During the winter Hyde Park has an awesome festival, Winter Wonderland. It’s free to walk through and enjoy, including a large German Christmas market. The market has 200 Christmas lit Bavarian style wooden chalets with jewelry, accessories, clothing, handmade crafts, and traditional Christmas decorations.
The kids and I had a lot of fun walking around looking at all the stuff for sell. We stopped for some apple cider and spiced wine. I wish we had planned to have dinner here, but at the time I didn’t know about it. We just happened upon it when we were walking around one night. It would have been fun to listen to the band and eat German food.
During the Winter Wonderland there are multiple shows going on.
- Zippos Christmas Circus will take you through an array of the finest circus acts. With incredible aerial acts, colourful clowns and skilled jugglers, this day time show is a perfect treat for all the family.
- Sooty’s Christmas Show is a festive puppet show good for younger children.
- Nutcracker on Ice is a 60 minute ice show especially created for Winter Wonderland.
For 9 – 15 pounds you can ice skate. Ice skating session times run every hour, on the hour, between 10:00 and 21:00. Each ice skating session will last 50 minutes.
London’s Winter Light Festivals
Looking for more winter fun here are some light festivals that you can enjoy during the holidays.
Winter Lights festival – Canary Wharf Pier
A display of neon, LED, and everything illuminated, this award-winning festival, now in its sixth year, will see light artists from across Europe gather in London, to show what an unbridled imagination and state of the art light technology can do. From 16-25 January Canary Wharf will be lit with 25 free-to-view installations.
Battersea Light Festival – Battersea Power Station Pier
Battersea’s light festival brings four installations to the iconic site. Perhaps the most visually striking is Talking Heads, created by Viktor Vicsek; two heads, each composed of 4,000 customizable LED lights, react to one another to create a myriad of facial expressions. From 8 January-16 February the light installations are free to enjoy.
Eccleston Yards – Cadogan or Battersea Power Station Pier
Belgravia’s Eccleston Yards is set to shine with a multi-sensory light installation. The Wave by Squidsoup is made up of 500 individually suspended orbs that create a calming aura for visitors. Inspired by the ancient healing concept of Chromotherapy, the different orbs project vibrations that have different functions according to their color. For example, the orange orbs are designed to energize the body, the yellow orbs will stimulate happiness, and the blue orbs will allegedly calm the heart rate. Wave by Squidsoup can be viewed until 11 January and is free to visit.
Tate Britain’s Winter Commission – Millbank Pier
For an installation called Depth Of Darkness, The Return Of The Light head to Tate Britain to see Anne Hardy’s eerie artwork that includes a soundtrack filled with the noises of rain, thunder, birds and insects that was partly recorded while travelling down the river in a canoe. This artist’s piece can be viewed for free until 26 January.
Southbank Soundpit – London Eye (Waterloo) Pier
Perfect for little ones, Southbank is hosting an interactive installation by artist DJ Mainstone that allows people to play in giant sandpits illuminated by beautiful graphics, creating music with your own movements. Visitors can run their hands through it, sit in it or even walk across it to create a masterpiece. Through play, children and adults alike can explore their individual sense of sound, vision and touch for just £8 per session until 23 February.
Illuminated River – Tower Pier
Illuminated River is the public art commission, which is transforming the capital at night, lighting up bridges on the River Thames. Join Thames Clippers on board to experience phase one of Illuminated River, covering London, Cannon Street, Southwark and Millennium bridges. Illuminated River Guided Boat Tours will take place on select dates from January 16th and depart from Tower Pier. Please note that specific tickets need to be booked for these special sailings.