When does Winter Wonderland open and what's new for 2023?

The festive spectacular is returning to Hyde Park this year

A photo of the crowd and the big wheel at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Christmas fans who are already counting down until the big day will want to know, when does Winter Wonderland open?

If you don’t want to miss out on the UK’s best Christmas markets, then Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland is a must - and tickets are on sale now. With rides, games, live performances, and a host of new attractions and offers, it’s the perfect place to get into the festive spirit.

The six-week long event boasts the UK's largest outdoor ice rink, two circuses, an ice bar, and is one of the best things to do in London at Christmas, attracting millions of visitors. It’s a lovely thing to do when you need a break from shopping for the top Christmas toys and best chocolate advent calendars.

Here’s everything we know about when Winter Wonderland opens and what’s new for 2023.

When does Winter Wonderland open in 2023?

This year Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland will be open from 17 November 2023 until 1 January 2024, with over 100 rides and attractions for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Now in its 16th year, tickets are on sale now and you can pre-book your slot and activities online.

Winter Wonderland opening hours

This year, Winter Wonderland will be open seven days a week, Monday to Sunday from 10am to 10pm. It will be open every day except Christmas Day.

You will need to enter the premises during your entrance ticket time slot but after that, you’re welcome to stay and enjoy the festive fun until closing at 10pm.

Most of the attractions are open for the duration of the day, with the exception of Zippos Christmas Circus, which closes at 5pm and is followed by the opening of Cirque Berserk: Tornado, which closes at 10pm. Plus some ride queues might close up to an hour before 10pm.

How much is Winter Wonderland entry?

Ticket prices to Winter Wonderland range from free to £7.50. Off-peak tickets are free, standard tickets cost £5 and tickets for peak times cost £7.50. Off-peak times take place earlier in the year from Monday through to Thursday, and usually are the 10am to 1pm time slots.

There is a range of offers at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland this year, including free entry when you pre-book £25 worth of rides, attractions, or food and drink. A limited number of fast-track tickets will also be available for selected rides, including Munich Looping, Aeronaut Starflyer, and Blizzard – with more to be announced. 

You can see off-peak, standard, and peak sessions for each attraction when you make your booking. For the full list of time slots and to book tickets, visit the Winter Wonderland website.

Is ice skating free at Winter Wonderland?

No, ice skating is not free at Winter Wonderland. The cost of tickets for ice skating depends on the time you want to skate, either peak, standard or off-peak.

Adult/teen tickets are £16.50 for peak times, £15 for standard and £11.50 for off-peak, children 12 and under cost £11.50 for a peak ticket, £10 for standard and £8.50 for off-peak. Family tickets range from £34 (off-peak) to £46 (peak). Children aged 12 or under must be accompanied on the ice and supervised by someone who is aged 16+. Skating is not recommended for children under three.

Skate sessions last 50 minutes and run every hour between 10am and 9pm. Winter Wonderland advises arriving 20 minutes before your booked session to have time to get your skates on at the skate hire (included in the ticket price). You can also bring your own skates with you, subject to a suitability check.

Spectators can enjoy free entry to the ice rink, but will need an entrance ticket to Winter Wonderland. To buy tickets for ice skating, you can add them to your basket when buying general entry tickets.

How long does it take to go through Winter Wonderland?

You can easily spend around three hours or more visiting Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, enjoying the rides and games, watching some live performances and then enjoying some delicious food and drink at Street Food Village. Here you can sample some of the UK’s tastiest dishes, and incredible craft beers and then head to Candy Cane Lane for pudding. Drinking water is available at all bars and selected taps around the site, so remember to bring a reusable bottle with you.

There’s more than enough to do at Winter Wonderland to keep the whole family entertained, from the Christmas market and skating at the UK’s largest outdoor rink to watching Zippos Christmas Circus or Cirque Berserk: Tornado, or visiting Santaland and Bar Ice for the coolest spot to have a festive tipple.

There are also facilities in the Santaland Chill Space for families to take some time out, warm up and relax in a quiet area. You can also heat up your children’s food and baby bottles there.

What's new for 2023 at Winter Wonderland?

  • The Santaland Unlimited Pass: new for 2023, this offers unrestricted access to over 15 family-friendly rides (including Race-O-Rama, Santaland Express Train, Winter Spinner, Racing Coaster, Reindeer Ride) in Santaland for just £25. Passholders also get free entry to Winter Wonderland.
  • Magical Ice Kingdom Norse Mythology: This year, visitors to the Magical Ice Kingdom will journey through the Nine Realms of Norse Mythology. This immersive exploration through a mythical frozen world will pass through a Viking ice village, the land of giants, fire and ice, as well as stunning representations of iconic Norse gods and goddesses. All within a specialist temperature-controlled environment of -10C, it’s one of the largest ice exhibitions in Europe. This year’s Magical Ice Kingdom will also feature a pre-recorded voiceover available to share the story with those who are visually impaired or blind. 
  • Underbelly takes over the Christmas Market: Underbelly, the live entertainment company behind Christmas in Leicester Square, Christmas in Trafalgar Square and Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe, joins as Winter Wonderland’s market provider. This year there will be a Scandi-themed market square, with Danish style chalets, artisan crafts, and ‘hygge’ bars for that ultimate winter shopping experience.
Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.