Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Time Out says
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 huge tribute to festive fun. The annual favourite is back for its thirteenth year in 2019. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and you can head along for cheerily-lit fairground rides, a child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa’s grotto) and quaint Christmas markets. It’s a real treat for anyone wanting to get into the festive spirit – as long as you’re ready to hear all those songs as you potter around. Check out our itinerary on the best bits to hit up while you’re there.
Other highlights of Hyde Park’s annual Christmas treat include circuses and the biggest outdoor rink in the UK – it surrounds the Victorian bandstand and is illuminated with more than 100,000 lights. There's also the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club, ice sculpting workshops and a German-style Bavarian Village full of frothing steins and live music.
This year sees the unveiling of a new 70m observation wheel, which will join a line-up of rollercoasters and fairground rides sure to keep thrill-seekers happy. A good alternative for those who prefer to stay on solid ground is 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. A new addition this year includes Paddington on Ice and a brand-new pre-bookable restaurant Cedar & Spruce Bar and Kitchen.
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).
Read our full guide to Winter Wonderland.
Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London.
|Event phone:||020 8233 5400|
Users say (121)
Average User Rating
3.9 / 5
- 5 star:51
- 4 star:35
- 3 star:17
- 2 star:3
- 1 star:14
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.
A lot of the reviews on here just seem to be promotional advertising. Anyway it's good fun if you are wealthy.
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.
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.
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.
Went there on Thursday - rides are expensive but good. £9 per person for the big rides... food and drink is expensive as well - I bought a pint, served very short -person serving me said thats how they were told to serve them. Bought a bratwurst, but they didn't put any onions on it even though it clearly said it on the sign. If you want to pre-book any events then you have to pay a fortune in transaction fees (about 10%). Not very christmasy, more like cash cow.
I know there are a lot of mixed emotions about Winter Wonderland. We went for the first time in 2016 and skipped last year and decided we'll give it another go this year. And, I'm glad to report that we did. The Winter Wonderland has got a lot bigger with more stalls for nick-knacks and a bigger food offering as well. Yes it is busy, but it's the festive period and it's London, so that's to be expected. While it still does not compare to any other European Christmas markets, I was pleasantly surprised with Winter Wonderland and will now make it an annual event.
brilliant as ever, but very busy.
pick and choose what you want to do and arrive early would be my advice
This place is magical and has something for everyone. It's free to explore and enter.
Rides and certain shows do cost extra, in typical theme park style there's everything from rollercoaster to bumper cars.
There's endless food and drink stalls and a German style Bavarian village that plays Christmas songs and party favourites together with indoor seating for drinking.
Veggie stalls are also available and there's lots of sweet treats.
I would give it 5 stars if the pricing was a little cheaper for food and drink
Top tips to surviving Winter Wonderland. Firstly go on a Monday or Tuesday during the day or before 6pm as once you're through bag searches the lines aren't bad at all. Secondly, have cash on you... do not use the ATM as they charge a small fortune and not all food vendors have card machines. Thirdly, take a small bag or no bag at all. By keeping things close to you, you won't have to worry about pick-pocketers. Final word of advice- enjoy your time there and take it slow 2018 have a new layout and some exciting shows. I loved my time at Winter Wonderland this year and will be going back on its final day, Jan 6th for the family day. The Family day has no alcohol but additional activities for kids. Also there are more entrance this year so it was super easy to get in.
This place gets bigger and better every year and I loved my evening spent there! However I visited on a Monday evening in late November when there were no queues to get in, less children and no waiting at the bar. I can imagine going at the weekend might be a bit more of a busy experience. Oh and the Halloumi fries stand is yummy!
Walking in a Winter Wonderland, is big and busy, but will definitely leave you with a festive feeling. It has become our tradition to attend Winter Wonderland on Christmas Eve, surprisingly it is not too busy and kicks off the holiday perfectly. Drinks, attractions, games and rides are not cheap, but with any event of this size and popularity that is to be expected. The 'beer halls' are a pleasant place to sit and enjoy some, interesting, live entertainment. The ice rink is large and busy with lots of children, very unnerving for a beginner skaters such as myself. Winter Wonderland only gets bigger each year, and is always a worthwhile place to spend an afternoon. Don't forget a mulled wine to warm you up (best to drink after a ride!)
My least favourite thing about Christmas, I have been going every year, and this particular year, its so overpriced, overhyped and a let down! i usually go on a weekday when its less crowded as opposed to a weekend. But this year it was crazy busy, too many crowds, the drinks are so expensive and so are the rides!! The mulled wine was horrible, the food is good but just overpriced!
Too much of a muddy mess for my liking to be honest!
A fun day out for all, with plenty to see and do. Best visited on a weekday, and definitely avoid the closer it gets to Christmas as the crowds can be insanely busy! It's free to get in, but take plenty of pennies as the food and drinks are pricey, and the various funfair rides even more so.
Absolutely love winter wonderland - I have taken everyone I know to make sure they get to experience the pure Christmas joy! It's a fun day out (though at points freezing) and perhaps a little expensive but only if you choose to spend. The food stalls are all lovely - particularly loved having currywurst and crepes! Also had a cheeky hot chocolate with baileys and amaretto at one point! Love it. Definitely head down there... maybe take a day off work and get the girls together for some festive fun!
Winter wonderland does exactly what you’d expect of a Christmas takeover in Hyde Park. It’s shiny and loud, and yes it’s expensive. But, once you’ve accepted that those things aren’t going to change I find that every year I go I leave laughing with my friends with a phone full of photos of lights, food and rides. There’s honestly something for everyone. I went on a Saturday and despite the 20 minute security queue to get in, which given the current terror climate in London I was grateful for, I barely had to queue or wait around for much else in the day. The carousel bar might just be one of my favourite things about Christmas the combination of slowly spinning while two singers cover the classics with a mulled wine in hand is pretty much my perfect evening. Watching people scream their way down the hangover tower, just a small 85m tall, never gets boring. Plus, singing and dancing at the Southern Comfort Fire Pit while everyone claims it’s someone’s birthday for a shout out is such a laugh. All in all you have to go with a sense of humour about the whole thing and if you do you’re sure to have a great time.
Welcome back, Winter Wonderland! Easily the biggest and best festive London outing, this has Christmas in spades. There are heaps of bars (Thor's is a welcome addition), oodles of fairground rides and loads of Christmas craft stalls (a personalised horseshoe anyone). Obviously there are downsides to the crowds - there can be huge queues so pick your visiting times carefully and I also think some of the bars and stalls are a tad on the expensive side (Santa would not be impressed!).
We went on opening night this year and it's probably the first time I've had to queue to get in.
It moved quite quickly though and we headed straight to the ice bar where we were given a poncho and thick gloves. The drinks were delicious but we could only stay there for 20 mins (one drink) as it was bloody freezing!
This followed with 3 mulled ciders, 2 sausage dishes, 2 rides and dessert! The haunted mansion was a disappointment but I really enjoyed the loop rollercoaster which was only £3 more. All in all I spent £65 but we did spend time 5 hours there with non stop activities.
I would say plan your budget and what rides you want to go on beforehand and book activities like ice skating and ice bar in advance.
Whilst I would never dare go to Winter Wonderland as a parent, I do think it is a charming and iconic London Christmas outing. We knew right off the bat that food and drink would be pricey, and so we didn't plan on staying too long. It was more about taking in the bright lights and, delicious funfair food aromas.
I have been to winter wonderland every year, and it has gotten more and more expensive every time. Its still really nice and lovely, but so expensive its insane !
Appalling company ethics.
I was very disappointed to have had to cancel my planned day to winter wonderland after my girlfriend has taken ill. The tickets for 2 attractions already cost £60 of what is to be an extremely tight Christmas. So I called to try and cancel my tickets... They say they do not offer refunds under any circumstances, and they do not allow for the resale of tickets. So I am now stuck with a £60 hole in my pocket that I am not even able to pass on to somebody else.
Horrible company and I've since been told that it is overcrowded and over priced anyway, so perhaps I've avoided a bad day. That's the only positive I can take from my experience.
The name says it all, it's truly a Winter Wonderland. A wonderland where your dreams possibly become clearer and where you'll relieve all your stress. Trust me it really does work.
This was my first ever time visiting the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. One of my favourite parks to walk around ever in London. The amount of people to walk through the theme park is immensely exciting.
I visited the Winter Wonderland to go and see 'The Nutcracker on Ice' spectacular at the Winter Palace Theatre. It's right at the entrance when you first come into the theme park.
It's a free entry which is fabulous, but I must say the prices for the attractions and the food establishments are expensive, but at the same time you are here to have the best time of your life. Do pay attention to how much you spend. We all might think that a couple of attractions are cheaper than others, but if you add it all up it probably won't become cheap.
You will find everything that you can think of from ice rinks, to rollercoasters, to haunted houses, to gigantic wheels, to exquisite theatre performances. There celebrating 10 years this year and I believe that this year is the year the whole family should visit and go bonkers.
One thing that I do find quite confusing is that you firstly queue up to purchase tokens to go on the rides and then you queue up again for the attraction. I don't see why you can't just buy the price of the ride and get through. It's the same price if your buying the tokens, so no saving there to be honest.
It's a place where love and excitement is spread across wherever you go. We decided to go for one of the Haunted Houses and it was quite exhilarating actually. I really don't know why I was terrified, I looked like a maniac screaming. It wasn't even that scary, I suppose it made me jump.
We also experienced the extraordinary Mouse Trap styled maze and ride included. This ride I must say is definitely worth every penny.
I absolutely adored the Carousel Bar, completely original. The idea of it is brilliantly executed.
Be prepared to wear good boots to protect your feet from the dirt and water accumulated during your travels around the Wonderland.
Experience it for yourself and go crazy at the best destination for Christmas this year.
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
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.
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!
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
- 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!
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.
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).
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!