Wondering how to approach London's biggest winter attraction? We break it down into our top 5 things to do, see, eat and ride
The ice skating rink at London's Winter Wonderland
The annual opening of Winter Wonderland in London's Hyde Park, (which is transformed with stalls, activities, experiences and fairground rides), has become synonymous with the start of Christmas. Here are our top picks of all the attractions to visit with your family.
Winter Wonderland is open from 20th November – 3rd January (except Christmas Day) from 10am – 10pm. It is free for all to enter and wander around the stalls and rides, but some attractions are paid for (rides) and some (including the below) need to be booked in advance).
1. Take to the ice
Ice skating rinks pop up across London every December. But we have to say that the fixture at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is one of our favourites. Set up for families, there are plenty of marshalls to hep younger skaters and an ice guide can be provided for children under the age of 15.
It is also one of the prettiest rinks, with a canopy of fairy lights strung up above.
50 minute sessions run on the hour from 10am to 9pm. You must pre book and arrive 20 minutes before your session time to put on your skates. A wide selection of boots is available, and skate hire is free.
Ice Skating costs: £14.50 (adult), £9.50 (child), £38 (family), £13.50 (concessions), £35 (ice guide)
Magical Ice Kingdom
2. Be amazed by ice sculptures
The Magical Ice Kingdom is one of the newer attractions to the Winter Wonderland, but already one of it's most popular. Giant ice carvings will leave adults and chidlren alike breathless. You enter a chilled hanger (with a temperature of -8 degrees celsius!) and wander through a fairytale setup filled with fantastical icy dragons, soldiers, animals and even a huge castle; everyone loves a ride down an icy slide!
You can bring a pushchair and children under two go free.
Magical Ice Kingdom £10.00 (adult), £8.00 (child), £32 (family), £9.00 (cons)
The Giant Wheel
4. See Winter Wonderland, and London, from the skies
Take a break from the busy streets and fast rides below and take a spin on the Giant Wheel, which travels 60 metres high. Each 'flight' lasts 15 minutes.
Giant Wheel £8.00 (adult), £6.00 (child), £24 (family), £7.00 (cons), £45.00 (private pod), £60 (VIP)
Macaroni cheese from @TheMacFac at Winter Wonderland (above)
4. Fill your boots
Whether you need a winter warmer, something to line your tummy before hitting the rides, or as a post-ice skating treat, the food stall we would highly recommend making a visit to is, The Mac Factory London. It is one of a few select 'street food' stalls that line the right hand side of Winter Wonderland's ice skating rink.
Creamy, melty, gooey cheese wraps around springy macaroni, and each pot is topped with the @theMacFac 's signature parmesan and thyme crumble. You can choose from original, a chorizo or chicken filled mac. Ooo, we could eat a pot right now!
Visit The Mac Factory London online
5. See the circus
The Cirque Beserk show performed by Zippo's Circus at Winter Wonderland is always an absolute highlight - and is the attraction we always leave talking about. The evening performance provides thrills; as contortionists, knife throwers, acrobats, strong men, and caged bike riders put on a crazy show. The traditional circus show is also brilliant; with the more traditional clowns, jugglers, acrobats and silk dancers.
Cirque Beserk may be a little 'dark' for some children; but I guess it all depends on what you find more scary. For me, there is nothing scarier than a clown...
Zippo's Circus £12.00 (adult), £8.50 (child), £34 (family), £11.00 (cons) £100 (Private box for 4 people, includes a bottle of champagne and chocolates). Children 2 and under go free when seated on parents/guardians lap
- Groups of 20 or more per attraction receive a 10% discount on advanced bookings only. The group discount will automatically be applied to orders of 20 tickets or more when booking online. To make a school group booking, please call the office on 020 8241 9818 (Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm). Group and school group discounts are only available in advance. Advance booking will be available for the Ice Skating, Magical Ice Kingdom, Bar Ice, Zippos Circus shows and the Giant Wheel. Other attractions operate on a pay-as-you-ride basis.
Visit Winter Wonderland online for more information and to book tickets.