7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids

Curious and Geeks
Winter Wonderland with kids - what you need to know before your visit

Today, we have been to Winter Wonderland with the kids, for the third year in a row. And similarly to the previous years, they had a blast! They already asked if we could go back next year.
The 2018 season opened on Thursday and will be on until  the 6th January. You have plenty of time to visit this giant fun fair, and hopefully this list of things to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids, will help make the most of your future day-out!

What you should know before heading to Winter Wonderland with kids

Embrace contactless payment 

Unlike the previous years, you will now find that a lot of stalls accept contactless payment. That’s great because it saves you from the unnecessary back and forth to the tokens stalls. Or a bunch of unused tokens!

Winter Wonderland with kids Carrousel accepting contacless - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids

Choose the family entrance and meet Santa

The Red Gate has become the family entrance this year, and it is pretty convenient as you will directly be in Santaland! It’s the area of the fair where the kids can sit with Santa, meet the elves, enjoy Christmas themed rides and be closer to the different shows (The Snowman Experience, Peter Pan on Ice, the Teletubbies Christmas show, etc.)
It is less crowded than the blue gate and if you are lucky you might be welcomed by the naughty elf on the shelf himself.

Winter Wonderland with kids Elf on the shelf - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids

You can also download the winter wonderland app ahead of your visit. You will be able to book tickets, view the map (try to have a quick scan ahead of your visit as they made some changes in comparison to 2017). The information in the app is similar to what you will find on the website, but might be useful if you are checking the info on the go.

Don’t worry about hungry stomachs

You will find a lot of different choices for lunch or dinner that should please any young fussy eater: pizzas, Chinese, hot dogs, fries, veggie, halal, halloumi, burgers, etc. 

Winter Wonderland with kids what to eat - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids
Examples of food stalls in Winter Wonderland Hyde Park

If you are looking for snacks, you won’t be disappointed either. Of course, my kids wanted to try the churros, and they went for one with a cinnamon sugar and one with Belgian chocolate  (for an extra pound).
We were lucky enough, they accepted to share some with us: it was good!

Winter Wonderland with kids Enjoying some churros - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids

Pre-book your shows

Unless you really want to deal with disappointed kids/ are a fan of endless queues, pre-book the shows you want to attend in advance.

Especially if you are visiting on the evenings or the weekends.

The shows for kids are quite numerous this year: The Snowman Experience, Teletubbies Christmas Show, Peter Pan on Ice, Winter Wonderland Comedy Club, Zippos Christmas Circus.
But you can also pre-book ice skating, ice sculpting workshops, The Magical Ice Kingdom presents The Secret Forest, Bar Ice, the Giant Observation Wheel,  Bar Hütte and Cirque Berserk.

Winter Wonderland with kids shows available in London 2018 1 - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids
Examples of available shows in Winter Wonderland Hyde Park

The entrance is free but be prepared to spend money. It’s quite pricey!!

The entrance is totally free, so you can wander around and admire the little Christmas markets, see Santa, high five the elves.
But if you want to enjoy the rides, the food, buy some souvenirs, you will soon be spending a decent amount of money. 
If your kids are young or not tall enough, you will need to ride with them and pay as well.
We also find that some rides were over-priced for their length!
For example:

  • A bumping car ride costs 6 tokens = £6.
  • A box of churros costs £5.
  • The Ice Trike Trail costs £5.
  • The Santa Land express train costs 3 tokens.
  • Irrgarten Mirror Maze costs 5 tokens per adult and 4 tokens per child.
Winter Wonderland Ice Trike Trail - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids
View of the Ice Trike Trail in Winter Wonderland in London

Check out the height limits for the rides before your kids!

A lot of rides do have height restrictions (even the ones for kids)!
Make sure you check those before you start queuing.
My daughter was so excited to try out the Ice Trike Trail, a biking on ice experience, but she was very quickly disappointed to find out she was not tall enough (she is less than 1m10 :/ ). Luckily for us, there was train ride not far away!

Winter Wonderland with children height restrictions - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids
Example of a ride in Winter Wonderland with a height restriction

Put on your winter clothes

Although, there are some heated areas, you are likely to be strolling around the fair, most of the time. Cover your kids and yourself properly and don’t forget the gloves!
Feel free to stop for hot chocolate though!

Most common questions and answers about your Winter Wonderland with kids day out

Before visiting Winter Wonderland three years ago, we did some research to learn more about it and decided to add the questions we asked to the post,  just in case you are wondering about the same things as well.

Winter Wonderland with kids Fun fair - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids
View from the Santa Land Express Train in Winter Wonderland

What is Winter Wonderland Hyde Park?

This giant fun fair includes rides, shows, ice-skating, food stalls, a Christmas market and a lot more.
It is free to enter and features different themed areas amongst which the Bavarian village, the Thrill Zone (with the biggest rides), Santa Land, Circus Town, Arctic Circle.

Where is Winter Wonderland in London?

The fun fair is in Hyde Park London W2, and has 5 entrances (blue, green, purple, gold and red gates). 

How can I get to Winter Wonderland?

You can access the fair by bus, train, bike, foot and car, although we do not advise that you venture in London with your cars.

Knightsbridge, Marble Arch and Hyde Park Corner are the closest underground stations. 

  • If you arrive from Hyde Park corner, then the blue gate will be the closest.
  • From Knightsbridge, you will be able to reach the green gate easily.
  • Stop at Marble Arch to be closer to the red gate which is the family entrance.

By bus, there are loads of options, that are listed in Winter Wonderland official website.

North : 6, 7, 16, 19, 23, 36, 52, 73, 82, 98, 113, 274, 390, 414, C2
South : 2, 19, 36, 137, 148, 159, 436
West : 9, 14, 19, 22, 23, 52, 74, 94, 148, 414
East : 30, 38, 274

From https://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/getting-here/
Winter Wonderland with kids Christmas market - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids

How much is Winter Wonderland London entrance?

The entrance is completely free. But check out the thing to know for ideas on how much the rides cost.
You will first go through a bag check. The open bottles are not allowed – but they seem more lenient with kids’ water-bottles.

Is Winter Wonderland Hyde Park suitable for Children?

Yes, it is. There are plenty of things for little ones to enjoy: food, shows, rides. They can also get to meet Santa and have a little toy if they have been nice.
If you head to the family entrance near Marble Arch, you will be closer to a lot of toddlers and kids’ activities and shows
The road is pretty flat so take a buggy if you need one.
Changing facilities and toilets are well indicated and frequent enough!

That’s it for us!  Overall, we enjoyed our day out, my kids loved it. But we think it is a bit pricey and can quickly escalate if you add up the shows :/.

Have you been to Winter Wonderland before? Did you enjoy your experience over there?

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Winter Wonderland pin - 7 things you need to know before visiting Winter Wonderland with kids

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  1. This is so helpful! We were going to go several yeara ago pre kids but it closed due to a storm and ao we missed out. I never realised quite what it was like though and it sounds better than I had expected! The shows sound fab and J would adore the ice trike trail. Maybe when he is older though as he hates crowds at the moment.

    1. It is crowded especially during the weekends and in the evenings. We went there around 3pm on Sunday, it was okay but it quickly filled up.
      Might want to wait until J is a bit older then or try a weekday if you can.

  2. I find that most fairs, carnivals, theme parks, and such are always overpriced. It’s a shame because more people would go and spend money if they were cheaper but I guess with kids’ themed parks parents will take their kids regardless. I like your honesty in the prices. It’s a nice heads up for those looking to go. And it’s a nice little guide putting up the prices of things so that parents can budget accordingly:)

    1. We ended spending more than we planned to, so I’d rather let people know what to expect, then praise the fair and mislead the readers.

  3. This looks like so much fun, and the tips you’ve shared are super helpful. We have something similar to this here in Nottingham and we love visiting every year 🙂

    Louise x

  4. We are planning to head there in 2 days time. Can anyone tell me which gate – red, gold, purple, green or blue gate is least busiest with the queues as I don’t like waiting for too long to get in

    1. Hello, if you are planning on visiting after 4pm, I would avoid the blue and green gates.
      I hope you’ll enjoy your visit.

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