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 perfect weekend in London, Top 5 places to visit

Living so close to the big City has its advantages. We are just a 35 minute tube ride away from entering the City of London and as a family we it is our prefered place to visit for a day out. There is so much to do and see, that every time we visit there is always something new that we haven’t seen before. There is something quite special about London at night-time and we often take a car journey through London just to drive over the Bridges and see the City lit up. The best bridge is Tower bridge as you get to see the Tower of London all lit up and look down the Thames towards the City.

Our top five places to visit in London are:

  • 1.  Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. This place is huge! We have taken our bikes before and cycled around the whole park, It was so nice to cycle through the park on the big wide cycle lanes safely. Summer time is the best time to visit the park as you can cool down your aching, tired feet (from all of the walking) in the Diana Memorial Fountain or you can take a dip in the Serpentine Lido. Keep your eyes peeled for all of the statues spotted around the park. As you walk over the W Carriage Drive into Kensington Gardens, you will be taken back to 1902 and get to meet Peter Pan. The statue is situated along side The Long Water. Once you have met Peter Pan the children can then use their own imagination and creative play in Diana Memorial Playground. The playground was inspired by the stories of Peter Pan to encourage children to explore and follow their imagination. More about our days out here

diana playground

 

  • 2. The National Army Museum. Situated in Chelsea, a 12 minute walk away from Sloane Square station, along Royal Hospital Road. Here you will find a museum that museum that moves, inspires, challenges, educates and entertains. This museum is a favourite of my boys, not only do they get to learn about the story of the British Army and its role in history but a kids zone where children explore aspects of army life from camping to clothing. It includes a dedicated soft-play space for babies, plus arts and crafts, dressing-up costumes, books, interactive toys and a castle fortress.

Photo from littlebird
Photo from littlebird

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  • 3. The Emirates Airline Cable Car. Catch the cable from Emirates Royal Dock or Emirates Greenwich. We took a ride in it from the Docklands side, it was easy to get to from the Royal Victoria station on the Docklands line. Travel across the River Thames in a glass globe and see London from a different perspective with beautiful views and sights below. To add to the breath-taking views there is also an on-board tour as part of the Discovery experience. The audio and visual tour takes you through a series of fascinating hidden stories about the sights of East London. On board, as you travel 90m up above the river, you get to see London’s most famous sights including the 02, Thames Barrier and Royal Docks. A single journey can take up to 10 minutes.

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  • 4. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Made famous for the legacy of the Olympics 2012, The olympic park is now open to visitors to explore and enjoy. In the south of the park you will find a climbing wall, adjacent to the Arena and a little play area

olympic park

olympic park 12

In the North of the park is Tumbling Bay Playground that features rock pools, sand pits, tall tree houses, and wobbly bridges, as well as slides, swings and plenty of space to run about. It’s like a little magical, mythical, fantasy world where children can play in a natural environment and be creative with their thoughts and imagination. Read about our day out here

Next door to the Tumbling Playground is the Lee Valley Velo Park where you get to recreate the olympics by trying out the track indoors and outdoors. My boys loved trying out the BMX track.

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  • 5. ST Katherine’s Dock. Live the marina life in London, just a short walk from The Tower of London, you will be amazed at how beautiful this place is. ST Katherine’s Dock is London’s hidden gem, the former dock has been transformed into an elegant marina with abundance of shops and restaurants. This is my sons favourite place to visit, he wrote about it here. Take a stroll around the marina, look at all of the stunning yachts, you may even get to watch one come in through the lock.

st katherines dock

All of the above would make a perfect weekend for us and even better if we got to stay in a Hotel, staying in the centre of London means you get to the top attractions first nd you can fit more into the day. The Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington is currently offering 50% off connecting rooms this February, March and April, providing even better value for families. (2015)

Available weekends, and every day during half term and Easter, the hotels Family Fun offer gives you the opportunity to spend quality time with your family whilst enjoying the sights and sounds London has to offer.  You won’t need to worry about breakfast either as full English breakfast is included.
This is Mumofthreemusketeers entry into Tots100 and The Royal Garden Hotel competition to win a five-star stay for the family in the hotel. 
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Olympic Mens Triathlon at Hyde Park

For the past year i have tried and tried to buy tickets to the Olympics, we live not far away from the Olympic Park and seeing as the Olympics is being held practically on our doorstep I thought it would be an amazing experience for us a family to watch. I managed to buy daddy some boxing tickets for Daddy as a birthday present and i made the mistake of not purchasing the boys tickets too, I thought that i would be able to buy more tickets for them but when i tried again I wasn’t allowed any more under my name. In the past two weeks much to my disappointment i have failed to buy tickets to the olympics so I took to London yesterday so the boys could experience some olympic fever in Hyde Park. We went to watch the mens triathlon and what a day it was! The boys got to see so much and really enjoyed themselves, we found a spot just near the serpentine where we saw the swimming and then walked just a short distance to S Carriage Drive where the triathletes were going to be cycling down. Jak and Joseph stood on top of a rubbish bin where they got a great view of the triathletes as they passed us. The boys waved their olympic foam hands that they made from some yellow moon craft packs, they cheered until they got sore throats and they jumped up and down when they caught a glimpse of Team GB go by. Once the triathletes had passed us cycling on their last lap we made our way to the huge live screen to watch the triathletes transition from their cycles to the last leg of the race into the running stage. The boys then wanted to see if they could watch some of the running so we found a great spot on a hill just near the serpentine where we got a fabulous view of the main stand where the triathletes would finish, AND what a view it was, we saw Alistair Brownlee grab a union jack from someone near the stand and run towards the finish line waving it where he walked over the line to win Gold.

Waving their Hands

Alistair Brownlee looking back at the pack

We all had a glorious day and can’t believe we got to see an olympic ev

The hyge live screen

ent, we had magnificent views all day, the sun made an appearance too. We made the most of being in London too, we visited the serpentine gallery, the boys had a splash in the Diana’s memorial fountain and to finish our day off we walked to Covent Garden for something to eat passing some iconic places on the way like Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and The Horse Guards.

What an amazing day we all had, the atmosphere was electric and we even got to see many of the athletes up close including Alistair and Jonathon Brownlee who went on to win Gold and Bronze Olympic medals. We are now looking forward to watching the Paralympic athletics in the Olympic park, which i have managed to get tickets for us for YIPPEE!

Thank you for reading my post:-)

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