Christmas is the kind of holiday that can bring out the beauty in any city; but no city in the world does Christmas better than London. (And that's a fact).
Despite London's many historic landmarks, attractions, free indoor museums and shops, one of the main reasons why visitors choose London as a Christmas destination is to visit Hyde Park's annual Winter Wonderland event. As a matter of fact, if you really want to feel as if you're in the epicentre of London during the Christmas holidays, then Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is the place to be.
Over the period of six weeks (normally from the end of November to early January of each year), Hyde Park is transformed into a wintry, Christmas-y paradise packed full of all sorts of rides, games, entertainment and activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
As soon as you step foot inside Hyde Park during the winter season, you can immediately feel the buzz of excitement in the air. With the sounds of Christmas carols and smells of mulled wine drifting in the air, not to mention tons of activities to do and things to see, walking around London's Winter Wonderland will make you feel as if you're strolling around a historic Christmas market in Germany.
Not only are there over 100 different rides to choose from, there are also a ton of Bavarian-style Christmas markets scattered all throughout the area of Hyde Park offering German bratwursts, hot chocolate and mulled wine, as well as an outdoor skating rink, carnival rides and games, circus shows and children's entertainment performances, and so much more.
Winter Wonderland Highlights
- Sample some classic German bratwursts and hot mulled wine at the many Bavarian-style Christmas market stalls
- Skate around the UK's largest open-air skating rink (which is illuminated with over 100,000 lights!)
- Watch a jaw-dropping Cirque Berserk or Zippos Christmas Circus performance packed full of juggling tricks, flaming torches, aerobatic and acrobatic acts, comedy clowns and much more
- Sip on festive cocktails inside Bar Ice (where temperatures are set to around -8°C!)
- Get some Christmas shopping done at the many arts and crafts stalls
- Take a ride on the Giant Observation Wheel and enjoy stunning views of the London skyline from 60 metres above
- Venture inside the Magical Ice Kingdom and admire the fabulous icebergs, shipwreck and polar bear palace ice sculptures
- Watch the Children's ITV-famed Sooty Christmas Show with your kids and get up close and personal with Sweep and Soo!
- Get your photo taken with a giant white beast and go fishing with the Inuits in the Magical Ice Kingdom
- Watch an enchanting Nutcracker on Ice performance in the Winter Palace Theatre
- Meet Father Christmas and his elves at Santa's workshop and take home a souvenir photograph with Santa
- If you plan on sitting inside Bar Ice or The Magical Ice Kingdom, you could always wear a heating pad on the inside of your jacket to stay extra warm during your visit.
- If you purchase any tickets to a Winter Wonderland event or ride online beforehand, you can choose the fast-track entry option so you don't have to wait in a long queue outside.
- If you're hoping to avoid the crowds, try to visit Winter Wonderland during the weekday or on Saturday or Sunday afternoons.
Prices and Opening Hours
Winter Wonderland is open every day from the end of November to the beginning of January each year, but is closed on Christmas Day (December 25th). If you or your child wants to visit Father Christmas, he will be in Santa Land from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day (except Christmas Day).
You can purchase tickets to Winter Wonderland's Magical Ice Kingdom, Nutcracker On Ice, the Giant Observation Wheel, The Sooty Christmas Show, Bar Ice and other events and performances from the event's official website beforehand. For some events, tickets must be booked beforehand as you will need to reserve a ticket for a designated time slot and/or show time.
If you purchase your ticket online beforehand, all E-tickets can be downloaded and/or printed via a link which will be sent directly to your e-mail address.
The majority of carnival rides and attractions take tokens, which can be purchased from several different token booths scattered throughout the park. Ride tokens must be used on the day that they are purchased, and cannot be saved for a later day.