Lifestyle & Travel

Published on November 3rd, 2015 | by Parenting Solo


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2015

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland returns for its 7th season this year, and as usual promises to be a fabulously festive day out for families of all ages.

Entry is free if you just want to wander around soaking up the atmosphere – you only pay for the individual rides and attractions.  Some (ice skating, The magical Ice Kingdom, Giant wheel etc) are best booked in advance if you are making a special trip into town, otherwise you could spend hours queuing for ticket on the day.

William (now 12) and I have been visiting Winter Wonderland since it first opened in 2008, and have never been disappointed by it (skint by the end of it, but always joyous).  We’ve found it’s best not to go on a day you are also Christmas shopping unless you want to be lugging bags with you the entire trip, and also not to eat before you go – there are myriad bars and food stalls selling everything from chips to bratwurst and traditional Swiss mountain fayre. There are also some 200 beautifully decked out craft and gift cabins for that Christmas market experience.


For those who have never been to Winter Wonderland or have no idea what it is and what to expect (or perhaps have been scared of by tales of similar ‘wonderlands’ popping up every Christmas and featuring nothing more than emaciated reindeer and distraught children) here are our tips for making the most of your visit:

  • Go mid or late afternoon so some of your visit is after dark – it’s much more atmospheric when all the lights are twinkling in the moonlight!
  • Take plenty of cash. Tokens for rides are £1 each BUT rides START at £3 (£2 for kids’ rides).
  • If you are booked for ice skating, plan your outfit accordingly – it will be cold! (And take a pair of thick socks with you, too!)
  • Don’t do your Christmas shopping beforehand because you will then be lumbered with it (there is cloakroom for ice skaters (only) at £1 per item if you need to dump your handbag or kids bags while you skate.
  • Plan your route – Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner stations are the nearest but are mobbed at peak times. Consider Green Park instead (this is also step-free so great if you have a pram or buggy).
  • Check the weather forecast before you go – as lovely as Winter Wonderland is, it is outdoors, in a park and open to the elements. And nothing is fun in the rain and the mud.
  • Make sure you have a meeting place planned in advanced should your kids become separated from you – the site is huge and gets very busy.

Need to know more? Check out the official Winter Wonderland website.

Winter Wonderland is open every day from November 20, 2015 to  January 3, 2016 (except Christmas Day) from 10am to 10pm

Images: PWR Events Ltd

About the Author

Parenting Solo

is an online resource for lone parents, offering news, debate, features and expert opinion. It is edited by journalist and broadcaster Kelly Rose Bradford.

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