When is Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2019?
Hyde Park’s massive funfair and festival opens its wide doors on 21 November 2019 for the Christmas season and runs until 5 January 2020.
With the exception of Christmas Day, it is open from 10 am to 10 pm every day (except for the first day, 21 November, when it opens at 4 pm). in the past they closed slightly early on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve — which is fair enough.
How to get to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2019
The Winter Wonderland area (and it’s a large area) is situated in Hyde Park’s southeast corner — head for the bright funfair lights and big wheel. Hyde Park Corner, Green Park, Knightsbridge and Marble Arch are the nearest tube stations. Winter Wonderland has many entry points, but not all of them are open at all times, and there are plenty of signs and stewards to help you find your nearest entrance.
A helpful tip for parents: there is a dedicated family entrance that takes you straight into Winter Wonderland’s Santa’s area and saves you from battling the crowds with pushchairs, pets and young kids. Look for signs to the red gate to find it.
Is Winter Wonderland child-friendly?
At Winter Wonderland, there’s plenty to do for children, including mini fairground rides, an ice rink, a Paddington on Ice show, and a chance to meet Santa — and that’s just scratching the surface. The bright lights and colours, the decorations for Christmas and the countless sweet stalls make it a paradise for a kid.
So it’s child-friendly, but it has the potential to make quite a dent in the pockets of parents to keep the children happy. You have been warned.
The planners of the Winter Wonderland put in a great effort to make the whole event as child-friendly as possible beyond the entertainment. In addition to the family entrance mentioned above, there are baby-changing facilities available at each big toilet block. And a family chill space in Santa Land where younger guests can have some time away from the bright lights and excitement of it all. (and parents can use facilities given to heat up baby food/bottles).
Outside the theatre shows there are buggy parks, kiddie skates and skate aids are available on the ice rink, and shows like Paddington on Ice are only 45 minutes long, ideal for children’s attention spans.
In short, Winter Wonderland is very family-friendly, as long as you plan well, and don’t mind parting with a fair bit of cash.
What’s on at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2019
The huge festival site encompasses Christmas markets, funfair rides, food and drink stalls, bars, a circus, an ice rink, a theatre and more. Here are the main highlights:
Ice rink at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Apparently, the biggest open-air ice rink in the UK, Winter Wonderland’s ice-skating area is rather pretty, gathered around the park’s permanent bandstand, and often with live music to accompany your figure-of-eights. It’s at its best at night. Book ahead, especially at busy times,
Christmas markets at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
While it’s not entirely clear where one demand finishes and another starts, in the insanity of it all. Yes, there are more than one. Expect a lot of German-style wood chalets selling everything from lights to soaps, clothes, ornaments, wooden carvings, sweets, fudge, chocolate, festive food, jewels and accessories, and much more.
Theatre shows at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
Winter Wonderland features plenty of festive stage shows from the circus to comedy to ice skating. Zippo’s Christmas Circus is a family-friendly clown and acrobatics show, while Cirque Berserk’s death-defying motorcycle stunts may be best left to a more mature audience. Children are going to have a treat with Paddington On Ice, a skate-based retelling of the Peruvian bear’s storey, while young people are being treated with Mr Men and Little Miss: The Show. Elsewhere, the Winter Wonderland Comedy Club has called in some prominent names from the comedy business, including Milton Jones and Zoe Lyons.
Ice Kingdom at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
If you’re not happy enough to walk in a winter wonderland, how about walking in an ice kingdom in a winter wonderland? This year, using 500 tonnes of snow and ice, the ice sculptures take the form of characters and scenes from A Christmas Carol. Dress warmly. -10 ° c there. Book ahead for this one too.
Funfair at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Even if you’ve never been to Winter Wonderland, you’ve presumably seen its rollercoasters pointing into London’s winter sky. There are over 100 rides and amusements to pick from at Winter Wonderland, varying from a regular funfair for kids and tamer adults, to wild loop the loop rollercoasters and waltzers. You might notice the Star Flyer from its summertime residency next to the London Eye. Still, for us, it’s all about the colossal observation wheel — it’s a new one this year, 70m high (the tallest transportable wheel in the world, natch), and allowing seriously excellent views over the fun below, and the skyline beyond.
Food and drink at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Whether you’re after a hot chocolate or mulled wine or a full family meal, Winter Wonderland has plenty of eating and drinking options. Though keep in mind that it may not be your most affordable refuelling choice, and seating can be difficult at busy times.
Boozehounds are well catered for with a mixture of bars and watering holes. Bar Ice serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails at -10°c, while Bar Hütte Karaoke offers more of an apres-ski vibe. The open-air Fire Pit bar is a bit more rustic, with live music sets, and marshmallow toasting events. A carousel bar (hard work after a couple of pints…), Arctic Lodge, and Scandi-style tipi bar are only a portion of your different choices for refreshment… furthermore, that is before we get to the brew based options of the Bavarian Village.
To absorb everything, you have road nourishment, crepes, waffles, churros, sweet slows down, grill pits, hoard meals, fish sticks and french fries, Bratwursts and an entire hosts of semi-formal cafés in the previously mentioned Bavarian Village. Don’t go chowing everything down simultaneously, particularly in case you’re arranging a post-lunch spin on the waltzers.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland tickets
You don’t need a ticket to get into Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. A few of the attractions, the performance centre shows and the bars require tickets once you’re inside. It’s a good idea to book as far ahead as possible, particularly if you’re visiting at pick time.
Free things to do at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
As we’ve said, entry to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is free, but everything gets pricey once you’re inside. That doesn’t imply you can’t do it on the cheap though.
Visit Santa at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland’s Santa is free to visit. A rare thing in a city of pricey caves — and there’s even a gift included for kids who’ve been good. That said, you can’t book for your freebie appointment with the man in red, and queues were many hours long in previous years.
Live music at the ice rink
Sure, it’ll cost you money to get on the ice rink, but there’s nothing to stop you standing at the edge watching the comedic falls unfold and listening to the live acoustic music emanating from the bandstand.
Best time to go to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Want to visit Winter Wonderland with no crowds? Good luck with that — it’s a top-rated attraction, with a rumoured 2.5million people visiting through its six-week run.
As you’d anticipate, weekends and evenings are the most popular times — and Saturday evenings can be the most hellish — so visit on a weekday if possible. If that doesn’t fit in, try to attend at the beginning of the period if possible — close to Christmas is busy all day, every day. Weekday mornings are the best if you’re completely flexible — and are ideal for visiting with children.
Tips for visiting Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland app
There’s an official 2019 updated Hyde Park Winter Wonderland app that has all the information you need for a visit — including a handy map — and where you can purchase tickets.
Meeting people at Winter Wonderland
For a ride to Winter Wonderland, whether you are meeting with family or friends, we suggest doing it outside the attraction of Hyde Park and going together through the gates. Not only do the crowds make it difficult to find people inside, but we knew it was so rammed that it was also hard to get a phone signal.
Contactless payment on rides
If this winter you’re going to go heavy on the rollercoasters, get a Season Pass. You can load the prepaid card online, which means you don’t have to queue for ride tokens once you get to Winter Wonderland — tap the ride you want to go on. Like an Oystercard.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2019, from 21 November 2019 to 5 January 2020.
After earning my Economics degree from the Royal Holloway University of London, I entered the media publishing world to explore my passion for creative writing, journalism and discover the best social media marketing strategies. I am the creator of Only in London, where I'm focused on writing blogs, reporting exciting news stories in London, and marketing it all around.