My family and I recently visited Winter Wonderland for the first time. Yes, the actual first time. None of my friends could believe that I had never been. But if you know my family, then you know that my son is quite spirited (which is a kind way of saying feral). And this is the first year that I felt like a busy event in London would be a success for a family day out. And like some magical advert for Winter Wonderland, we had an amazing day.
We arrived around 10.30am on a Sunday, and came up with a plan for the day. A plan helps with young children as then you can manage expectations (for them and you). We decided on seeing Father Christmas, checking out the rides, then the Magical Ice Kingdom before lunch. Then we would wander before going to Zippos Circus at 1pm. After that, we would go on the giant wheel and then look around some more before heading home.
Annoyingly, the line for Father Christmas at 11am was one hour long, so we decided to skip that. Since this is free, I understand that families would head there first. So we decided to go straight to the rides. We figured they wouldn’t be busy in the morning, and were right. My husband and daughter went on scary rides (Munich Looping and Wilde Maus XXL) while my son and I went on a gentle ride.
I then crazily suggested that we go on the indoor roller coaster (Ice Mountain) as it probably wouldn’t be scary. I was wrong. The boy screamed like his face was being ripped off. But it was really fun. He was okay afterwards but I let him spend £20 to try and win a giant Pokemon toy to assuage my guilt. Thankfully he won one, and then was on cloud nine all day!
Now that we had a giant Pikachu to carry with us, we went to explore the Magical Ice Kingdom. This is the bit I was most excited about. The ice kingdom uses ice sculptures to tell a story – this year it told the story of ‘A Christmas Carol’. It was utterly enchanting and I am in awe of anyone who can sculpt characters out of ice. The ice kingdom was about -5C luckily we were all wrapped up warmly, but you get used to the cold after a few minutes.
After the icy temperatures, we were ready for lunch. We were really impressed with the food choices at Winter Wonderland. Not only were there loads to choose from, but the quality was of a high level. My husband loved the bratwurst so much that he had two. And my grilled Reuben sandwich was divine.
As we were starting to get tired at 1pm, we were so happy to be going to watch Zippo’s Circus. We had never been to this particular circus, and although we expected it to be good it was better than we imagined. The show was full of laughs and excitement, and the kids said it was their favourite part of the day.
Then we went onto the 70 Metre Observation Wheel. I had to convince Dubz to go on it, as he was worried that there would be a repeat of the indoor roller coaster (I bribed him with a delicious churro). But he adored it. We were able to choose what kind of music we wanted in our pod (we picked Christmas songs obvs) and sang along as were were treated to terrific views of London.
Winter Wonderland is open until the 5th January 2020. It is such a fun and festive day out. Not only is it fab with the family, I can imagine it being a great day with just grown-ups. It’s free to go, but you will need to pay for rides, food and attractions. If you only do two things, I suggest Zippo’s Circus and the Magical Ice Kingdom. And definitely get the churros from The Churro Factory.
We were invited by Zippo’s Circus to visit Winter Wonderland, and were given complimentary entry to the circus, the ice kingdom and the big wheel, as well as some ride tokens. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.