on the other hand, you embrace the festive season with a frenzy of gift-buying, partying and general over-indulgence, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is one of the best annual events in London.
This spectacular event runs in 2016 from 18 November to 2 January, 2017 (except Christmas Day) from 10am to 10pm each day and is a great place to take the kids (if your wallet can stand it). Although entry is free, the attractions are not cheap, but hey, this is central London at Christmas time and you won’t find a better festive atmosphere anywhere in the capital.
Pre-bookable attractions include: Ice skating at the magical ice kingdom, Bar Ice, the Giant wheel, Zippos Christmas circus, Cirque Berserk, the Observation Wheel, the Sooty Christmas show, the Nutcracker on Ice, the Arctic Lodge and Wilde Mause XXL roller coaster.
This year Winter Wonderland will be celebrating its 10th anniversary. What started as a Christmas market with an open-air ice rink has evolved into one of the UK’s best loved attractions with a vast choice of things to do for all ages.
You will find ticket information and pricing on the official Winter Wonderland site.
Visit Santa Land and see the little ones faces light up. Children who have been good will all receive a free gift but it is worth noting that visits can’t be pre-booked and are run on a first-come, first served basis. Queues may be long in the early evening and at weekends. Tokens must be purchased for the rides at one of the many token booths and children’s rides start at just £2 each.
Make sure you wrap up warm and visit during the day if you want to avoid the crowds, although the atmosphere is stunning at night. A vast choice of Bavarian food, mulled wine and hot cider keeps the adults happy while the kids can skate around the UK’s largest open-air ice rink and enjoy over 100 festive rides.
The Bavarian Hall offers live musical entertainment, including an Oompah Band and DJ’s to get everyone up singing and dancing to their festive favourites.
If you are still looking for some Christmas gifts, stroll around the 200 market stalls which will tempt you with unique hand-made gifts, sweets, decorations and chocolates.
The best way to get to Winter Wonderland is by tube and mainline trains with nearby stations at: Bond Street, Green Park, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Paddington and Victoria.
For full details on public transport, walking and cycling routes to Hyde Park, visit www.tfl.gov.uk.
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Whether you are planning sing your heart out in the Bavarian Hall, scare yourself silly on the roller coasters or simply soak up the chilly atmosphere in the Ice Bar, Winter Wonderland has something to excite all ages!