Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland- A Toddlers View

We headed off to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland for the opening night on Friday with our 2 ½ year old.  It was an all-round toddler Winner!

The Park is filled with wonder and excitement, whatever you are looking for, from shows, to rides, to eateries ,bars, shops and market stalls it really does spark a bit of Christmas spirit.  It is open 10m -10pm through to January 3rd, except for Christmas day.

We parked in the park itself and headed off in the dark for a stroll along the Serpentine. In the distance the sky was illuminated by the park’s Giant Observation Wheel which reminded me of a large snow flake. As soon as Freddie clapped eyes on it he was on a mission in the right direction for once! As we got nearer, his mouth opened wider at this enormous wheel. Like most toddlers he has a thing for wheels and this was the biggest and brightest he had ever seen.

On entering the park from this end you are greeted, much to his delight, with a huge static stream train and an old fashion organ. The giant talking tree received a different reaction as he is a little scary in the dark!
The whole park is very well laid out although I am not sure how it would fair when too busy. To give Freddie a little more freedom we attached his backpack and lead which was a god send as we didn’t need to worry about hands – which are not fashionable in toddler world for Freddie at the moment.

The must visit ride for him was “Santa’s Flying Sleigh”- his first ever roller coaster experience was a memory to behold and his dad and big brother enjoyed it too.  Second on the list was Santa’s Workshop, an even smaller roller coaster which Freddie went on by himself and lots of traditional roundabouts where the London bus was a firm favourite.

By the giant wheel you will find Santa Land, a wonderland for children; it is surrounded by the Santa Express, a miniature railway line with the only access being via a bridge or over the railway’s crossroads. In this area there are lots of activities for young children, an inflatable snow man bouncy castle, mini carousels and fairground rides, hook a Santa game, Elves workshop and Father Christmas himself who is free to visit between 10am and 6pm.

If you are looking for a little getaway, head to the fantastic Speigel tent which offered a relaxing atmosphere, food, drinks and highchairs and had a live jazz band when we were there – this is a great brief escape from the busy lights and music outside.

There is plenty to do for families with pre-school children, but away from a toddlers view for a minute, it will cost a fair bit. If your toddler is happy to soak up the Christmas atmosphere with you and maybe go on one or two rides then it’s an all-round toddler winner! However if you have a little one who wants to do everything he sees be prepared to dent your wallet. In Santa Land (an area specifically for the younger audience) Hook a Santa costs £3 a go! Ok you win a prize every-time but if you have more than one child it is pretty expensive.

Taking the cost aside the experience is a festive pleasurable one and we managed to lose over 3 hrs here. Our toddler had three expressions throughout the whole time, mouth open, squealing with delight and grinning from ear to ear. 

More details can be found on their website – if you want to avoid the queues you can pre –book the circus, giant wheel and ice skating.

Most of Winter Wonderland is level for buggies with only gentle inclines. There are baby changing facilities at various disabled toilets around the site.

Visit Tot Friendly for more family days out suitable for babies and toddlers


  1. Winter Wonderland 2013 has started and is one of the nicest places to be.

  2. Thank you very much for the sharing! COOL.. Toddlers