It is becoming one of the biggest festive traditions in London, aside from of course the Oxford Street Christmas Lights, and this year, the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is promising to be even bigger than ever.
If you have never seen it before, around the last week of November, Hyde Park is transformed into a big Christmas festival. For 2014, it is going to open on November 21st at 5pm, and it is planned to feature attractions that are sure to make you feel in the Christmas spirit!
What Will Be Featured at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 2014?
The crowning feature of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland this year will be, as always, the beautiful ferris wheel. While it may look like a sparklier, more festive little brother to the London Eye, it requires far less queuing and gives you a lovely view of the park itself and some of the lights set up for Christmas in other parts of the area – including Harrods, which is always something to see during the festive season.
The park will also have a huge outdoor skating rink, lit up beautifully. Anybody is allowed to skate here, however, if you are with children they need to be accompanied by an adult. You can hire skates here, or use your own (though speed skates are not permitted – the idea is to have a nice relaxing skate in the park and enjoy the lights, after all!).
As well as these, there will be a fairground with rollercoasters as well as children’s rides, a ‘Santaland’ complete with Santa’s grotto for the little ones, two different family friendly circuses putting on regular performances, and a ‘Magical Ice Kingdom’, with real ice and snow created, so whatever the weather decides to do this winter, you can still see some snow!
If you are more interested in shopping, eating and drinking than rides and circus acts, you will be well covered in that respect too. There is a full German style Christmas market where you can buy gifts and Christmas decorations, and get traditional winter fare like mulled wine and roast chestnuts.
How Much Do Things Cost?
Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, so if you simply want to have a walk around and take in the atmosphere this can be a cheap way to entertain yourself on a winter evening. However, all of the rides, skating and other attractions do cost money. There is a ticket system for rides, with the major ones like rollercoasters and the ferris wheel costing a lot of tickets and smaller attractions just costing a couple of pounds worth. If you plan to visit a lot of the attractions it is best to buy some tickets as soon as you arrive so you can get straight to what you want to do.
Prices for the things sold on the stalls at the market and food and drink are fairly typical of the area, so while it doesn’t feel like too much of a rip off comparatively, this is a pretty expensive part of the city at any time so expect to part with some money if you decide to eat, drink or shop!