The Halloween decorations have come down and the spooky season is done. So, now it’s time for some festive fun! Christmas is knocking on our doors and for 2023, the capital is ready to embrace the festive spirit this November.
From 17th November to 1st January, the world’s ultimate destination for festive fun, Winter Wonderland, will arrive in London’s iconic Hyde Park. Loved by Mumsnet users as their top go-to each year, the magical event runs for six weeks over the holiday season. Visitors can stroll through the open-air Christmas market that’s filled with stalls offering delicious street food and trinkets. Enjoy mulled wine and thrilling rides, glide on the ice rink, watch family-favourite performances, or marvel at the mesmerising twinkling lights after sunset with your DC in tow.
To help you get the most out of your Winter Wonderland visit, keep reading to find our complete guide on when it is, ticket prices, the top attractions and what Mumsnet users say themselves.
When is London’s Winter Wonderland 2023?
The event will open to the public on 17th November 2023 and runs until 1st January 2024. The park will be open between 10am and 10pm daily, although the last entry will be at 9:30pm and it will be closed on Christmas Day.
How much are tickets for Winter Wonderland?
All visitors do require a pre-booked entry ticket, but off-peak times are free of charge admission for all. Admission during standard times costs £5 for an adult, teen and children 12 and under but is free for infants two and under. Peak times admission costs £7.50 for adults, teens and children 12 and under but is still free of charge for infants two and under.
What’s new at Winter Wonderland for 2023?
Beloved attractions like the 70 metre high Giant Wheel and the UK’s largest open-air ice rink at Lidl on Ice are set to return for 2023. Plus, families can travel through a mystical frozen world in the Magical Ice Kingdom, watch jaw-dropping aerial and acrobatic magic at Zippos Christmas Circus, and try their hand at live carving in the Ice Sculpting Workshops.
New this year, families can catch performances of Justin’s Christmas Singalong by TV megastar Justin Fletcher. The 45-minute show will be filled with festive singing and dancing but tickets are limited, so make sure you snap yours up fast!
Santa’s Grotto remains free of charge for those interested in meeting Father Christmas, and Santaland returns as a one stop shop for families to enjoy plenty of children’s rides and festive eateries away from the hustle and bustle of the main event. The new Santaland Unlimited Ride Pass provides unlimited access to over 15 Santaland rides for just £25 and includes entry to the event.
Not forgetting the food. The delicious street food markets are also welcoming some more tasty options this year, including Pabellon Venezuelan cuisine, Wok Boy Burger, Flesh & Buns, Meat Head Mexican and Stakehaus.
Event highlights you shouldn’t miss
Justin’s Christmas Singalong
Justin Fletcher is arguably the biggest kids’ TV sensation and will be performing his new show Justin’s Christmas Singalong at Winter Wonderland this year. The 45-minute show is filled with singing and dancing and is truly a great way to get the whole family in the festive mood.
The shows take place at 11am on the below dates:
Saturday 18 November
Sunday 19 November
Saturday 25 November
Sunday 3 December
Tuesday 12 December
Tickets are limited so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment!
Magical Ice Kingdom
An expert team of sculptors and artists have worked to create this truly breath-taking mythical frozen world with over 250 sculptures made from 500 tonnes of ice and snow. You and the family can journey through the nine realms of Norse mythology, exploring the lands of Giants, Fire and Ice and taking in incredible sculptures of the iconic Norse Gods and Goddesses.
Cirque Berserk: Tornado
For the bigger kids, Cirque Berserk returns to Winter Wonderland for its 11th year and promises the same exciting mixture of adrenaline-fuelled stunts and performances that will dazzle and delight. Featuring circus acts from around the world, the hugely talented troupe have become one of the biggest draws of the whole Winter Wonderland event. Daily performances are at 6pm, 7:30pm, and 9pm. For those visiting in the morning or early afternoon, Zippos Christmas Circus also returns with a festive aerial and acrobatic show.
Santaland Unlimited Ride Pass
This brand new unlimited access pass is available for visitors to Winter Wonderland this year. For £25, you can get unlimited access to over 15 Santaland rides - including Santaland Express Train, Racing Coaster, Reindeer Ride and Race-o-rama.
The £25 will also waive any entry fees but to get the discount, customers need to make sure an admission ticket is in their basket and this will be applied at checkout.
Related: Best Christmas toys for 2023 - this year's trending toys revealed
How accessible is Winter Wonderland?
Every entrance is accessible and step-free using the park’s tarmacked pathways. Once inside, the entire area is covered in a temporary trackway.
Whilst the event doesn’t have a specific accessible entrance, it advises families to use the Red Gate, which is the family entrance at the north of the site.
Green Park tube station has step-free access and is located near the Blue or Green Gate entrances. It’s important to note that the Blue Gate, which is located near Hyde Park Corner and the Gold Gate near Marble Arch can both get extremely busy during peak times.
What our Mumsnetters say
We’re lucky to have a great community at Mumsnet who offer their real, unfiltered and unbiased opinions and advice. As big fans of Winter Wonderland, our Talk boards are filled with great advice on making the most of your day and ensuring fun for the whole family.
Tip 1: Try and book tickets earlier rather than later
Our Mumsnetters suggested opting for dates in November and early December to avoid crowds.
Icedlatteplease said: “We tend to enter about 2pm when it's quiet and stay till 6-7pm."
Tip 2: Go at quieter times to avoid queues
Sounds like the most obvious tip but a difference of a few hours can be the difference between walking on the rides or having to queue up.
Icedlatteplease also shared: “Rides are walk on in the afternoon. We've never queued that long on the few evening rides we’ve done. Tbh though we normally do off peak.”
Tip 3: Buy tokens online instead of paying on the day
If you’re on a budget this festive season, Mumsnetters say it’s cheaper if you buy tokens in bundles online prior.
“It was cheaper to buy the bundles of tokens online, rather than pay on the day,” ChristmasCwtch shared.
About Winter Wonderland
Launching in 2007, Winter Wonderland has become one of the most iconic festive events for families. What started as a smaller open-air Christmas market has rapidly grown into a spectacular affair of food, festivity, family and fun.
About the author
Kat Romero is a writer and journalist with over a decade’s experience in the industry. Hailing from London, she has become experienced in scouring the market to find the latest and best products, services and events that are worth your purchase. As a mother herself, she knows all too well how hard it can be to plan Christmas events with children. So, you can trust that she’s fully invested in making sure you receive the best recommendations.
Away from her desk, Kat can be found consuming far too much coffee and spending her weekends with her toddler and partner - soaking up the sights of London and sampling anything new and exciting that has opened up within walking distance.