Reviewed by Debbie Talbot
Since my 7-year-old twins were born I have dreamed about the day I could take them to experience Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park in London. That dream came true for us this year. Having decided to make a weekend of it, Saturday morning we set off down to London on the train. Our Sunday surprise of Winter Wonderland was kept a secret until Sunday morning when we were on the tube to Hyde Park. We stayed outside of London overnight on the evening before our trip to Winter Wonderland and Zippos Circus. It took us 30-40 mins on the train to get into London St Pancras. From there, we took the underground to Hyde Park Corner. After about a 5 minute well signposted walk we arrived at one of the entrances to Winter Wonderland. After going through security, we had a good look around to plan our day ahead. We decided to go to Mr Men & Little Miss at 11am, Zippos Christmas Circus at 1pm and Paddington on Ice at 3.30pm.
The first stop of our exciting day was Mr Men & Little Miss – The Show. My twins were totally enthralled with the show from start to finish. Their favourite character was Mr Tickle, probably because they both love playing tickle games with mummy and daddy and reciting the Round and Round the Garden nursery rhyme where you tickle the person’s hand. My favourite character was Mr Small, who looked adorable and Little Miss Chatterbox who was chatty and cheeky. The actors playing the characters were excellent and so enthusiastic in their roles. I think that the length of the show of 1 hour was perfect to keep the attention of little ones.
After the show had finished, we headed out to try out some rides. There were so many rides to choose from which clearly suit a variety of age ranges. The ones we decided to try out were the Family Rollercoaster, The Upside down house, Ice Mountain which was an exciting rollercoaster and a spinning ride. We spent time on rides before and after attending the Zippos Circus show. One of my twins even went on the Giant Wheel, the tallest transportable wheel in the world with the other adult in our party. He commented on how wonderful the views were.
The highlight of our day was definitely the 1pm Zippos Christmas Circus show. I personally loved the antics of the clown character and the fact that he did not have a traditional clown costume on. I won’t spoil it for you by going into too much detail, but our favourites were the aerial acrobats, roller skaters and the unicyclist and the high rope team. What was lovely to see was the various circus members assisting each other in between their part of the show. We were all gripped by the show from start to finish. My favourite costumes were the light up ones worn by the hanging rope performers. The interaction between the performers was truly beautiful. The set looked amazing and the set changes were done seamlessly. The part of the show which had audience participation was hilarious, we laughed so much. I am a Zippos Circus fan for life and I think they have gained too little fans too. We will certainly be watching out for an opportunity to see Zippos Circus again soon.
The final part of our day was watching Paddington on Ice. We could only watch 30 mins of this show as we had a pre booked train at 5.17pm. What we saw was phenomenal. One of my twins waited eagerly when Paddington left the ice for him to come back. My twins both said that they loved the show. Personally speaking, I loved the comedy parts best. I do not want to spoil things by saying too much, but the kitchen scene was one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. The skill of the cast was amazing. Their ice skating wowed us.
The whole day was such a special experience for us as a family. I think that whilst Winter Wonderland and Zippos Circus are amazing for families, it would be a great outing for teenagers or 20 somethings too due to the quality and variety of the rides on offer. Whilst we did not use the ice rink ourselves, it looked great fun.
I did also want to mention how great the Christmas Market was. Such a lovely variety of items were available. The food offering looked great too. As a disabled guest I was happy to see that plenty of good quality toilets were available. I never had to queue long for the toilets.
A top family day out and we are already hoping to visit again next year.
An easy 5 stars – I would rate higher if I could.
Entry to Hyde Park is FREE, tickets prices vary for attractions.
For more information or to book tickets, visit hydeparkwinterwonderland.com.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH