Throughout December and early January, Winter Wonderland has returned to Hyde Park. I first went four years ago, and upon my recent visit, I couldn’t believe how big it had got. What I thought would be just an hour or two, ended up being a lot longer visit, and we could have spent even longer, but had to think about our wallets!
Winter Wonderland has a range of activities to keep everyone of all ages entertained – circus, ice rink, ice sculpture park, rides, a Christmas market and a huge assortment of mulled alcohol. I would recommend bringing quite a lot of cash, but there are cashpoints on site. From the moment we entered through the Hyde Park Corner entrance, there was bar after bar after bar selling mulled cider, mulled rum, mulled wine and egg nog. There was quite a variation of ingredients in each drink so brought a bit of variety – actually felt like a bit of a pub crawl as we drank our way around the site. Drinks were in the range of £4-£6 on average, with regular hot chocolates and coffees obviously a bit cheaper.
The stalls had a strong Alpine or German theme with waffles, bratwursts, churros and crepes among others. For thrill-seekers there are plenty of sky-high rides and gentler ones for the kids. My favourite attraction without a doubt was the carousel bar! The carousel moves slowly around while you can order from the bar in the middle and drink while enjoying the ‘ride’. As well as traditional fairground rides, there is also a zipwire which gives people the chance to whiz over the crowds. For rides, you need to buy tokens from various stations dotted around the site. It costs £1 per token, with rides on average costing from four to six tokens. For ice skating and Zippos Circus Berserk, you are highly recommended to book in advance.
- Winter Wonderland is on from now until 6 January 2013, open every day from 10am until 10pm (except Christmas Day). Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website.
For listings of what else is on in London this Christmas and New Year, read MOAMG blog posts on What’s on this Winter: Fun things around London this December or Get your skates on: Guide to ice rinks in London.