London

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

One thing we wanted to do before we left for Tennessee was celebrate Christmas at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Winter Wonderland is London’s biggest Christmas event featuring two different Christmas markets, the UK’s largest ice skating rink, a Christmas circus, carnival rides and games, an ice sculpture kingdom, live music and entertainment, and (my personal favorite) enough food and drink chalets to feed a small country! As long as said country would be happy to live on bratwurst, grilled salmon, and mulled wine anyway. The only thing that could have made it more Christmas-y would have been if the whole park had been blanketed in snow, but instead we got rain. (This is London, after all.)

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

Christmas Markets at Winter Wonderland

We began our evening in the Christmas markets with no real intention of purchasing anything. Had we been looking for anything in particular, I’m quite sure we would have found it. Over 200 vendors line the streets selling items such as handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, accessories, and sweet treats. The stalls were set up inside wooden chalets strung with lights which gave Hyde Park a lovely village vibe. (Those candies were tempting, but I stayed strong! I was determined not to spoil my dinner – I knew it would be a good one here!)

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

The Food at Winter Wonderland

There are all sorts of bars and restaurants around Winter Wonderland, all with their own unique atmosphere and culinary dishes. I don’t think you can make a bad choice here. Although the revolving Carousel Bar doesn’t sound like the best idea if you’ve had one too many drinks! While we were shopping it began to rain, so we took cover in the eating area closest to us which happened to be the lively Bavarian Village. We ordered spicy bratwursts and hot chocolate (because those go so well together) and watched the crowds from under a heated pavilion.

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

Entertainment at Winter Wonderland

Our original plan had been to go ice skating after dinner (my first time in two decades), but Mother Nature chose to spare me from inevitably looking like a fool on the ice when she turned the skating rink into a giant kiddie pool. (Potentially embarrassing situation averted!) Instead we stood under the safety of our pavilion and listened to the outdoor live music before heading into the enormous Great Hall for even bigger entertainment!

London is so good at Christmas. I know I haven’t been here for a full year yet, so you can take this with a grain of salt, but I think the city is at its best in December. I’ve never lived anywhere that has put me in the Christmas spirit more than London has with its holiday traditions, over-the-top street displays, and celebrations. I am already looking forward to Christmas next year so we can do this all over again!

Winter Wonderland will close in less than a week, so if you haven’t been yet, you better hurry! Make sure you bring plenty of cash – most food and market vendors won’t accept card payments. (There are ATMs around the park, but they charge a fee of £3 per transaction.) Entrance is free, but tickets will need to be purchased for the ice rink, ice kingdom, circus, and other attractions.

Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park: Website
Address: Westminster, London W2 2UH

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A London Christmas: Winter Wonderland In Hyde Park

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Guest
    December 30, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    It’s unfortunate that it was raining! But at least you were able to avoid any awkward situations on the ice rink! (every cloud has a silver lining). The only time I’ve visited WW it actually was covered in snow, and you’re right, it really made the experience super Christmasy. Although I was poisoned by the mulled wine, which wasn’t so much fun lol. Anyhow glad you had a good time and hope you had a wonderful first Christmas in London! :)

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      January 1, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      Well, I wouldn’t say I’ve completely avoided it, more like just delayed the embarrassment. Lexie really wants to try to ice skate, so like any good mother, I will sacrifice my pride and get out there with her because the poor girl has unfortunately inherited my coordination (or lack thereof) and I have a feeling she’s going to need someone falling down with her if she’s going to have any fun at all! :)

  • Reply
    Sammy @ Days Like This
    December 30, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    I agree, London is AWESOME at Christmas time. Glad you enjoyed Winter Wonderland – I absolutely love it :)

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      January 1, 2014 at 12:59 AM

      I wish we’d gone while you were there so that we could have seen you! The Winter Wonderland experience would have been infinitely better if I’d been able to receive that Christmas carol you promised! :)

  • Reply
    Alex Fahey
    December 31, 2013 at 12:24 AM

    I love Hyde Park. I used to live right across from the park. I would run there daily. I think I was in the best shaped of my life in London because I loved running in Hyde Park so much. Those wooden nativities are beautiful. As for your question about us moving back- we probably won’t be there for a couple of years, but it’s in our 5 year plan. :)

  • Reply
    Jenn
    December 31, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    This looks so fun! I have always wanted to go to a Christmas Market. I also would have been that person who stands in line for hours just to skate on that rink :)

  • Reply
    Quyen Nguyen
    December 31, 2013 at 1:29 AM

    One thing I definitely miss about Europe that you can’t easily find here in the states is marzipan. So nutty and delicious!

  • Reply
    Stacie Stamper
    December 31, 2013 at 2:39 AM

    So fun and I love the pics of you guys. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Katrin
    December 31, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    This really looks like a lot of fun! Except of the rain of course. We had lots of rain on our first day in Paris! Love that you had a hot chocolate with your Bratwurst. :)

  • Reply
    Sara Louise
    December 31, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    I would love, love, love to go to Winter Wonderland! It looks like such a fun place (minus the rain of course) x

  • Reply
    Emmymom
    January 2, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Glad you got go and too bad for the rain, I bet you would have had fun falling, I mean skating ;)

  • Reply
    kayleigh maryon
    January 5, 2014 at 5:45 AM

    This place sounds magical, I would love to check it out one of these years. I bet you will have wonderful memories from this place.

  • Reply
    Jo
    January 6, 2014 at 8:10 PM

    Glad you had fun! I can’t get the husband to go anywhere near the Christmas market here in town. Way too crowded for his liking.

  • Reply
    Angela
    October 19, 2015 at 7:52 PM

    Hi Sarah! I’m a blogger for a travel website and I’m writing an article about Winter Wonderland. I’m using all my own photos, but regrettably I don’t have a good food picture. I’m wondering if I can have your permission to use your awesome above photo of sausages on the grill in my article? You will be properly credited and there will be a link to your blog (this specific post) included as well. Please let me know if this would be ok with you– thanks so much!

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 20, 2015 at 7:08 AM

      Hi Angela! Of course you can! Thanks for asking! You should be able to right click and download it to your computer, but if you have any issues doing that, just contact me and I’ll email you a copy.

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