Top 7 Things To Do At Winter Wonderland


If you're a Londoner, or even if you live within a reasonable travelling distance, you'll be aware of the Christmas phenomenon that is Winter Wonderland. Ten years ago a small fair showed up at London's Hyde Park and delivered a traditional German Fair experience, and we loved it so much that the place was absolutely packed out, has massively increased in size and is now a seasonal staple for Christmas in London.

And the place is bloody HUGE! You could easily spend a whole day there like you would a theme park, but considering all of the attractions are owned by separate operators it'd cost you a pretty penny to do everything! Anybody who's been to Oktoberfest will have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Winter Wonderland, namely it's about drinking, eating and riding! However, to help you manage to get the most out of this absolute beast without spending hundreds of £££s or wasting time on crap, I thought I'd put together a list of my festive favourites to do at the park!

Ride Munich Looping
Urgh, I hate calling it that. I'm a huge nerd, so it'll always be Olympia Looping to me (as the flags on the way up the lifthill would agree). There are a ton of coasters at Winter Wonderland these days, however to ride them all you're pushing £50, and that's just for one go on each! If you have to choose just one, make it Munich Looping. This old Schwarzkopf is the largest travelling coaster in the world, an icon of the German Fair circuit and a legend of the coaster world.

Not only does it look fantastic and make for a great Instagram post, it's actually really bloody good! it's got that infamous force that the old Schwarzs do perfectly, but not too much so that you don't want to immediately run around and ride again. If you ride one thing at Winter Wonderland - make it this!

Beer
It wouldn't be the complete German Fair experience without a beer or two! Again, being in London don't expect a pint to be cheap, however if you stick by the £5 rule (ie, never spend more than a fiver on a beer at one time) you can easily get one or two in. Also, don't be a sucker for the Stein. I know they look cool, but they're really not worth the extra money - stick to seeking out the cheaper, authentic German beers and I promise you you won't regret it. And cheaper prices mean you can drink more, woop!

Also, try if you can to squeeze yourself into a beer tent. You don't get a true Winter Wonderland experience unless you've been pressed uncomfortably close up against a fellow Londoner, overpriced beer and bratwurst in hand, singing along with the German DJ pumping out Peter Andre. Christmas magic right there.

Take Some Cool Night Pics
If you're an Instagram addict like I am then places like Winter Wonderland are an absolute gold mine. Nothing is kind to an iPhone camera than neon lights against a crisp, winter sky. I honestly could just spend all night wandering around taking photos and be content with just that - it's an entire night out in itself for me. There's something so visually satisfying about the glow of the lights, I love the way it looks sitting on my December Instagram grid!

Get Lost in a Fun House
There's a subtle art to a fun house that I think most people don't truly appreciate, and Winter Wonderland is the perfect opportunity to try one out. I think with British people we wrongly assume fun houses are just for kids? It's weird because if you go to any German fair the fun houses there are pretty much exclusively inhabited by adults. Winter Wonderland is home to a butt load of awesome fun houses, but most notable is the epic multi-storied Alpen Hotel. I won't ruin it for you, but trust me when I say it's worth the £6 ticket price. It just gets weirder and weirder as you get further inside the thing and is a strange and wonderful insight into the German sense of humour. It's a Winter Wonderland must-do for me and every year I march people through it just for the pure joy of watching them react to the madness.

Food
Well, duh. Again, don't be basic and plump for the first bratwurst you find - really have a dig around and figure out what's going to be the best choice for you. Also don't go for the stalls closest to the entrance as their prices tend to be higher and the quality not as good. I absolutely LOVE fair food, especially that at Winter Wonderland because you get all the fab European goodness that you usually only find on the continent. It's weird to suddenly have it in my back garden at Hyde Park! Bratwurst, crepes, burgers, pizza breads, donuts, pastries, pretzels, and everything else in between. If I had the money I'd eat at Winter Wonderland every night it operated.

This year was something extra special though - we discovered a little ditty called Authentic Wingmans Wingery, claiming to have the best wings in London. I'll be the judge of that, I, a self-confessed wing connoisseur, thought to myself. Well, fuck me. They really were the best wings in London, if not the world. I insist you stop whatever you're doing right this second and go and treat yourself to some. I guarantee you don't regret it.

 Celeb Spotting
I'm not one for getting excited over celebs, but there is something extra exciting about turning around in the bar and realising Fearne Cotton is sipping a stein behind you. You'll have to squint extra hard - they're quite hard to spot in their winter hats and coats, but I promise you they're there if you look hard enough.

Get A Unique View Of London
One fabulous addition to Winter Wonderland 2017 is the observation tower. Not only do you get an insane view of the fair itself (especially at night!) but it's a great way to see London from above in an entirely different way. And these can be found all over the park - see if you can spot the London Eye as you crest the lifthill of Olympia Looping, try and pick out Buckingham Palace as you cling for dear life on the Starflyer, find your nearest tube station just before you plummet back to Earth on the drop tower. Fab!

So there you go - loads to do at Winter Wonderland and not everything is going to set you back a fortune. Sometimes it's fab to just have a wander around and soak up all of the buzzing London-at-Christmas atmosphere of the place, and that my friends is entirely free!

Talk later xoxo,

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