Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park

23:02 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

For the last and final of our Christmas escapes in London, Paul and I made a trip to Hyde Park. While we have been here several times before with the pup on weekends, they transform it for Christmas into the Winter Wonderland. I had seen it advertised, but flying over it one night, it was lit up and beautiful in comparison to the darkness around it. That was the moment I decided to go.

I had thought it was going to be a lot like the Christmas markets last year in Germany but with more. I should have known from the website it wasn't though. The website touted a ferris wheel, carnival activities, an ice skating rink, a frozen (magical) ice kingdom in addition to the usual stalls with foods and other Christmas-y goods.

We decided to walk there from our place, about 45 minutes, strolling, enjoying the brisk evening and I went as far as to sing Christmas carols along the way, once we were off the busy streets. Within 15 minutes walk of the park, you could already see the lights. Like a beacon, calling you to them!


Winter Wonderland ended up being less than I expected from the Christmas markets, but more in other ways. While it was lacking the expanse of shops and delicious goods (while there were some food stands, there was a really odd assortment and not nearly as much good food as I would hope), it made up for as a carnival. There were rides and games galore. Paul ruled out most of the easy ride (aka the carousel and "reindeer" ride I suggested as a joke), and I ruled out the rides where you could possibly injure yourself, which left us with mostly carnival games. Paul tried his luck to win me a life size bear, but alas, the darts circled and missed their target, and I am bear-less.


After our losing streak in the games, we found the Bavarian Village and staked out a table. Basically, its a large area where you can, you guessed it, drink beer. They sell some food as well, but we had already stuffed ourselves on bratwursts, potato pancakes and candied cashews, so we stuck with a litre (for Paul) and a pint (for me). There were some lively bands going to keep us entertained until our show time at 8:30.

Bavarian beer


View of the Bavarian village from our perch

Most of the things within Winter Wonderland are free; however, there are a few things where tickets and/or reservations are required. One of these is the Magical Ice Kingdom. I decided it was worth the couple of quid to give it a try, so I had booked us in for this as well. Reservations are needed not just because you need a ticket, but also because it is a frozen little village. They want to regulate the number of people coming through to make sure it doesn't get too warm to melt the sculptures inside.


While it is small, some of the sculptures are pretty amazing. We got to "ride" in a carriage pulled by a unicorn and sit a top a frozen throne, although we did restrain ourselves from joining the 5-8 year old kids in sliding down the ice slide. After the freezing temperatures there, we were quite content to head back home and warm up by the fireplace!



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