Forget going to Lapland this Christmas when you can visit Winter Wonderland at London’s Hyde Park in association with Help a London Child.
The outdoor event is even bigger and better then last year spanning across 20 acres and offering visitors the chance to see Zippos Christmas Circus and the Palace of Grand Illusion show both inside a heated big top.
Entry to the outdoor event is free. Visitors pay for the many attractions Winter Wonderland has to offer including Capital FM’s giant wheel, the Xmas roller coaster and a session on the park’s ice skating rink.
While there is a wide selection of drinks and snacks on offer such as Cherry flavoured mulled wine, numerous German beers, Bratwursts and hog roast sandwiches but they come with a hefty price tag. Expect to pay around £3 for a cup of soup or corn on the cob.
The park is divided into different areas; there is the German Christmas market with over 50 stalls selling traditional hand crafted gifts, delicious sweets and jewellery. I was particularly taken with the designer cookies, ‘Just Married’ and ‘Please Stay with me’ that looked almost too good to eat. Then there’s the Bavarian village where visitors can enjoy refreshments inside a traditional log cabin and Mistletoe Avenue, Giant Wheel Plaza and Serpentine Road, where all the rides are situated.
The outdoor event offers thrills for all ages. There is Santa Land for younger visitors where they can visit Father Christmas and enjoy gentle rides and attractions such as the North Pole Slide, the Chimney Challenge and Present Pile Up. For the grown ups there is the Black Hole, which unfortunately was under repair on launch night, the Xmas roller coaster and the Power Tower, a 66m drop ride, not recommended for the faint hearted or anyone who has over indulged on hotdogs or alcoholic drinks . And for those who enjoy something a bit tamer there are the traditional fairground rides including the high flying swings, ghost train and hall of mirrors
For a panoramic view of Hyde Park and a great way to end the night take a ride on Capital FM’s giant wheel. For £7.50 you can take a trip in your own heated pod and compete to see who can spot the most landmarks across London.
The Winter Wonderland is open from the 21 November-3 January 2010 and from 10am-10pm.