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 fifteenth year in 2021. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free during off-peak hours and either £5 or £7.50 during peak times, 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.
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 Real Ice Slide, ice sculpting workshops and a German-style Bavarian Village full of frothing steins and live music.
The usual line-up of rollercoasters and fairground rides are 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 Bar Ice (for obvious structural reasons) where even the glasses you drink from are made of ice. This year features extra measures, including reduced capacity and staggered entry times, to keep the site Covid secure.
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.