Naskeeka Busawon, Monday 05 December 2016
Every year Hyde Park is transformed into a spectacular wonderland of fun, thrills and entertainment. This Christmas, the event is celebrating its 10th anniversary and has not failed to deliver on all things wondrous. Is there any better way to get into the jovial mood than by visiting this marvellous wonderland?
My fellow winter wonderland fan (and best friend), Palak decided to tag along with me; the weather was particularly unforgiving on this winter’s night so we decided to hit the thrill rides first (much to the dismay of my friend). The Haunted Mansion has always been one of my favourites; a good scream does wonders for warming you up and is the best way to start the wonderland experience. Unfortunately this is where our thrill adventure ended as age intervened and politely informed us that we are no longer ladies of youth. If you have more stamina than us though, then make sure you check out the awesome selection of adrenaline-pumping rollercoasters and rides.
Next stop was The Magical Ice Kingdom, which has become one of my favourite parts of the wonderland. This is the biggest ice and snow sculpture experience in the UK and this year has an added arctic adventure vibe. Icebergs and giant polar bears are just some of the stunning sculptures on display this year. Don’t forget to bundle yourself up tightly against the sub-zero temperature. Also, check out the ice slide, a feature perfect for children and adults alike and one that Palak particularly revelled in.
The Zippos Circus is back again with their two spectacular performances catering for both younger and older audiences located in the Mega Dome, the biggest circus venue in the UK standing over 65ft tall . The Cirque Beserk is full of fantastic thrills, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.
A stroll through the traditional German Christmas market is always a must. The Angels Christmas Market and the Fairies Market are perfect for discovering unusual and handmade gifts, including ceramics, candles, nativity scenes, Christmas decorations and many more. Some yummy food was definitely in order after all our wonderland fun, so we headed on over to the Bavarian Village. There we found a number of delicious food stalls, comfortable covered outdoor seating and fabulous live music to dine to.
To mark the 10th anniversary of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, The Nutcracker on Ice has come to the wonderland. Brought to life by The Imperial Ice Stars, this 60 minute show has been created especially for Winter Wonderland. The performance features stunning ice skating, gorgeous costumes and is housed in a magnificent indoor venue, the Winter Palace Theatre.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland would of course not be complete without the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink which can be found around the dazzling Victorian bandstand. If you are like myself and are not a natural skater, it’s always nice to watch others twirl and glide their way around the rink whilst listening to the live music played throughout the day and night. And please do not forget to take to the skies to on the Giant Observation Wheel. The cosy pods are a wonderful way to witness London’s true beauty and also make for a lovely date night.
“I once again had so much fun at Winter Wonderland this year - the Ice Kingdom still stands out as the coolest part of the park - in more ways than one! I especially liked the circus which had fantastic nail biting performances which left me cowering behind my friend!” – Palak Bhatt
“Winter Wonderland has a lovely vibe - perfect for getting you in the Christmas spirit! Definitely go during the week if possible, Saturday night was much too crowded! Even though I'm not the crazy roller coaster-enthusiast I once was (old age has slowly taken its toll) there's still lots to do, and the churros are to die for!!!” – Ayesha Ahmed
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is open until Monday, 2nd January 2017 (closed on Christmas Day) 10am to 10pm every day. To book tickets for Ice Skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, The Nutcracker on Ice, the Giant Observation Wheel & Zippos Circus visit www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com