Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Things to do Hyde Park , Kensington Until Monday January 2 2017 Free
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(91 user reviews)
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Giant Observation Wheel

A bird's eye view of London at Christmas; a trip on this wheel will take you 60m above the ground.


The ice rink and bandstand

A truly festive setting within which to show off your spins and loops, or to video your friends falling over.


The Carousel Bar

Winter Wonderland has many bars for you to explore, all with some sort of USP. The Carousel Bar, for instance, slowly rotates as you drink.

 (© Jim Marks)
© Jim Marks

Children's rides

Traditional fairground rides will help to keep smiles on littler faces.


Arctic Circle

The Magical Ice Kingdom is just one part of Winter Wonderland's Arctic Circle, which also features a Nordic Bar, Snow Jet ride and North Pole Funhouse.

 (© David Parry)
© David Parry

The Magical Ice Kingdom

Explore a world of frozen artworks, and fly down the castle's ice slide.



The park's hosting three rollercoasters this year, so get your lungs prepped for screaming


Christmas family fun aplenty with a huge ice rink, two circuses, an observation wheel and the Magical Ice Kingdom, plus themed bars for the grown-ups

The Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park's massive tribute to festive fun, which is back for a tenth year in 2016. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and a wander past the fairground rides, around child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa's grotto) or through the Christmas markets is a real treat for anyone feeling the spirit of the season, as long as you're ready to hear all those songs as you potter.

Other attractions at Hyde Park's annual sparkly Christmassy addition include two circuses – ' Zippos Christmas Circus' and 'Cirque Berserk'. Winter Wonderland's ice rink, the biggest outdoor rink in the UK, surrounds the Victorian bandstand and is illuminated with more than 100,000 lights. 2016 also sees a new family-friendly 'Sooty Christmas Show' with Sweep, Soo and TV's Richard Cadell all making appearances. 

This year the Magical Ice Kingdom presents an 'Arctic Adventure' complete with icebergs, shipwreck and a polar bear palace. It's your chance to get up close to some real ice and snow, go fishing with the Inuits and have your photo taken with a giant white beast. Along with the 60-metre observation wheel, rollercoasters and fairground rides will keep thrill seekers happy. A good alternative for those who prefer to stay on solid ground are the selection of themed bars with real fires, except for the Ice Bar (for obvious structural reasons) where even the glasses you drink from are made of ice.

If you're skating, be aware that while there's no minimum age for skaters, under-12s must be accompanied by someone 16 or over and the smallest skates for hire are children's size 9 (adult skates go up to size 13). You can use your own skates as long as they're not speed skates. Wheelchair users are welcome on the ice. There are also ice guides who can look after groups of up to 15 skaters at a time (for an additional charge).

Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London

Read our full guide to Winter Wonderland

Venue name: Hyde Park
W2 4RU
Transport: Tube: Queensway/South Kensington/Hyde Park Corner/Lancaster Gate
Event website: http://www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:46
  • 4 star:20
  • 3 star:11
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:9
4 people listening
3 of 3 found helpful

I have been to Winter Wonderland for the past 4 years and overall it is getting bigger and better every year. Lots of rides for young and scary big ones for the brave. A great market with a variety stalls full of goodies and lots to look at as you walk around. Overall the atmosphere is brilliant, considering how many people there are we hardly noticed or heard any people moaning. My only, and biggest, complaint is the price. On average rides cost from £3 to £8 (you have to buy tokens £1 = 1 token), if you have a child an adult must go on the ride/fun house with them, so in reality this doubles the cost... there are also lots of carnival type games (you know the type, throw a ball into a ring and win a teddy...) which you pay for at around £3-5 per go so even if you have budgeted by buying a certain amount of tokens you get caught out with these random extra cash stalls! With my 5 year old we spent £50 today..Ek! Then is add salt to the wound the cost of the food is ridiculous. 1 portion of chips in one of the indoor food halls cost £3, I counted the chips – 20 tiny stumpy fries for 3 quid! I would strongly recommend to anyone – BRING A PACK LUNCH!! Though I would also recommend treating yourself to a mulled wine – yum. If you intend to go on the weekend I would strongly advise that you get there early; we arrived at 11am today (Sunday 7th Dec) and walked straight in. We noticed that by lunchtime there was a massive queue outside. Then when we left at around 5pm the queue was around the corner. I’d estimate a minimum of an hour wait if not 2! Crazy!! Also if you have youngsters and want to see Santa head there first, and get an adult to join the line! We went around 2pm and after 20 minutes reached the 2 hour notice board! Suffice to say we left the line at this point. We will be going again next year, with packed lunch, bag of marsh mellows and a strict budget. With a Christmas wish that the organisers have done something about the rip off prices.

2 of 2 found helpful

A lot of the reviews on here just seem to be promotional advertising. Anyway it's good fun if you are wealthy.

Paul W
1 of 1 found helpful

What a rip off, you can find less of the same at any circus / tat market. Food was poor at two stalls we tried and circus was less than average. 

Nick J
1 of 1 found helpful

Well I wouldn't reccomend... It's a trap! Expense after expense to fleece what can possibly be fleeced from a parent. We paid in advance for the Ice Kingdom... good stuff but small for the cost, the circus was a bog standard affair I've been to a few different ones for a third of the price, no better I'm sorry to say and all for a 45 minute show. 

All prices are pretty much the same: small portions of fries £3, plain hot dog £5, 4 the prices may go up in places after 6pm. As mentioned below, take food and drink. Parking in the car park nearby is somewhat pricey at £22 for a 3.5 hour visit.

1 of 1 found helpful
Staff Writer

I have been going to Winter Wonderland over the past few years and it keeps growing but also becoming more and more commercial. I struggled this year to find the Christmas magic atmosphere between the attractions and bars. If you fancy classic Christmas atmosphere this is not the place to go but if you want some fun with friends at this time of the here are a few tips:

To do:

- go on week days to avoid massive crows

- have some cash with you to buy the attractions tickets as you will find that most of the cash point get out of service very quickly

- BE PATIENT, you will need to queue to get on the fun rides!

To Avoid: 

-weekends (am/pm)

- avoid food (expensive and not really worth it, expect for the Wood fire Pizza place)

- dont expect amazing drinks (mulled wine is average)

My suggestion if you must go: meet with friends, have a tour and get a drink at the Fire Pit to get some winter atmosphere and don't stay too long!

1 of 1 found helpful

While Winter Wonderland is an annual iconic London event many people get excited about, I am not a big fan. It is overcrowded and overpriced, the stalls are tacky and not authentic. The only time there is a chance of me setting foot in it is at quiet times during the week for a German Bratwurst (which is average).

1 of 1 found helpful

what an absolute rip-off all the children's rides were. it's just a glorified market with lots of tacky stalls. £3 for one go on the helter skelter which last all of 10 seconds, or £9 for three people to go on a small children's ride. i certainly won't be going back.

Jane G.

This was my 3rd Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, and I think the best so far. Holiday spirit is everywhere, the lights, the music, the stalls. I just had a walk through, on a weeknight when it was more quiet and I enjoyed myself, it's like the big State Fairs we had in the U.S. I didn't buy anything, just looked and wandered. It is very expensive in there and very commercial, so either be prepared to spend loads for not much, or don't buy and just have a look.

Tara P

Winter Wonderland is an ever-changing beast, and I've had both one star and four star experiences here at different times. This review is more of a 'how to' guide, as the star rating for Winter Wonderland could change massively depending on how you approach it. Tip 1: If you go on a weekday evening in November, then your experience will be vastly different to someone who visits on a mid-December Saturday. The crowds can massively hamper your enjoyment, so try to visit at an off-peak time. Tip 2: It's much prettier and less tacky in the dark. Tip 3: If you set yourself a budget and stick to it, you'll suffer from less crippling regret. The games and rides are eye-wateringly expensive, but if you set yourself a £20 limit (or whatever's appropriate for you) you can still do a few fun things without burning a hole in your wallet. It will just mean that you prioritise your top picks rather than the first things you see. Tip 4: Don't go hungry. If you have a chance to wander the food booths first, you can suss out the good ones. They're a mixed bag! Do not be so hungry that you're about to faint, because you'll launch yourself at the first pretzel stand you see and invariably be disappointed with the quality. Tip 5: Be happy! Enjoyment of Winter Wonderland depends greatly on your mood. Only go if you want to, and don't go when cranky or hangry (see tip 4). If you're feeling anything other than sunshine and sweetness, avoid it like the plague, as soon you'll be swearing at slow walkers, cursing the trickery of the games masters and wishing that you were at home on the sofa. There you go: Tara's top tips. Go forth and enjoy!

Izzy K

I haven’t been to Winter Wonderland for about eight years. I’ve been there twice and I felt that’s more than enough. But visiting on the occasion of the Nutcracker On Ice, it seems it evolved in the last few years. It’s still what you expect from this kind of fun fair, it’s tacky, it’s crowded (even on weekdays), there are carousels, shooting stations and lots of sweets to try. But I remember it with a very limited gastronomic options and that has improved significantly. I love the Bavarian Village most out of everything, it really has a feel of an authentic German market, so you ca forget all the kitsh around and just enjoy a currywurst with a pint of German beer in a wooden hut with live acts every night. (Almost) perfect festive season drinking destination.

Nicole D

Loved the little themed bars with their delicious mulled wine. Massive sausages on an open flame, sweet treats at every turn and rides rides and more rides. This has just become my new happy place. So much to see and do - love

Telmo M

Every year is a must go in London at least once. Especially if your friends are visiting you in London. Getting bigger and bigger every year. Take your friends, girlfriend or boyfriend or just go by yourself. It's a lot of fun over there waiting for you.

Kirsty E

A fun gathering of stalls, rides and attractions to get everyone in the festive spirit. However, a few things really need to be sorted out - the queues are ridiculous, for food, rides, Santa, to get in!! It seems the event keeps getting bigger year on year but there is less and less space. The prices are extortionate too which makes it all less enjoyable. I would suggest the other smaller events such as Winterville, where the food is delicious and affordable and the circus was fantastic!

Lizzie W

I've never been to winter wonderland on a weekend during the day and I won't be doing it again! It was way too busy!
It's changed from previous years and had the addition of a street food market area which is good but still the quality of food isn't good enough for the price. It was nice to wander round with a mulled wine and look at all the lights as it turned dark. 
We also went on a scary looking ride but had to pay £9 and it literally lasted 2 minutes! Fuming - what a rip off! Not sure if the rest of the rides were this expensive or if we got unlucky.
I also couldn't find the nik nak stalls which I love perusing! 
I will be back year after year as it gets me in the festive spirit (until I get so frustrated with the queues) and is a nice place to meet up for a drink with friends but I think it needs some improvement!

Sarah R

This year I was hesitant to visit Wonderland again, since it is such a mainstream, busy December hangout, but gave it another go anyway and I was pleasantly surprised. The Bavarian Village was given an update and it is much larger now. At first I was slightly put off by cheesy songs sang by a guy on a main stage inside, but after half an hour, with cider in your hand, you cant help but sing along to Robie Williams Angels and have a German Bratwurst!

Kishma S

I didn't have high hopes for Winter Wonderland but I loved it.

It's been about 4 years since I've been and I can't believe how much it's grown. I found it prohibitively expensive when I went years ago so I went with the intention not to spend any money and I didn't.

I walked around and looked at the lights and the stalls and soaked up the atmosphere.

I found the atmosphere inside the Bavarian bar absolutely brilliant. There was a band performing popular pop sounds like Backstreet Boys and ABBA and everyone was singing along and dancing in the aisles. There is plenty of food and drink around to buy although I imagine the price will make you cry. I did notice that you can souvenir mugs with the beer as well which I thought was cool and judging by how many of th I saw other people thought the same.

I think there is certainly an element of tourist trap to Winter Wonderland but it's in the heart of central London so I'm not surprised. You don't have to spend any money if you don't want to and it's a wonderful, if crowded spectacle.

Paul C
Staff Writer

Visited Winter Wonderland last Wednesday night, somewhat begrudgingly having been last year. Actually, when we arrived, I was pleasantly surprised! It seems to have grown massively and as such isn't so crowded - maybe this was due to going on a Wednesday night rather than a busy Sunday afternoon but the sense of freedom & lack of barging through crowds made the whole experience much more pleasurable. My main piece of advice would be to take cash with you beforehand - the ATM's in the park fleece you with a £2.99 charge to get cash out!

Javier M

Think that Winter Wonderland is a Christmas must go in London.

Even for me that am not that much into the attraction (am easily scared with it) but some of friends tried and sayd was amazing.

There is also a market and some place to grab some food + mulled wine.

It's better to go on a weekday, so will be less crowdy

moderatorStaff Writer

If you're into tripping over prams and shelling out loads of cash then this could be just the experience for you...bah humbug, the kids will love it!

Staff Writer

If there is one destination in London to make you feel Christmassy, then Winter Wonderland is the place. When i visited, I didnt actually go on any of the rides as i thought they are too pricey. The drinks and snacks are also pretty expensive too but its nice just to go and have a walk around and take a peek at all the Christmas market stalls. I would recommend paying to see Zippos circus, i went last year and the acts were performing death defying stunts, it was really impressive, and on a plus side, no animals were involved :)

Warwick W


- Go weekly/mid week to avoid the crowds

- It's expensive if you want to do the rides - The big ones are around £8-9 a pop.

- Head to the Bavarian Village for Food and Drinks at okay prices. (£5.50 a pint / £8 large glass of wine)

- There is a big hall within the village with live music - If you like cheese you'll be in here all night! Suprisingly fun and as the night progresses the more people start singing along.

- Kids loved it, but would be great for a date night. .

- Avoid the Ice Kingdom - massively over priced!

Paul Harman

So much potential in this place which is spoiled by overcrowding and exorbitant costs. It would be better to charge people to get in and lower the costs once inside. If very busy then it's inadvisable to go with small children. 

Lise M

It starts to look a lot like Christmas! Winter Wonderland is always a rituals around Christmas. Even if you hate the crowd and the buzzing attractions, you always end up having a beer at the Bavarian village or having a Belgian hot chocolat full of marshmallows.This year display is different than the other years. There is more space between the attractions and the christmas market. 

Kritt N

Winter Wonderland in three words: massive, enchanting and busy.

I've visited Winter Wonderland every year and I've always have enjoyed myself. The ice rink is huge as is the arrays of eateries and pop-up stores where you'll can find something truly unique to take home. There's games aplenty where you can win prizes, activities and attractions keep the the little ones busy such as Santa's grottos and the lights are mesmerising. Overall, something for everyone in the family.

I especially loved the Bavarian Village where you can tuck into some German bratwurst, wash it down with a certain German tipple and listen to live bands on stage inside the warm tent as you tuck into your food. I also liked that Mr Fogg's, a popular speakeasy bar, has made an appearance this year.

Having said all that, Winter Wonderland is not perfect. It's absolutely massive and I always feel like I'm missing out on something. I felt overwhelmed and on busier nights, I can see it heaving with people which others might not mind, but isn't really my cup of tea. Also, and this is entirely personal preference, I like quirky things and I don't see enough of it inside Winter Wonderland.

I highly recommend visiting on weekdays (obvs) and try to avoid visiting over the weekend, especially once the school holiday Christmas begins.

Winter Wonderland is a great place for all the family and there's not many negatives you can say here. But for me, and this is just personal preference, I prefer something a bit smaller, a bit more local away from central London and a bit more quirky.

Vittorio N

I went a couple of days ago, and it looked like a zombie apocalypse. Overpriced food, many don't accept card (it's full of ATMs which will charge you with almost £3 just for withdrawing).


Every year, from end of November till start of January, Hyde Park is transformed to a huge festive Christmas village: "Winter Wonderland. Imagine a huge area being totally under Christmas spirit. As soon as you have plenty of cash (cash points can get quite busy in the evenings), you can spend the whole day here! Both for adults & children : ) Head to the Bavarian village for German food, mulled wine and crazy German djs on karaoke! Try any kind of food you can imagine & freshly made churros with sugar! The huge observation wheel is a bit expensive (7£) but there are so many other rides/rollercoasters/Zippos circus/ice-skating to try during your stay. Most of them are not cheap at all and you can easily find yourself lost in counting the left-over money, but definately you will enjoy it. Gloves and  warm coats are highly recommended!

Ros A

I'm a bitttttt of a Christmas fiend so I love my annual trip to Winter Wonderland. Yes, it's absolute carnage and ridiculously busy. Try going late ish (8.30pm onwards) and there will be less children around, and of course weeknights are quieter. I love the big bavarian beer hall - a lot of fun and easy to while away a night toasty warm in there. Love the food stands, outdoor pubs with mulled wine and of course a drunken ride on a rollercoaster. Everyone calls it a monster, but it's quite a nice monster, at least. 

Rellie Loves

This a yearly thing for me and I love it. Yes attractions are fairly overpriced and it’s crazy busy, but this is London! You also don't have to spend much to enjoy it. Winter Wonderland is one of the most enjoyable, free family friendly events and there’s so much to do. It’s open every day (except Christmas Day) but the best time is in the evening! Head to the Ice Bar, watch Zippos Circus, ice skate, visit Santa’s Grotto, go on fairground rides and play games, listen to live music or simply wander around the market stalls drinking hot chocolate. Book tickets in advance for main attractions to avoid disappointment. Nearest stations are Bond Street, Green Park, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner.

Kemi O

I think Winterwonderland is one of those places you either love or hate. I went there with very little expectation and was pleasantly surprised by the number of different things to do there. The rides are a little on the pricey side, but if you are in the moody for some festive fun, some luke-warm mulled-wine and lovely atmosphere then I think it's a pretty good option!


Love winter wonderland with the Germany food it's so nice to go there

Corina B

Winter Wonderland, or maybe not. Your experience of this event is directly related to the luck you're having the day you go. It has inevitable charm and is very well made, unfortunately it is usually uncomfortably crowded. The rides are very colorful and picturesque, but unless you want to spend an insane amount of money it would unwise to ride more than 3 of them. I only went on one and can't say it was worth it. It is also a great place to go on your cheat day since its absolutely filled with fatty and inevitably delicious food. 

Overall I would suggest going as it is free and makes for an interesting and different evening, but do not expect the image that is sold by the advertisement as its not as 'wonderful' as it claims to be.

RuoQing Dong


I had a great time. There's a lot of things to see and play with. Although there were queues everywhere it's expectable that people all come here. Night view was better with all lights on. All rides were around £10 and above. Ice staking was only allowed for 2hours and ice rink was small and busy. But overall it's definitely worth going

Sarah A

can u stay on newyearseve after closing time of winder wonderland in hydepark see the fireworks? or is it all closed to for the ticketzone...


Pros: Went there last weekend, I have to say it's got better and bigger compared to previous years - more things to see, do, buy and eat.

Cons: Expect to pay a fiver at least for most things, i.e. a plain bratwurst hot dog or a packet of churros covered in cinnamon sugar (some are good like the churros, you just got to pick the right stalls). Weekends are definitely crowded. Game stalls are expensive - paid £5 at the basketball stalls for 6 shots, it's nearly a pound per shot! 

I would go again and be quite happy not to spend on anything, simply because it's a really nice place to warm up to the festive period with friends and family. 

Photo blog at - http://bit.ly/shelynww


Went this afternoon and it was wicked, recommend buying tickets to rides before hand as it saves so much time and hassle, the wheel was amazing with really good views of Hyde Park and London city. Good vibes all round!


Went this afternoon, it was wonderful. It was my first visit and I must say I've not seen such a good carnival in London before (usually these have been rip-offs). It had a German theme to it, rows upon rows of market stalls with lots of offers and quite a few pubs and bratwurst stalls as you'd expect. Several themed rides and fairground rides, and they looked quite good. Game stalls aplenty. All in all had a very good time. If any faults, I would say the Knightsbridge end exit needs more light.


Lots of things to see, lots of things to do, if you think that paying the price is worth it. Personally, big crowds give me a headache but definitely a good place for Christmas cheer.


Costly but nice...gives the kids an amazing day to remember... and yourself esp. If u have more thab 1 kids. I took 3 !!!! Nonetheless its was worth it...


What this guy said: "Dangerously overcrowded - more winter hell than wonderland...Appalling security and crowd control." Generally a pretty horrendous experience, we would have cut it short if it weren't for the fact we had booked to go to the circus (which incidentally was quite good once we had fought our way inside)

Paul Simmons

Busy, loud, full of people and annoying -- had a good time though. lots to do and the busy atmosphere soon dissipates.


Amazing!! Defiantly a must do over Christmas - Let your inner child have all the fun! Dont forget to Ice skate :)

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