It’s that time of year again! After masses of Winter Wonderland fans missed out in 2020, the famous Hyde Park attraction is back and bigger and better than ever. Having opened its doors on November 19th, the event runs until January 3rd 2022 to ensure that everyone has ample opportunity to experience the festive fun, open daily from 10am to 10pm (except Christmas Day). Family adventures, work events, date nights, a catch-up with friends — Winter Wonderland is perfect for it all! Here’s everything you need to know ahead of your visit this year.

How to get there

It goes without saying that Winter Wonderland is the holy grail during the festive period, with visitors coming from far and wide to experience the Christmas bliss for hours on end. If you’re looking for easy access by public transport, Green Park, Victoria, Marble Arch and Paddington are all London Underground stations that are just a short walk to Winter Wonderland, but they can get very busy during peak times so be prepared and plan your journey ahead. Our suggestion? Get off at Oxford Circus station and make the 20-minute walk towards the Hyde Park entrance — the twinkling lights on Regent Street and the incredible Christmas displays in Selfridges will surely put you in the Christmas mood… 

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Tickets need to be purchased in advance

In previous years, admission to Winter Wonderland has been free, but, unfortunately, this is another thing that has been affected by COVID-19. In order to control crowds and visitor numbers, guests must pre-book their tickets in advance, choosing their date and time slot before arrival. The prices vary depending on the time and date you wish to attend; off-peak times are free (between 10am and 1pm), standard tickets are £5, and visiting during peak times will set you back £7.50 per person, and every transaction will incur a £1 booking fee. While entry to the event is only allowed during your allocated time, you’re welcome to stay as long as you like. Oh, and also new for 2021, you’re given the opportunity to pre-order any food or drink packages, purchase game tokens online and book any attractions including the Ice Bar and an ice-skating session, at the same time as booking your admission ticket. If you spend more than £20 per person on any of these things, your admission ticket then becomes complimentary! Win, win.

It’s so much more than rides and mulled wine

Winter Wonderland is the place to be for a festive experience like no other, and it doesn’t get more wintery than ice skating. Located in the heart of the Hyde Park event is the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, beginners and seasoned pros alike can take to the ice under a picturesque canopy of twinkly lights. The sessions operate every hour, on the hour, from 10am to 10pm daily, and it is recommended you arrive 20 minutes before your allocated time to hire your skates, or subject your own skates to a suitability check. But the ice-themed fun doesn’t stop there. Wrap up warm and enter the mythical Magical Ice Kingdom, a fully immersive frost-covered experience with over 500 tons of sculptured ice and snow, or head to the funky 70s-themed Ice Bar for an Instagram-worthy experience complete with complimentary winter cloaks and a variety of drinks served in individual pre-carved ice glasses. Oh, and if you’re running behind on your Christmas shopping, visit one of the over 100 wooden chalets in the market for unique gifts, festive-themed knick-knacks and everything in between. 

…Although the rides and mulled wine are pretty good

What’s Winter Wonderland without a few thrills and spills? At the Hyde Park phenomenon you’ll find all the traditional fairground rides including bumper cars for the young at heart, a ghost train for the adrenaline lovers, and a helter skelter for the little ones — but for those who want something bigger and better, there’s plenty on offer. The Hangover attraction will have you squeezing your eyes shut, but keep them open long enough to admire the incredible views across London because — you guessed it — this ride soars you a staggering 85 metres in the air and is the tallest transportable drop-tower in the world. Or, if you like something even more daring, give XXL a go, one of the first high G‑force pendulum style rides in Europe that can swing to heights of 47 metres with a claw that rotates at a maximum speed of 15 RPM

After all that excitement, you’ll probably need something to take the edge off, right? You’ll discover food and drink options around every corner of Winter Wonderland, offering plenty of street food eats, cosy chalets with warming beverages, and delicious restaurants to tide you over until the fun begins once more. Try out the famous Carousel Bar, a vibrant and traditional venue that takes you on a slow 360-degree spin while you enjoy your favourite tipple. The Arctic Lodge Bar is the perfect option for those wanting a little warming up, giving you a taste of the Alaskan frontier with roaring fires and plush seating, or give the Bavarian Village a visit for a feel of a classic German Christmas; it’s the perfect place for a glühwein or two.

Are you prepared for the greatest December magic? Winter Wonderland is utterly unmissable, so trust us when we say that you’ll get the ultimate FOMO (fear of missing out) if you don’t attend this Christmas. It’s the perfect place to create memories with friends, family, colleagues and loved ones, and everything seems slightly enchanted under the guise of glorious shimmering lights assisted by the sound of laughter and the sweet aroma of cinnamon, spice and all things nice. 

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