Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is one of the jewels of London’s Christmas calendar, and an event we always look forward to. So, we’re absolutely thrilled that Winter Wonderland has made a triumphant return this year, after taking 2020 off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The festive fancy is back bigger than ever this Christmas, and whilst there are a few changes to the usual festival, we’re still excited about the return of gift-filled huts, fairground rides, and the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink. The date for your diaries is November 19 – January 3, so we strongly encourage you to layer up and stuff your stockings with all the Christmas cheer you can muster!
Winter Wonderland is the one-stop shop for Christmas fun; for starters, the festive village is home to over 200 rides, attractions, games, and food and drink offerings. A perfect day here is spent bouncing from the dodgems to the mulled wine stations, but before we dive into the highlights at Winter Wonderland, there are a couple of new measures to be aware of.
First, Winter Wonderland has introduced timed entry tickets for 2021, so as to help manage visitor numbers. In doing so, they’ll be able to keep visitors safe, provide plenty more space for guests to enjoy the festive treats, and enhance the overall experience. Unsurprisingly, tickets are selling fast (especially for the weekends), so we advise you to book your visit now. If you do decide to visit on a mid-week morning though, the good news is that entry will be free! Additionally, any guests who spend £20 on attractions, food, drinks, rides, or games in advance will also be able to grab a free entrance ticket (when booked in the same transaction).
So, with the details out of the way, it’s time to get hyped about the array of adventures you can have at Winter Wonderland. Amongst the returning favourites is Winter Wonderland’s enchanting ice rink, the largest outdoor rink in the entire UK, and one which lets you whizz around Hyde Park’s famed Victorian bandstand. That bandstand won’t be empty, either; here, you’ll find a singer who’ll serenade skaters with all the festive hits!
Once you’ve hopped off the ice, pop over to Bar Ice, a new 70s disco-themed bar inspired by the glittering soirees of old New York. Quite apart from the avalanche of sequins, you’ll find ice sculptures aplenty, including tables, chairs, glasses, and a bar made out of ice. The shots list isn’t to be sniffed it, and you’ll get a complimentary cocktail upon arrival – chilled to perfection, of course.
Winter Wonderland’s Magical Ice Kingdom is back with a brand new theme, where you’ll be transported to a mythical world of palaces, forest glades, snow slides, and (somewhat worryingly for the ice) dragons. They’re also promising panoramic views, where kings and queens alike can survey their realm – something you can also manage if you take a trip on the festival’s 70-metre Giant Wheel, which boasts stunning views of the illuminated park and the city.
Elsewhere in Winter Wonderland, you’ll find ice sculpting workshops, family-friendly thrills at Zippo’s Christmas Circus, more daring fare at Cirque Beserk, and a brand new Alpine-themed restaurant run by pop-up legend Jimmy Garcia. It’ll be serving toasty raclette burgers, venison hot dogs, and truffle and parmesan fries, and between that and the array of street food stalls, you won’t be going hungry…
Live music at The Fire Pit and Explorer’s Rest provides a more chilled offering, and naturally you can make a start on all your Christmas shopping with a wander around the stalls. Winter Wonderland will open to the public from Friday, November 19, and will stick around until Monday, January 3. You’ll be able to indulge yourselves from 10am until 10pm every day, and after the year and a bit we’ve all had, I highly suggest you do exactly that. Winter Wonderland offers one of the most magical Christmas experiences in London – in fact, we’d argue Christmas isn’t well and truly under way until the first revellers have hit the giant ice rink!
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is open from November 19 to January 3, 2022, from 10am to 10pm each day (except Christmas Day). You’ll need a pre-booked timed ticket in order to get in – you can find them here. Nearest stations are Bond Street, Green Park, Knightsbridge, Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Paddington and Victoria.
Also published on Medium.