Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is one of the most anticipated events of Christmas in London, a place that awakens the senses. Whether you come with children or not, if you are visiting London for Christmas I have to say that a visit to Winter Wonderland is a must. There are several entrances, but we always enter through Hyde Park Corner.
Winter Wonderland is London’s largest Christmas fair, located in famous Hyde Park of England capital.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland information
- Location: in Westminster, Greater London
- Open: 5 am – 0 am
- Website: hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
Entering Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
Entry to Hyde Park has always been free. The ticket will allow you to walk around the Winter Wonderland, stroll through the Christmas markets and enter the various bars and restaurants for a drink.
On top of all that, Winter Wonderland has plenty of rides and attractions, many of which are typical fairground rides, but some of which are huge and worthy of a theme park. There is a giant Ferris wheel, from which the views of London are spectacular, day or night. You’ll find roller coasters, horror rides, merry-go-rounds, bumper cars, grasshoppers, shooting galleries, duck fishing (or penguin fishing, or Father Christmas fishing!), ring-in-the-bottle games…
There are 4 different gates to enter the venue this year and each one is a different colour for easy identification: Gold Gate, Red Gate, Green Gate and Blue Gate. There are general entrances, such as the blue gate which is the closest to Hyde Park corner. Red Gate is a special entrance for families, which gives direct access to the younger children’s area.
When to go to Winter Wonderland?
Weekday mornings are the least crowded, but in my opinion it’s best to go mid-morning and stay until it’s dark or just starting to get dark, to appreciate it at night with all the Christmas lights on. In the middle of winter in London it gets dark at about 4pm.
Winter Wonderland London dates
Winter Wonderland opens from 17 November to 1 January. This year you need to book your ticket in advance through their website: hydeparkwinterwonderland.com
17 November: Open from 12 pm to 10 pm.
From 18 November to 1 January Winter Wonderland will be open from 10 am to 10 pm. Winter Wonderland will be closed in 25 December.
Winter Wonderland Prices
The price of admission to Winter Wonderland depends on the time and day you book. From 17 November to 6 December, admission is free Monday to Thursday from 10am to 2pm. On December 7, admission is free from 10 am to 12 pm. For all other days and times there are standard sessions, which cost £5 and peak sessions which cost £7.50.
If you spend £20 per person when booking tickets to also book attractions, events or games, they discount the price of entry to make it free, regardless of the time you have chosen.
When you book your ticket, you will need to choose a time, but you can stay for as long as you need once you have entered.
Here we are going to tell you what you can do and see in Winter Wonderland, London’s most anticipated Christmas fair.
What to see in Hyde Park Winter Wonderland?
Christmas Market and Fair
Winter Wonderland has one of the largest Christmas markets in the city, with over 200 wooden stalls meticulously decorated with hundreds of Christmas lights. Here you will find a wide selection of handcrafted gift items such as candles, costume jewellery, decorative items, clothes, toys… Here you will certainly find gifts for the whole family and friends, but you are also sure to buy a little something for yourself!
As soon as you enter Winter Wonderland through the entrance at Hyde Park Corner you will find the first stalls of the Christmas market, but as you go a little further into the grounds you will come across the Angels Christmas Market, a huge Christmas market.
At the Christmas markets you’ll find numerous food and drink takeaway stalls, including roast potatoes, churros con chocolate (yes, yes, churros!), or stalls where you can order a hot drink, as you might fancy a coffee, tea or a nice hot chocolate. But don’t forget to try two of the typical British Christmas products that you can find at any Christmas market in London: Mulled Wine and Mince Pies.
In addition to the Christmas market and the numerous restaurants, Winter Wonderland is one of the places where both children and adults can enjoy many fairground attractions. Among the attractions there are several roller coasters, merry-go-rounds, terror passages, fairground booths…
Ice Skating Rink
The Winter Wonderland ice skating rink is the largest ice skating rink that is installed in London at Christmas time, as you know there are numerous ice skating rinks in London at this time of the year. This ice rink is usually located around a Victorian music box, which makes this ice rink even more special. The Winter Wonderland ice rink is open from 10 am to 9 pm, and you can listen to Christmas music over the speakers while you skate. If you don’t want to skate, you can always watch the people skating and admire the beautiful ice rink from the spectator platform.
Each ice skating session at Winter Wonderland starts on the hour and lasts 50 minutes. The price includes skate hire. It is possible to order a guide for a group of up to 15 people for £35, this is a professional skater who will guide you on the ice. Peak time is usually all day during the weekend, off-peak time is the 10am and 11am sessions during the week, and the standard ticket is for sessions from 12 noon on weekdays.
Winter Wonderland ice rink prices:
|Family (2 adults + 2 children / 1 adult + 3 children)
Winter Wonderland Ferris wheel
The Giant Observation Wheel is one of the most famous attractions of Winter Wonderland and one that I would highly recommend. It is 60 metres high and takes approximately 15 minutes to go around the entire wheel. During the day you can see London from above, and admire the grandeur of Hyde Park and get a clear view of the London Eye and Big Ben, as well as other sites such as the Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Palace.
After dark you can see Winter Wonderland lit up as well as all the lights of London, an experience I highly recommend. Each cabin holds a maximum of 6 people, and it is possible to request a VIP cabin for a group where you will be served champagne as it spins! To ride the Giant Ferris Wheel you can buy tickets online in advance on the official website or buy them there.
Santa Land is the area of Winter Wonderland dedicated to younger children, with rides that go very slowly and where a parent can hold the little ones if necessary. This is a very special area of Winter Wonderland, as this is where you will find Santa’s Grotto. Here children of all ages can visit Santa and ask him what they want for Christmas. To see Father Christmas you don’t need to book.
You will just have to queue, and in the afternoon it can get very crowded, so I recommend you take this into account if you are going with the intention of meeting Father Christmas. The photo you get as a souvenir of the children with Santa is definitely one of the things you will keep forever.
Winter Wonderland is home to the UK’s largest travelling circus. Here we can enjoy a very Christmassy circus show as well as a show with acrobats and jugglers and of course there will be no shortage of clowns! The Zippos Circus show at Winter Wonderland lasts about 45 minutes, and there are shows at 13:00, 14:30 and 16:00 every day, and on some days there is an extra show at 15:30.
Zippos Circus prices at Winter Wonderland
|Child (2 – 12 years)
|Family (2 adults + 2 children / 1 adult + 3 children
Children under 2 years old get in free as long as they sit on top of an adult and do not occupy a seat.
Cirque Berserk returns to Winter Wonderland this year with its new show “Tornado”. Immerse yourself in a series of adrenaline-fuelled acrobatics that will leave you open-mouthed. This is a show recommended for ages 12+, but children of all ages are welcome, and children under the age of 2 are free if they sit on top of an adult and do not occupy a seat.
The Cirque Berserk show at Winter Wonderland lasts about 45 minutes, and there are shows at 18:00, 19:30 and 21:00 every day. You can buy tickets for Cirque Berserk on the official website and it is recommended that you arrive at least 20 minutes in advance.
Prices Cirque Berserk at Winter Wonderland:
|Child (Over 12 years old)
|Family (2 adults + 2 children / 1 adult + 3 children)
Magical Ice Kingdom
One of the biggest attractions every winter at Winter Wonderland is the Magical Ice Kingdom, a snowy journey through the snow with impressive ice sculptures. This year the Magical Ice Kingdom is inspired by a Viking village, and if you’re going with children you won’t want to miss it.
You can explore secret passages inside the Ice Palace, with hidden ice slides and secret passages, and incredible ice figures. It will take you approximately 30 minutes to tour the Magical Ice Kingdom Winter Wonderland.
Prices Magical Ice Kingdom Winter Wonderland:
|Child (2 – 12 years)
|Family (2 adults + 2 children / 1 adult + 3 children
Children under 2 years old get in free.
Restaurants and Bars
In addition to the take-away food stalls at the Winter Wonderland Christmas market, as you walk around the grounds you will see several huge wooden huts with restaurants, bars and cafes. Inside these huts there is heating and tables and chairs to sit at as if you were in a restaurant, and there are several places to go with the family.
But there are also bars with different atmospheres, some of them with DJs playing music and a dance floor, another one is a bar on a carousel that rotates slowly, there are traditional huts… So it’s really difficult to choose one of them!
Some of the most famous restaurants that you will find in Winter Wonderland in London are:
Bavarian Village: This is an area with several restaurants, bars and cafes in typical German Christmas style (Bavarian Hall, Almhütte, Cafe Bavaria and Rotunda) which are located in different wooden huts. In the centre is an area with tables and chairs, which can seat 8 to 10 people.
Very typical is sharing huge mugs of beer, eating sausages with different sides, chips… There is live music every afternoon, and at night there is a DJ and dance floor. During the day it is a very family friendly place, and at night it is a very famous place to celebrate Christmas parties for companies or just groups of friends.
Thor’s Tipi: Inspired by the Sami people of Lapland, Thor’s Tipi Bar brings a Viking-inspired Christmas experience to Winter Wonderland. With three giant Scandinavian teepees, the experience is out of this world, adorned with festive greenery and dressed in Viking-inspired elements. Here you can enjoy the famous Mulled Wine or a nice hot chocolate, or even a glass of Prosecco if that’s what you’re in the mood for!
Alpine Explorer’s Rest Restaurant: Drinks, food, live DJ and cocktails. It is possible to book a cabin on the official website.
But in addition to these you will find many more bars and restaurants, as well as take-away food stalls around the Winter Wonderland markets.
How to pay to ride the rides
There are three ways to pay to ride the rides at winter wonderland. There are three ways to pay:
Booking online when buying tickets for the venue: When you book tickets for Winter Wonderland you will have the option to book on those attractions that are usually the most visited to ensure that you can get on.
With a contactless card: It is also possible to pay directly at each attraction with a contactless card. If you have a revolut card you will be able to pay without any problems, if you have another card you want to use make sure your bank does not charge you a fee for each time you use your card in London.
Buying tokens at Winter Wonderland: Each token costs £1 and you can buy tokens at token booths around the site. Each attraction costs a certain number of tokens, between 3 and 5 tokens, depending on the attraction, and you need to have the necessary tokens for each person riding the attraction.
Visiting Hyde Park Winter Wonderland with children
Next to the Red Gate entrance, in the Santa Land area, you will find a hut called Chill Space for families. It is an indoor space with tables and chairs where you will also find a microwave. It is a space to relax with your children, warm up bottles or baby food or breastfeed in peace and quiet. You can also buy food to take away and eat here.
You can take the pram all over Winter Wonderland without any problems, as there are no steps and there is ground on top of the grass that would normally be in the park. In some areas if it has rained a lot it can get waterlogged, but in general you can walk around very well with children. If you are going to ride rides or go to some places, such as the circus, there are areas to leave buggies (buggy parks).