Guide to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Highly-anticipated each year by locals and tourists alike, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has dominated London’s Christmas scene for over a decade and it gets bigger each year. Taking over one of the capital’s largest Royal Parks (from 21 Nov to 5 Jan 2020), Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is a quintessential London experience.
There’s something for everyone at the Christmas festival, from family-friendly shows and games to bars and rides for the grown ups. Explore all the fun to be had in our guide to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
What to do
Giant Observation Wheel
To drink in all of Winter Wonderland and beyond, the new Giant Observation Wheel is the place to go. This year’s wheel is a whole 10m bigger than last year’s, which means the views over London are even more spectacular.
One of the biggest draw cards of Winter Wonderland is the festival’s ice rink, which is actually the largest in the UK. Hyde Park’s Victorian bandstand is the centrepiece of the tree-lined ice rink. With a gentle musical backdrop provided by a bandstand singer, ice skating here is a truly idyllic experience. Penguin skating aids are on hand for kids, while ice guides can be hired for less-experienced skaters.
No Christmas festival would be complete without a Santa’s grotto. Kids can meet the man himself in Santa Land, plus there is a range of rides and games for the younger ones.
Rides and games
From giant roller coasters to a star flyer and even the tallest transportable drop-tower in the world, thrill-seekers are well catered for at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Child-friendly rides can be found too, as well as a variety of carnival games.
Bar Hütte Karaoke
Can’t help yourself when Christmas tunes start playing? Try your hand at the popular Bar Hütte Karaoke booths, which are made to look like small après ski-style huts. With its own bar and restaurant, visitors can enjoy stone-baked pizzas and custom drinks while singing along to festive favourites and pop classics.
The Magical Ice Kingdom
The super-impressive Magical Ice Kingdom returns this year with an ode to the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Explore the world of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim through beautifully-crafted ice sculptures and snow.
There is plenty of entertainment to be enjoyed by young and old at Winter Wonderland. Zippo’s Christmas Circus returns with a new show, continuing to wow with aerial acrobatics and comedic clowns. This is a great one for families with young children; the show runs for less than an hour and there’s even a buggy park. Cirque Berserk’s international troupe of daredevils, aerialists and acrobats are set to thrill audiences with awe-inspiring feats and stunts.
Paddington On Ice combines artful choreography, beautiful costumes and catchy tunes to tell the tale of Paddington bear journeying from Peru to London. Featuring award-winning figure skaters, this is a great option for family members of all ages. The new Mr. Men & Little Miss: The Show is also perfect for the family, running at 45 minutes to keep the attention of little ones.
Curated by comedy company GetComedy, the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club will host established stand-up comics and up-and-comers alike within the MegaDome. Headliners include ‘pun-monger’ Milton Jones as well as Britain’s Got Talent’s Lee Ridley, aka Lost Voice Guy.
What to eat and drink
Cedar & Spruce
Celebrated chef Ani Arora, the man behind popular London restaurant Hankies, will host the Cedar & Spruce Bar and Kitchen at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland this year. Arora will be serving up high-end, festively-themed fare such as brie and cranberry wontons with chilli cranberry jam, as well as turkey roulade with bacon and cheese stuffing and glazed root vegetables.
Cedar & Spruce’s setting is just as festive and inviting as its menu: the eatery and bar is set across three tepees, which feature cosy fires, communal tables and a rustic aesthetic.
Children are also invited to enjoy Arora’s Christmas creations, with a dedicated kids’ menu available.
Cedar & Spruce will be open as a bar from Winter Wonderland’s opening night until 29 November, after which the kitchen opens. Walk-ins are welcome however, booking ahead is highly recommended.
Prost! Enjoy the Bavarian Village with a stein and bratwurst in this Oktoberfest-style beer hall. With a mix of live music, DJs and traditional Bavarian oompah music playing, the Bavarian Village makes for one of the most energetic areas at Winter Wonderland.
Bar Ice is exactly as it sounds – it’s a bar made of ice! From the tables and chairs to every single glass, this all-ice bar will truly get you into a winter state of mind. Cooled to -10°C, guests are given cloaks for warmth, plus a complimentary cocktail per ticket.
What to buy
The Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Christmas market is the ideal spot to pick up some presents and souvenirs. From jewellery and clothes to traditional Christmas ornaments and handmade crafts, the market offers a range of unique pieces to take home.
How to get there
Catching the tube is the easiest way to get to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Although Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch stations are nearest the park, they tend to get extremely crowded and congested during the winter festival. Instead, we recommend walking from Green Park, Victoria or Paddington stations if possible.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is open from 21 Nov to 5 Jan 2020
Hyde Park, W2
Free admission; pre-booked tickets necessary for selected shows
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