Every year we look forward to our family trip to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. For me it signals the start of Christmas in London! So even if you have been before or this is your first ever trip, let me tell you what you need to know to enjoy your day at this magical festive experience. Every year they seem to add more and more rides and attractions, so I think it really pays to study all the information available on the Winter WonderLand’s website. That way you can have a think about which rides and attractions you would like to visit. I think if you plan your visit instead of just wondering around, you will actually get more from your day out. The nearer to Christmas Day you go in my opinion the more busy it becomes, so I think go sooner if you can or even wait until after Christmas.
When is it open?
Winter Wonderland is open every day (apart from Christmas Day) from 10am to 10pm until the 6th January 2019.
How much does it cost?
It’s completly free to enter, but of course rides and attractions will have charges. A ride token costs £1.00, children’s ride start at £2.00 and adults rides start at £3.00.
You can purchase tickets for all the shows & attractions via the website.
How do I get there?
The best way to get to Hyde Park is via the Underground or rail via the following stations:
Green Park – step free access
Marble Arch – avoid at peak times
Hyde Park Corner – avoid at peak times
Can I bring my own drinks?
Only if it is an un-opened bottle of water, anything else the security people will not let you bring in.
Any other tips?
Really do watch your bags and belongings. I haven’t seen any evidence of pick pockets, but I have been told they are around, as in any other busy part of London.
This year we started off our visit with a show, Teletubbies Live! The show is on every day at 11:00am and runs for around 45 minutes. To give you an idea the cost for a family ticket is around £ 30.00 to £46.00 depending on if it is peak time or not (Children under 1 year do not require a ticket), a transaction fee will also be added. We enjoyed a snack before the performance then settled into our seats. It is recommended that you arrive 20 minutes prior to the show start time, which I think is a really good idea as you will also need to allow time to walk from which ever entrance you come into. The new family entrance which brings you in via Santa Land is recommended.
I would say the show is suitable for ages 1 up to 5 years, it was perhaps a bit young for my six year old, but I did see her laughing and joining in when audience participation was needed!
Our next show was Zippos Circus, which I have to say for me was the highlight of my visit! I love a good circus and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. Show times are daily at 1:00pm, 2:00pm and 4:00pm. Again to give you an idea of ticket prices for a family ticket you are looking at around £30.00 to £46:00 depending on if it is off peak or peak times, a transaction fee will also be added. The show lasts for 45 minutes, which we found with a 6 year old was about the right length of time for her to sit through it.
There was a really good mixture of traditional circus acts and take your breath away stunts and tricks. From amazing acrobatics to stunts involving huge rotating wheels, it really was jar dropping stuff!
I would highly recommend a trip to the circus as it is a great show for all ages. The show was produced really professionally and the level of talent of performers was very high too.
Then it was time to relax and have some lunch in the Bavarian Village. Every year we go I can not resist a Bratwurst sausage and a lovely warming cup of mulled wine! The music and atmosphere in the village always gets me in the Christmas Spirit!
Even if you are not into the German style food you will find so many other opitions such as: chicken and flamed grilled salmon, burgers and so may sweet treats to mention just a few!
Our next activity was The Magic Ice Kingdom, The Secret Forest, which is amazing! But make sure you are wearing a hat, scarf and gloves as it is just like stepping in to a freezer, the temperature can be as low as -10 degrees. It really is magical you will see so many beautiful ice sculptures, you can even sit in your very ice throne and there is an ice slide too which children will love!
You can take your time walking through this attraction, but I would allow around 30 minutes. The last admission is at 9:30pm and to give you an idea of the cost a family ticket ranging between £20.00 and £36:00 depending if on if it is classes as off peak or peak time when you visit, a transaction fee is also added. You are able to bring your pushchair all the way round this attraction which is handy.
There are so many rides to choose from this year. They range from traditional childrens fairground type rides to the super frightening roller costers. We tried a few different ones and this year we even braved Ice Mountain that had all of us screaming, not for the faint hearted!
A new addition to Winter Wonderland this year is Santa Land, which is really geared up to younger children and there is also the opportunity to meet Santa in his grotto for free! However the queues will be long at busy times and he does take breaks throughout the day. So do check the times in advance and think about getting there early if you don’t want to wait!
This is just a taste of whats’s on offer at Winter Wonderland for 2018. I think I might be going back for another visit, as I have some other things on my list that I didn’t manage to do!
Disclaimer – I was invited to the Family Press Day and received complimentary tickets for various rides and atttractions. All views are my own and are an honest reflection of my visit.