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 an twelfth year in 2018. 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. There's also the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club, ice sculpting workshops and immersive screenings of ‘The Snowman’.
This year the Magical Ice Kingdom presents an 'Enchanted Forest' - an immersive walk through experience filled with ice and snow sculptures. 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).
Read our full guide to Winter Wonderland
Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London
Average User Rating
3.9 / 5
- 5 star:51
- 4 star:35
- 3 star:17
- 2 star:3
- 1 star:13
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!