TRIED AND TESTED: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
You know Christmas has arrived once Winter Wonderland lights up Hyde Park - we were invited to experience one of London's most well known Christmas experiences with our very own elves in tow for the first time.
Taking over an enormous area within the beautiful Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland is a festive funfair, catering for an array of ages and offering a whirlwind of different attractions. From traditional German Christmas market stalls to rip-roaring rollercosters, gluhwein by the gallon and the obligatory ice rink. There is also a number of shows and special features catering specifically to families with younger children. Let the magic begin.
Open from 10am to 10pm every day through to the 6th January, some of our main highlights included:
Teletubbies Christmas Show - if your littlest one is a Teletubbies fan say 'Eh Oh' to this live show which brings the characters to life right infront of their little starstruck eyes! Meanwhile you get to sit, rest your legs and maybe even surprise yourself with how into it you end up getting.
The Magical Ice Kingdom - Even if there's not one flake of snow falling outside, you'll be guaranteed a white Christmas in this attraction. Feel the temperature drop as you walk through a beautifully created kingdom of ice sculptures and glowing lights. Sit on ice thrones to have your pics taken and watch as the kids run around the place in awe.
If, like us, you have busy working weeks, you'll have to venture to Winter Wonderland at the weekend, which means it's pretty damn busy. By mid-afternoon, queues for rides are big, and you're at risk of an adventurous toddler getting lost in the throng. Our advice... get there early (like 10am) and leave around 3pm. You'll have had a fun-packed day but miss most of the mayhem. Alternatively, if you can mange a weekday it might be a little less hectic.
Winter Wonderland offers free entry but then you have to pay individually for all the rides, games and attractions (before you've even started on the mulled wine) so go ready to spend.
Book the attractions in advance to guarantee entry.
While the majority of stalls are contactless-ready, some still only accept cash. The on site ATMs charge £2.95 per withdrawal so make sure you draw out some spends en route to save the extra charges.
Whilst we worried the place would be a muddy mess after a rainy week the installed flooring means there's not one muddy puddle in sight so it couldn't be much more buggy-friendly.
A fun family day that really gets you in the mood for Christmas
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London, W2