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During part of my twenties I lived in London, back when I was young, free and for a while, single. I loved exploring London on my own or with friends and Winter Wonderland was an annual trip. Fast forward 10 years and I realised that I had never taken my two children to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

I know, right? How could I have missed out? Well, the kids usually go to Winter Wonderland when staying with their dad, and one trip a year was enough for them. This year they had skipped the trip with their dad and wanted to go with me instead. Yay! An excuse for a grown adult to revisit an unashamedly ott-Christmas-themed park.

The kids (aged 8 and 10) and I had a chilled morning in, then headed out after lunch, so we could catch the lights at dusk and early evening. We arrived at Hyde Park about 3.50pm got in at 4.20pm (queuing for security checks on entry) at the Gold Entrance.

Map of the 2019 park

Our Highlights

This rollercoaster was really great for those with a bit of an adventurous streak but who don’t want to go upside down. I loved it, though I did have to close my eyes at points. My daughter is a daredevil and loves rollercoasters, so she loved it. My son liked it at first but found it a bit too long for his thrill level. He could have handled the speed if the ride was a little shorter but for myself and my daughter, it was just right.

Next the kids chose the bumper cars/ dodgems. They rode in the same car one time, then my boy had a second ride solo. These are always a winner with my children.

The Upside Down House

There is one of these in Bristol, at the Cribbs Mall Winter Wonderland but we haven’t had the chance to visit, so we thrilled to try it at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.

My daughter (the thrillseeker) chose this ride as one of her picks. Myself and my boy stayed at the exit while she went on this. I was scared for her but she loved it and would have ridden again if my boy hadn’t got tired.

In total we went on 5 or 6 rides and that was just right for my children before they got tired. We then took a leisurely stroll to Edgeware Road around 6.30ish for an early dinner.

We settled on Beirut Express (part of the Maroush group) as it was the first halal restaurant we came across. A little further on Edgeware Road are Maroush, Fatoush and a whole host of other Lebanese and middle Eastern restaurants.

If revisiting Hyde Park Winter Wonderland I’d go a little earlier, around 2pm so we would completely miss the post-Wonderland dinner rush on Edgeware Road.

Tips for a smooth trip

Daytime is best, as it’s less busy and there’s more room to walk around, especially if you have a buggy.

Don’t over-plan activities, especially if you have younger children that tire easily. Pre-book say 2 of the shows and then hit the rides at your children’s pace.

Take snacks to keep the kids going. There’s nothing worse than lobg queues for food when the kids (or adults) are hangry.

Set a budget for the rides you’ll go on, or use a prepaid ride card. It’s so easy to go on lots of rides and then total it up at the end realising you’ve spent a small fortune.

The verdict

Was it a great afternoon out? Yes.

My kids loved it and we didn’t get too tired out walking around as we had a set number of rides we’d agreed on (2 choices each, and 2 ‘family’ choices), and agreed to leave early so we could have a nice sit down meal on Edgeware Road.

Would I go again? Yes, definitely.

I’d do it with the kids in a similar way to this year, but would also love to just go with a few adult friends for fun.