In the middle of London’s serene Hyde Park, there now lies a Christmas-lover’s paradise.
Loosely modeled after some of Germany’s Christmas markets, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is the place to go for a healthy dosage of Christmas cheer.
As you enter through the gates, you are instantly transported into what looks like a scene from a Christmas card.
Hundreds of colorful lights twinkle cheerfully along to familiar Christmas songs.
Plastic statues of reindeer, snowmen, elves, and Santa Clauses, are dotted along the walkways, just waiting to be photographed next to.
Couples are twirling around gracefully on an ice skating rink, while little kids are awkwardly trying to find their balance.
There are dozens of carnival rides, emitting equal sounds of laughter and screams of terror from its riders.
Sizzling German sausages, chips, and mulled wine perfume the crisp night air.
All of the ingredients are there for a fun and festive night out in London.
Although the air was freezing cold, my friends and I were anxious to take advantage of everything that the Winter Wonderland had to offer.
We started out by riding the Sleigh Ride roller coaster, a suspended coaster that had its fair share of twists, turns, and drops. The most entertaining part of the ride, however, was the screaming that came out of my friend Luis’s mouth, and the laughter that followed.
Next up was a spinning car ride with my friend Jasen. The two of us sat side by side, laughing at the fake smoke and the German techno music being played by a man named ‘DJ Irene.’
The cars spin faster and faster, and the force of gravity slammed us together a number of times. At least I made the strategic choice of sitting on the inside, so that I wasn’t the one being slammed into (sorry, Jasen!)
Those rides can take a lot out of you, so we decided to fuel ourselves with some German-style food. I was glad that we chose to eat after going on those rides, and not before…
While eating, we watched a lederhosen-clad band playing cover songs rather terribly, but it was still fun to watch.
Overall, the Winter Wonderland was a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit. The best part, though, was being able to enjoy it all with a good group of friends!