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Hyde Park winter wonderland or other place for toddler?

(8 Posts)
MatriarchalDreams Tue 09-Dec-14 23:39:03

We're going to London on the second of January, staying overnight, then seeing a show on the afternoon of the third before returning home so we're looking for activities to do on the afternoon of the 2nd and morning of the 3rd. We have one child, DD is 2.5, does anyone have any experience of going to Winter Wonderland with a child of this age? Have just had a quick read of some of the reviews on here and they mostly seemed quite negative, saying it was packed and dangerously busy. Would it be a bit quieter in the period after Christmas/into the new year? Also, lots of the activities seem a bit old for her but was thinking that we could book for the ice kingdom and then just wander round the rest of it. If anyone says don't bother, do you have anything else you could suggest instead? Was originally thinking we could do a museum on one day and a tourist attraction thing - maybe look at Big Ben or Tower of London or something - on the other day. I have to say, my experience of going to London is a little limited, especially with a small child, we have been twice with her but one time she was a few months so just slept in the sling most of the time, the other was in the summer at a gig at Hype Park, we parked close by and literally just went there, nowhere else! We'll be staying in Greenwich, is it going to be knackering and stressful trying to travel to the above mentioned places with a toddler?! (she is a pretty easy child but she's still a two year old!)

happsymum Wed 10-Dec-14 01:50:59

MatriachalDreams. I haven’t done winter wonderland with a 2.5yr old only my 9yr for the last 3 yrs , but my friend took her 3 year old. mid-week is definitely better, and I’m sure after Christmas will be much less crowded so probably the best time. They didn’t go at night (although much more magical with all the lights, but does get much much colder so they went in the day) there is a 'little people' section with more age appropriate rides and a Christmas train but not loads. Also make sure you take a drink suited to your toddler with you - only fizzy drinks, beers, mulled wine or hot drinks which even with my 9 year old I struggle with as the hot drinks she waits ages to cool down and she doesn’t drink fizzy drinks but last year they didn’t do any child friendly drinks , hopefully thats changed or may have been because we always go at night?

We haven’t done the ice kingdom yet but going to this year - I can’t wait!!!

Im sure a few people will advise against going but Personally id go, you can always leave earlier than planned if it’s too much smile wrap up warm!

OneThenTwo Wed 10-Dec-14 09:35:41

We've waited til our youngest is 5 this year to go to Winter Wonderland (booked for just before Christmas eek) as had heard it was too crowded. But probably if you go first thing and book for Ice Palace early it would be fine. After Christmas will be busy in the afternoons I'd have thought. Another option could be the Southbank Centre winter festival - there's a Christmas tree maze and a little train.
Then you could visit the London Aquarium and see the penguins which would take you out of the cold for a bit. Lots to eat and drink along there and the atmosphere will be very festive.

5ChildrenAndIt Wed 10-Dec-14 09:41:42

From Greenwich - get an all day ticket on the Thames Clippers. Mosey down to South Bank, enjoy the Christmas market - then do the Tate Modern. Ask on arrival for the kids area - and they'll issue you with a little activity pack paper and crayons . Grab lunch in the top floor restaurant. Lots of other great pitstops en route (eg tower of London - even if you don't go in - or London Bridge. Canary Wharf is very toddler friendly - big underground mall with lifts and decorations and a Santa Grotto.

ItsBeginingToLookAlotLikeChris Wed 10-Dec-14 10:32:15

I think it would be ok after xmas, when people off work, gone to visit famiy etc..try and go early and take plenty of ££....I tihnk it will be fine. I hope so we are headung there after too"

MatriarchalDreams Wed 10-Dec-14 15:15:15

Some really helpful advice/good ideas here, thank you! I now have something to work with and will discuss with DH.

ItsBeginingToLookAlotLikeChris Wed 10-Dec-14 16:34:51


will canary wharf be open xmas eve do you think? is it worth hanging out there with toddler have choice of there or london transport museum!

Davros Wed 10-Dec-14 16:57:10

I would go to london transport museum as civent garden us lovely at Xmas and they have real reindeer

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