Kids in London – Back to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

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Posted by KimT on Monday 19th of December 2016

I’ve been going to Winter Wonderland since it first started 10 years ago although I missed out the last two years.

My daughter had previously had her birthday outings there – complete with skating sessions for lots of giggling girls. But now she is grown she asked if we could return.

The trains were slow around the weekend engineering works so we took the Piccadilly line that is finally fully operational again after all the hassles with broken trains. It didn’t take long to zip into town.

We emerged from Hyde Park Corner tube to be greeted by new crowd control measures and were directed to one of three entrances with quick moving queues. This was so much better than when it was a real scrum through one entrance. A quick bag search and we were in.

It seemed so much bigger this year. It was quite disorientating and we got lost on more than one occasion. Is there more than one Bavarian Village? So we were pleased to pick up a map when we obtained some tokens for the rides. This shows that there are now 65 rides and attractions (including the skating rink, a Christmas circus show, Nutcracker on ice and a Sooty show) and 24 restaurants, cafes and bars. I must also applaud the organisers on having lots of loos scattered around the place – essential if you have small people with you.

We were delighted to discover a traditional fun fair in the mix – although the Waltzer was somewhat fierce and we both felt dizzy and disoriented after that ride. It was foggy so there didn’t seem much point in a ride on the giant wheel. We did a few other rides – but at £5 for adults and £4 for children on most rides it was rather expensive. We steered clear of the large rollercoasters and some rather high rides. No doubt the teens will love these.

At mid-day it wasn’t too busy and as the weak light failed and the bright lights came on and it appeared so much more magical. The luminaires – a tunnel of huge lit arches – were really pretty. However, it also got extremely crowded. We hung out at a bar for a while listening to some live music. There were lots of diddlies near the stage dancing.

We browsed the various market stalls – which are now in a number of different places whereas before it was all in one location. We picked up some last minute gifts and some tree decorations. We’d had coffee and hot chocolate on arrival and towards the end of our visit decided we wanted something to eat. Despite the amazing array of food – hog roasts, German sausages, pretzels, gingerbread and even noodles – we opted for burgers and curly fries (£19.50 for two burgers and two fries seemed a bit steep).

Wandering around in the festive ambience certainly kicked off the Christmas cheer. And we even bumped into some friends with their kids from out of town. How weird was that.


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