If you haven’t yet taken your little ones to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park then now is the time. Winter Wonderland is great for children and adults alike. Mine went recently for the first time and before we had even made it out of the park they were already asking when they could visit again.
Entry is FREE so you can walk around and ogle the pretty gifts at the stalls, try out a few of the large selection of fairground rides and foods on offer and even book a show or 3.
Having visited myself I though it might be useful for those that haven’t been yet to have a read of my Top Tips for Visiting Winter Wonderland with Children.
Best Times To Visit
As one might expect weekends and evenings are pretty busy. You will find there are queues to get in and bag searches conducted at each entrance will slow things down a bit. Just so you know open bottles of drinks are not to be taken on site. My suggestion would be to get there early whichever day you decide to visit. Winter Wonderland opens at 10am and I’ve seen for myself on a Sunday there is already a queue forming before it has even opened.
Book Shows in Advance
Book shows in advance. This is advisable if you know when you want to visit as the shows are pretty popular and can get booked up. There are numerous shows available to book including; Cinderella on Ice, Zippos Christmas Circus, The Sooty Christmas Show and Cirque Berserk. There are different prices for shows depending on whether they are at peak or off peak times.
We went to see Cinderella and the girls loved it! The theatre looked great with the sparkling lights. The prices per person are reasonable but if they can mount up if there are a few of you. There are family tickets available which can save you a few pounds which is handy.
Take a Pushchair For Young Children
If you child / children are quite young it’s a great idea to make sure you take a pushchair with you. Little feet can’t cover the same distance as those of adults and it helps prevent tantrums due to tiredness arising and ruining the fun day out. Better still they might even have a quick nap whilst you enjoy a little peace and quite and a cup of hot chocolate!
Take The Children To See Santa Early
Make sure you take the children to visit Santa!!! All children want to see Santa and a visit at Winter Wonderland will make it that bit more special. You can visit Santa at his grotto daily from 10am to 6pm and the best part is it won’t cost you a penny – who say’s you can’t get anything for FREE these days. Better still Santa will give your child a small gift to really add to the experience (small plastic frog / small stretchy man). You have a photo opportunity here as there is a professional photographer on hand but you are also welcome to take your own pictures which I thought was great and can help keep costs down. Meeting Santa gets busy fast so get in that queue early to avoid disappointment. Also Santa goes to feed the reindeer at certain times – so look out for the time on the signs.
Take Plenty Of Cash
You will need to take cash with you, not all stalls will take cards. You will need cash to buy refreshment and pay for tokens to be able to use the rides. Rides start at £2 for children and £3 for adults. You need to get tokens in order to go on rides but there are plenty of booths where you can buy these so you don’t need to queue for too long.
Take Plenty Of Clothing
The rides, stalls etc are all in the park in the open air so make sure that you wrap up warm and if you plan to stay all day into the evening you might need some extra layers. There are places you can warm up but stand downwind or you’ll end up smelling of smoke.
Try the Foods
There are a range of different foods that you can try from the street food venders and restaurants. I would suggest trying the churros. Plus if you do go find this guy:
He seemed to stay at his stall all day from am to pm and was generous with the number of churros and best still these come with cinnamon sugar or for an extra £1 chocolate sauce. Of course the children wanted both and he kindly poured a good amount of chocolate over the churros followed by big sprinkle of cinnamon sugar – what a star!!!! I don’t know what his name is – he has no idea I have even written this but as I said, go seek him out for great churros and ask for both the toppings as it works really well!!!
Make Use of Photographers and Photos Taken on Rides
You will find photographers at various places around the site including when you go and see Santa and also pictures are taken when you go on some rides. There are stands where you can view and have the option of purchasing these photos if you so wish. This is a great way of getting a great photo that you can treasure and and keep as a memento of the day. Why not buy one and frame it for a loved one – Christmas gifts at their best!
There Are Height Restrictions For Some Rides
If you are going with little ones I suggest grabbing a map and heading for the rides close to where the Cinderella on Ice show is as those seemed most suitable for toddlers. You don’t want to deal with a tantrum if they insist on going on a ride that has a height restriction.
Toilets and Baby Changing Facilities
Of course children will want to go to the toilet at the worst possible time. Fear not there are plenty of toilets and because of this queues don’t get very long – yaaaaaayyyyyy! It’ll be sods law though that they want to go to the toilet part way through a long queue lol – my advice would be if a queue looks long and they haven’t been for a while take them to the toilet first – it’s not worth the trouble not too (yes you’ve guessed it I’m pretty experienced – I have 3 mini people!!!).
Well that’s all for now on Winter wonderland. If you plan to visit then you still have time as it is open until the 1st Jan 2018. I hope you found my tips useful.
Have you visited Winter Wonderland yet?
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Disclaimer: I was invited along to Winter Wonderland and gifted tickets to the show featured as well as some ride tickets. All thoughts are my own.