In the heart of London, for six weeks only, Hyde Park becomes the place to head to for festive fun. After all it’s the home of Winter Wonderland.
Being open from 10am-10pm gives you the opportunity to choose your preferred atmosphere. While the weekends are bound to be busy, the weekdays are joyfully more quiet. And the day time even more so!
Which makes it a brilliant and toddler friendly destination.
In the evening the place is thriving and while many parents have their children with them, the place becomes a great social event for those working in the city. The music is pumped out louder and there’s much more of an adrenalin feel to the park. But that’s not to say your children would feel uncomfortable at any time, it just comes down to preference.
Unlike many outdoor events, Winter Wonderland has flooring down across the whole site, so mud needn’t be a problem on pram wheels or on boots… for safety I brought Little London’s wellies but they remained untouched. This truly is a Winter Wonderland but on a City scale- mud just isn’t something we’re keen on!
^^ Hat and scarf c/o Bernie and the Beanpole.
There are many great toddler friendly rides, and as much as I would have loved to have gone on a few rides I didn’t. I went to Winter Wonderland with Little London by myself, and if I’d planned it better I would have used a back pack to store things in rather than my huge tote handbag. It would have allowed me to have gone on the rides with Little London while making sure all our things were safe at all times.
Probability is they would have been safe anyway, but it’s never worth the risk!
And to be fair, Little London was just content watching the rides and seeing the lights.
He loved just being outdoors and soaking up the atmosphere, often gasping at the many things that awed him or dancing to Christmas tunes.
But we got ourselves involved in other ways, we saw Winter Wonderland change from day-time to night-time.
We saw the lights start to glisten against the dark night sky and we tucked into a dinner of churros, which definitely isn’t an everyday occurrence (unfortunately).
And just as it was staring to get really cold, we stepped into Zippo’s Circus, which was lovely and toasty warm. We took off our coats and settled back into our seats and waited for the performance to begin.
I haven’t been to a Circus since I was a little girl. So watching the show was nostalgic and it also reminded me that I’ve been missing out on just enjoying live performances when I can.
The show we watched was called The Perfect Gift, which is aimed for children. It lasts around 45 minutes and is a mixture of silly fun, juggling acts and some amazing stunts and daredevil acts. It was perfect, and exactly what a child would find enchanting.
The acts themselves were in short 5 minute or so bursts, so attention spans were held. It wasn’t even just my toddler that was amazed, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. I often hid behind my hands, gasped in absolute horror when I realised what some of the acts were going to do and then clapped ridiculously hard when they finished their performances and they were still alive!
But for those wanting to watch the show but without it being aimed at children in any way, there is a pure adrenaline show too. It promises danger including the worlds most dangerous circus act with 5 motorcyclists travelling at over 60mph inside a steel cage. There’s also knife throwing, aerialists and much more. In fact just writing it makes me shiver in fear!
For me, having somewhere to sit and watch a performance for a while was a nice touch, there’s a lot of walking involved at Winter Wonderland because there’s so much to see. So being entertained for an amount of time where you’re lovely and warm was not only a welcome break but an enjoyable experience.
I would certainly recommend booking a Circus show if you do head to Winter Wonderland this year. The adrenalin shows kick off after 7pm, and the kid friendly shows start from 11am with their last showing at 5pm.
Afterwards I would definitely make sure you’re wrapped up nice and warm and make your way over to The Magical Ice Kingdom.
I had Little London wrapped up nice and snug in his Bernie and the Beanpole woolly hat and scarf, and with temperatures below minus 8 I was grateful for having them with me!
With fleece lining around the edge of the hat to keep his ears extra toasty warm, Little London remained snug and warm. And the perfect sizing of the hat meant he didn’t try and pull it off once it was on (he is wearing the small size).
The products are designed and created by a trio of Mum’s, so they know how to cater for the outdoor loving active child. But with their penchant for all things bright and beautiful, they’re bringing back stylish knitwear with a bold and quirky style- and I love it!
In fact I have the matching gloves and leg warmers on my to-purchase list. The leg warmers under wellies would be just so heart meltingly cute.
For The Magical Ice Kingdom, I would recommend bringing some gloves, as there’s no keeping those fingers warm otherwise. With real ice and snow it’s like walking through a fairytale.
With huge ice thrones to sit on and an ice slide you can whizz down it’s fun and enchanting. As for those cold hands, they give you hand warmers at the end to heat you back up 😉
If you can, make Winter Wonderland a stop off point this Christmas, the kids will love it. Certainly make sure you book a few family attractions like the Zippo’s Circus or the Magical Ice Kingdom that you can all enjoy together- after all that’s the point of Christmas… spending quality time with those that you love.
Enjoy the myriad of rides, chomp down on great food (the Bavarian bratwurst with sauerkraut was top notch) and warm yourselves up with mulled wines or hot chocolates topped with all the trimmings.
Don’t worry about access, for those with prams it’s easy to walk to Hyde Park from Green Park tube which has disabled access, or if you are wheel free Marble Arch is the nearest stop. With good toilet facilities and a dedicated changing area for babies and toddlers it’s a great and easy fun day out for the whole family.