2016-2017 opening dates: 18th November 2016 to 2nd January 2017.
Every year from November to January, Hyde Park in London transforms into a Winter Wonderland extravaganza open daily from 10am until 10pm (except Christmas day).
Easily accessed via several tube stations, Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch underground stations offer clear signage to the entrances of the event with stewards in place to provide assistance.
It’s free to wander around the park and enjoy the views of the funfair and Christmas markets. It’s also a great chance to grab the first sip of seasonal mulled wine and enjoy the music and laughter that fills such a joyous event. There’s also the Bavarian Village with seating, music and food galore.
Tickets can be purchased at the park for use around the funfair. In addition to this, there are paid options available for entertainment as detailed below.
Ice Rink – The picturesque ice rink centres around the park’s Victorian bandstand and is illuminated by more than 100,000 lights.
Circus shows – There are two shows available at different times of the day; Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk both offering something a little different but suitable for families.
Magical Ice Kingdom – With ice sculptures and snow, visitors can explore the fairy forest and head to the ice lake and castle to meet the Snow Queen.
Ferris Wheel – Overlooking the entire park is the giant ferris wheel to rival that whisks visitors 60metres into the air for a 12 minute ride. Private pods are available.
Ice Bar – If you fancy a drink at the ice bar, well, it’s now open in the heart of London. Frozen to -8°C it’s just as well sessions are only 30 minutes long. A ticket to this attraction includes a cocktail served in glass made of ice whilst you enjoy the surrounding ice sculptures.
I was fortunate to visit the event this year and appreciated that there were plenty of high visibility stewards on a bustling Saturday afternoon in central London. The park was well arranged with provisions made for the busy crowd – plenty of toilets (cleaned frequently when I visited), a wide range of catering outlets and cash machines installed to prevent you from running out of cash. Many outlets were also accepting debit/credit cards payments for additional convenience.
Whether you decide to enjoy a free visit to explore the festivities, or a paid option, there’s something for everybody at Hyde Park this year.
It’ll be extremely busy during the evenings and weekends; if possible, visit during the weekdays or earlier in the morning when you’re more likely to be able to enjoy everything on offer. Don’t forget to wrap up warm and kick start the festivities with a smile.
How will you be enjoying the festive season this year?