Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Review – Top 5 Places to visit

The Most Spectacular Christmas Destination In London

Located in the heart of London in Hyde park, get ready to fully immerse yourself in the biggest and best Christmas fair that there is around. Offering an array of attractions, activities and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Winter Wonderland is FREE to enter and it is huge! There are more than 50 rides, over 10 pre-bookable attractions, up to 200 bars and food stalls and London’s biggest Christmas Market to enjoy. The shear size of this place is phenomenal and the work that has gone into putting it together is really impressive. At night the park is transformed with hundreds of sparking lights.

Press invite

Last Sunday we were invited along to experience Winter Wonderland ourselves. We have been once quite a few years ago to visit the Ice Rink and The Ice Kingdom, but didn’t really spend much time there. So we were looking forward to spending the day walking around and fully immersing ourselves into the Christmas Festive Spirit.

My eldest two boys arrived before myself and the youngest as we had a football match to attend first. They arrived just before 11 and managed to try out about three or four rides before we joined them at lunch time. Mornings are ideal for families to visit, we found it to be busy but with mostly people just leisurely walking around. The queues for the rides weren’t massively long, in fact the longest we queued for a ride was about 10 minutes and that was later on in the day.

What to expect

Winter Wonderland is split into festive themed areas.

You will find

  • Santa Land – Explore the land of Santa, see his workshop, meet the elves or ride on the Santa Express. Enter through the Red Gate, a dedicated Family Entrance that takes you straight into Santa Land.
  • Arctic Circle – Visit The Magical Ice Kingdom; a spectacular snow and ice sculpture walk through and ride on a real ice slide
  • Circus Town – Here you will find the Circus Megadome that is home to Zippos Christmas Circus, Mr.Men and Little Miss Show and Cirque Beserk.
  • Bavarian Village – This picturesque area is the perfect place to unwind, with its cosy chalets, outdoor seating, bars, cafes and restaurants.
  • Thrill Zone – Home to the world’s largest transportable roller coaster The Munich Looping and many more rides for those that are not faint hearted
  • Traditional Funfair – Young and old will adore this area full of beautiful Victorian-style rides -the carousel, helter skelter and vintage fairground games.
  • Angels Christmas Market – Over 100 charming traditional wooden chalets will tempt you with unique gifts, traditional Christmas decorations and culinary delights

Zippos Christmas Circus

Step inside the Circus Megadome to watch this fun packed daytime show last just under an hour which makes it perfect viewing for the younger ones. The boys were transfixed from the beginning introduction from the circus Ringmaster to the end performance of illuminated acrobats.

The show is jam packed with energetic routines and dare-devil antics that will keep you on edge of your seat.

There were unicyclists, trapeze artists, tightrope walkers, roller bladers, acrobats and a juggler who entertained us with a repeat action of his Guiness World Record of keeping five boomerangs in the air at the same time and catching them all without dropping one. Unfortunately, on his first attempt he dropped the last boomerang but not to be downhearted on his second attempt he was victorious.

Zippos Christmas Circus is a fabulous family show that will keep the whole family entertained. Emilion the Clown kept the crowd entertained throughout, throwing huge beach balls into them and finishing the show by putting on a little mime act using people from the audience.

The Magical Ice Kingdom

An indoor Magical Ice Kingdom walk through experience with a temperature of -10c you really do need to wrap up warm for this attraction. This year the incredible Ice sculptures tell the story of A Christmas Carol. The moment you enter the Ice Kingdom you are transported into the wintry streets of London following Dickens’ Christmas tale of goodwill, where Scrooge is taught the true meaning of Christmas. The magnificent sculptures of the characters and settings took a team of very talented ice artists months to carve and create. This was, personally, my favourite attraction. I could have stayed in there for ages just taking it all in, if it wasn’t so cold. The Ice Kingdom really is Magical! The whole experience from the beginning to the end is amazing, there is so much to see. Every ice sculpture has so much detail and helps you to relive the Dickens’ timeless classic story.

I don’t think the children felt the cold as they slid down the ice slide; they love it!

Giant Wheel

Winter Wonderland has the tallest transportable wheel in the world. The giant wheel is 70m tall and is a new attraction to Winter Wonderland. We rode the wheel at about midday and only had to wait about 5 minutes to board. We had a ski-like pod to ourselves. As you enter the pod, you are given a welcoming pre-recorded message where you are given the option to listen to music on your flight. The views are amazing, although I did get a little freaked out when the wheel stopped at the top to allow passengers to get on at the bottom. Our flight took about 10 minutes and went round slow enough for you to take in all the sights around the park and across the city, also it’s a great way of looking around the fair from above and working out where to go next, especially if you ride during the day. The view is spectacular and you get to see the shear amount of time and effort that has been put into the organisation of building Winter Wonderland.

Real Ice Slide

The Ice Slide in Winter Wonderland

Situated on the edge of Santa Land is the Ice Slide; a giant, 5-lane slope made entirely of slippery ice. After being given a helmet and a rubber donut to sit in you hike your way up to the top. We queued for about 5-10 minutes before we got to the top. Once there, you place your tube down in a lane and sit inside it. The friendly Winter Wonderland staff will then proceed to push you down the slide. You can reach a pretty high speed coming down, and it’s even better when you’re out of control and spinning around wildly as glide not-so-gracefully to the bottom. You get two turns on the slide per entry. It’s great fun to race your friends or family down the this spectacular slippery slope. There is also quite a breathtaking view of the park at the top of slide.

A slide made out of ice in winter wonderland

Ice Mountain Coaster

An indoor spinning roller coaster that takes you on a ride through a mountain cavern. We queued for about 15 minutes for this ride and that was mainly down to it being later on in the day. This was the last ride of the day for us, so we didn’t mind the queue. The queue went down rather quickly and soon we were all in the car ready to be carted off into the darkness of the mountain. We really wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. We got flung from side to side and the car spun around making us feel rather dizzy. As the spinning coaster passed through the illuminated cavern we were transported through a world of penguins and polar bears.

We spent about 4 hours walking around and taking in the festive atmosphere. I found the facilities to be clean and well staffed and there were plenty of friendly staff around to help with any queries or questions that you may have. There were plenty of places to sit down and enjoy some tasty food or a light refreshment. The prices of food varied from about £5 upwards. I would definitely recommend a visit to the Bavarian village for some refreshments, we bought some Churros for £5 and there was enough to feed the four of us. We found a fire pit to sit around to enjoy a glass of bavarian beer and a festive mulled wine, it really was lovely and got me feeling rather warm and excited for Christmas.

Although, Winter Wonderland is free to enter you will need tokens for the rides, which are available from token booths around the site. Contactless is also available. Rides vary from £2 up to £8 per person

I would highly recommend pre booking attractions as they can get booked out rather quickly on a weekend

Zippo’s Circus – £14.00 per adult and £10.50 per child

Magical Ice Kingdom – £10.00 per adult and £8.00 per child

Mr Men Show – 10.50 per adult and £7.50 per child

The Big Wheel – £9.00 per adult and £7.00 per child

Winter Wonderland is open from 10am to 10pm up until the 5th January 2020 https://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/

We were given tickets and tokens for the purpose of this review

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A Special Bond With my Boys

When I found out that my first born was going to be a boy I was slightly unnerved and a little freaked out. What did I know about raising a child? Let alone a Boy! What did I know about boys? Would I be able to understand him and guide him in the right direction to manhood?

I had heard about the sayings that little girls had special bonds with their daddies and little boys bonded well with their Mummies. I was hoping that this would be true, But I just couldn’t foresee it.

I’m not really a girly girl but am so far away from being in touch with my male side; I don’t know a thing about football, I couldn’t talk politics and wasn’t really an outdoor person. Give me an evening with a bowl of ice-cream and a chick flick and I would be happy.

But I had nothing to worry about. The moment I held my first born, I felt that instant connection – as I did with my other two boys.

A Mother’s love.

I can not compare the relationship that I have with my boys to what I could have with a daughter, Perhaps it would be the same. But, I do know that people have commented on how close my boys are to me and that they have a different relationship with their Father.

All three of my boys have different personalities but they all share the deepest and most sweetest love for me, of which they will show affectionately in public.

When my middle boy was younger he used to say that he was going to marry me and that he would always live with his Mummy. How sweet is that? I tease him now that he is older with what he used to say and he just smiles and says that it’s true – he will never leave Mummy.

I am so in love with all three of my boys. Each one of them with their special qualities and each one of them makes my heart beat faster. I never thought that it could be possible to love someone as much as I love them.

I take my youngest to football practice and matches every week, but I don’t understand a thing about the sport. Yet, he will talk to me for hours about the tricks that he did whilst out on the pitch or the goal that he got in ‘Top Bins’ (BTW I have no idea what that means). He will place his head on my shoulders at the end of the day, his fingers twiddling with my hair, and tell me how much that he loves me.

My middle boy is the most caring of them all and wears his heart on his sleeve. He is a very sensitive boy. Out of all three of the boys he is the one that is closer to his Dad. At 12 years old, nearly a teenager, he is growing up to be a respectful young man. He enjoys running, cycling and climbing. All things that I can not relate to, as I am not a sporty person. He starts every day giving me huge hug in the kitchen and finishes it with hugging me before bedtime. Out of the three of them, he is the one that yearns the need for love a little bit more. I think it’s hard being a middle child, he had so much to prove to his siblings, parents and to himself. He wants to make me proud and is always asking me if I am proud of him. He doesn’t see that that he doesn’t need to be top of the class in school or be the best at running to make me proud. I am proud of the young man that he is becoming. His smile warms my heart. He is always telling me how pretty I am and how good I look in new outfits. He is very good at giving compliments and when I am not feeling very well he will always be the one that holds my hand or rub my back after a hard day at work.

My eldest is the quietest of them all and will often spend all day in his bedroom working hard on achieving his high grades for school. My sweet little boy who had to sleep by his Mum’s side every night is now turning into a sweet young man. He never leaves the house without giving me a kiss and even if he is just going round the corner to the shop he will call out bye to me. My son enjoys running and every race he has been in he will always come to me once he’s finished and give me the biggest hug, It almost feels like he is racing for me.

We have moments of madness in the kitchen where we will all dance to music, laughing and giggling. Their father often looking at us and wondering what we are doing. The boys will bake cakes or offer to cook dinner with me, just so that they are spending time with me. We skip down the road and hold hands. They protect me from coming from any harm.

I am not a confident swimmer and every year when we are on holiday they will be by my side in the ocean swimming alongside me giving me encouragement. To see this just makes my love grow even deeper for them.

The bond I have with my boys is simply special. We do not share the same interests or hobbies but they are my best friends. I am their advisor and protector.

The moment I became a Mother to my boys I became the richest person alive.

As they grow older I know I will hold a special place in their hearts, as they do In mine. I am hoping that I have taught them how to Love unconditionally, selflessly and free.

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Spooktacular Crafts for Halloween with Viking-Direct

#AD

As my boys are growing up it takes a little bit more encouragement for them to get crafty. I really enjoy making things and try my best to encourage the boys to do so too. They have a set of art drawers in their bedroom that is full of arts and crafts, the boys would often rummage through them and create little masterpieces. And when they do get crafty they do produce some lovely art pieces, my youngest has just finished an art project (set by school) to create a Halloween scene in a box – he loved doing it, but just needs that extra little encouragement to do so.

Viking – an online stationary and office supplies company – invited us to take part in a Halloween Craft Campaign, which I thought would be a lovely idea for the boys to get involved in some spooky arts and crafts.

In the box

We were sent a box of goodies to use our imaginations with and creative to produce some spooky crafts and to share with you all what we come up with.

Our kit included:

  • A selection of coloured paper and card
  • A pack of felt tip pens
  • A set of Halloween based stencils
  • A gold and silver metallic craft pen
  • A ball of string
  • Glitter
  • A pumpkin carving kit
  • Elastic string for masks
what's in the viking craft box

What we created

I love getting crafty with the boys, they have great imaginations and i just enjoy spending the time together sitting at the table. It is far better than watching them playing games on their phones or tablets

Frankenstein’s Monster Mask

We cheated paper, card, felts, metallic pens, scissors, glue and the elastic to create a Frankenstein’s Monster mask for my son to wear on Halloween. He really enjoyed this craft and we are pretty smug about how it turned out. We used black card for the base and stuck the green paper on top, my son then went on to add in the details with the felts.

drawing the scar on the mask

Halloween Card

A Westham halloween card
Happy ‘Hammers’ Halloween

As my son plays football and trains once a week at the WestHam Development centre, he really wanted to make a Halloween Card to give to them. He used the coloured paper, the stencil and felts to create a spooky picture. The broom and the sword are creating the famous ‘Hammers’

String cobweb

Next up we made a cobweb using the ball of string and 3 twigs that we had collected from outdoors.

Cobweb made from string and twigs
String cobweb

Here is how we made it:

  • Secure three, same size, twigs together with some of the string in the middle to make a star like shape.
  • With the rest of the string start to wind the string around the twigs, moving from one to another.
  • keep on going around the twigs, wounding the string around and around.
  • We wrapped the string around the twigs once before moving on the next twigs as this helps to secure the string in place.
  • When you get to the end of the twigs, tie a knot in the string.

Pretty cool eh! And very effective when you leave them hanging around the trees in your garden.

We also created a tiny spider from the black card and placed it in the cobweb

String and twigs spiderweb hanging in the tree

Pumpkin sweet treat holder

Halloween isn’t just about dressing up into the scariest outfit you can find but, for children, it is also about knocking on the neighbours doors ‘trick or treating’. These cute little Pumpkin sweet favours are not only sweets but also double up as a little gift that you can give to the children.

Pumpkin favours

You will need some orange tissue paper, string and green paper.

  • Cut out a circle from the tissue paper – big enough to hold some sweets in
  • Place the sweets in the middle and then bring the ends up into the middle
  • Secure the middle with some of the string
  • Place some green paper over string to create a green stem
  • Draw on a scary face or leave plain
  • They are now ready to give out to children as gifts

Pumpkin Carving

The last part of our Hallowe’en crafts was the best bit, the bit where we got messy. Pumpkin carving is always the best part, in my opinion, of celebrating Hallowe’en.

We used the pumpkin carving kit that was provided to us in the box. Once we had decided on what design we was going to put onto our pumpkin we was ready to get going.

First we cut off the top of the pumpkin and then using the scoop we scooped out of the middle of the pumpkin. Once it was empty of all of the flesh and the seeds we drew on our design and then following the lines we cut it out.

Pumpkin carved put as harry potter
Harry Potter Pumpkin

The boys like to do something a little different with their pumpkins and this year they wanted a Harry Potter Pumpkin. What do you think?

We were enjoyed getting crafty with our little box of stationary that Viking gifted to us

Happy Hallowe'en
#spooktacular Hallowe’en

Why not take a look at what Viking-Direct has to offer for your next arts and crafts projects here

We were gifted with some craft items for the purpose of this post

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