Visit Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park 2016 for your fastest fix of the Christmas spirit in London. Indulge in the annual gathering of winter markets, festive fairground rides, ice skating, grottos and glühwein galore. We've gathered up Winter Wonderland highlights from previous years and we'll update you with all the practical information you need to plan your visit to Hyde Park and fast track celebrating Christmas the London way.
This year Winter Wonderland runs from Friday November 18 2016 - Sunday January 2 2017. Gates open at 5pm on the first night and the site will then be open daily between 10am-10pm (except Christmas Day).
Winter Wonderland is held in Hyde Park. The nearest tube stations are Marble Arch, Green Park, Hyde Park Corner, Victoria and Knightsbridge. Find out how to get to Hyde Park, London.
Entry to Winter Wonderland is FREE. Tickets for ice skating, the Magical Ice Kingdom, Zippos Circus, the Giant Wheel, Bar Ice, Cirque Berserk and the Sooty Christmas Show can be booked in advance now.
The Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park's massive tribute to festive fun, which is back for a tenth year in 2016. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and a wander past the fairground rides, around child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa's grotto) or through the Christmas markets is a real treat for anyone feeling the spirit of the season, as long as you're ready to hear all those songs as you potter.
Other attractions at Hyde Park's annual sparkly Christmassy addition include two circuses – ' Zippos Christmas Circus' and 'Cirque Berserk'. Winter Wonderland's ice rink, the biggest outdoor rink in the UK, surrounds the Victorian bandstand and is illuminated with more than 100,000 lights. 2016 also sees a new family-friendly 'Sooty Christmas Show' with Sweep, Soo and TV's Richard Cadell all making appearances.
This year the Magical Ice Kingdom presents an 'Arctic Adventure' complete with icebergs, shipwreck and a polar bear palace. It's your chance to get up close to some real ice and snow, go fishing with the Inuits and have your photo taken with a giant white beast. Along with the 60-metre observation wheel, rollercoasters and fairground rides will keep thrill seekers happy. A good alternative for those who prefer to stay on solid ground are the selection of themed bars with real fires, except for the Ice Bar (for obvious structural reasons) where even the glasses you drink from are made of ice.
If you're skating, be aware that while there's no minimum age for skaters, under-12s must be accompanied by someone 16 or over and the smallest skates for hire are children's size 9 (adult skates go up to size 13). You can use your own skates as long as they're not speed skates. Wheelchair users are welcome on the ice. There are also ice guides who can look after groups of up to 15 skaters at a time (for an additional charge).
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