Running until the 3rd Jan 2016, Winter Wonderland describes itself as ‘London’s Spectacular Christmas Destination’ and, to be honest, it’s a pretty good day out.
Admission is free and there’s no shortage of things to look at – or spend your money on, if so inclined.
View of the Wonderland from outside. There’s two main entrances at either end, and you can expect to get your bag searched as you enter.
The crowds were surprisingly modest for a Sunday, which made the experience far more enjoyable.
Many of the attractions had a pretty tenuous Christmas connection – it’s more of a winter funfair than anything else – but the scale of some of the rides was impressive.
I first visited the event in 2009 and it has grown massively in scale since then.
This psychotically laughing dismembered Santa was the stuff of nightmares.
As well as all the whizz-bang hi-tech attractions, there was also loads of more traditional fairground stalls.
There was no shortage of bars on the site but at £5 a pint, it wasn’t the place for drinking on a budget.
Some kind of monster grinning corn cob thing.
Some of the rides were buttock-clenchingly tall.
The ice rink was laid out around the bandstand. It’s quite mesmerising to watch the skaters go endlessly by, although I suspect that many people are secretly hoping to watch a spectacular fall or two.
A female singer/guitarist played from the bandstand, one of many live performers playing in unusual locations (several were compelled to play on rotating platforms).
This was wonderfully daft. A pub that slowly rotated.
Weirdly scary ‘talking’ giant Bavarian man and bird.
The Bavarian drinking tent was huge with a singalong band playing in the far distance.
This guy elected to go for a high-speed, brute force option on this stall. It proved unsuccessful.
Dancing to an opera singer.
Ice Mountain, one of several paid attractions.
Cuddly toys. There were an awful lot of them up for grabs on the site.
Ice mountain thing.
Reindeer racing proved a popular attraction.
And they’re off!
This challenge was designed to lure in overconfident men who felt that it would be easy to hold on to the bar for two minutes. It wasn’t.
Another Very Tall Ride.
More details here: hydeparkwinterwonderland.com