In my 34 before 34 list (part one and part two) I mentioned that I wanted to take Cece to see Father Christmas. Well, we went to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park on Sunday and she had a cuddle with the big guy in red. Whoop!
To be honest, I think I know I was more excited than she was but he was lovely. He promised he’d bring her something nice she could chew on, (you know, because she’s teething, not like a dog toy) and she didn’t look at him confused or cry even a little bit which is kind of what I worried might happen. So yay.
Seeing Santa at Winter Wonderland is free but they do take photos and give you the option to buy them. They also allow you to snap away with your own phone or camera and there’s no hard sell at all. Also, the grotto set up is beautiful (like I wish it was actually a cabin so I could move in, gorgeous,) and Santa himself is awesome. Obviously!
I hadn’t actually been to Winter Wonderland for a year or two and noticed quite a few changes. It seems much easier to navigate now with definite zones and areas set up and there’s an app you can download with a map and a big “you are here” arrow that follows you around. Very useful when you’re looking for one particular thing, like Santaland.
It’s probably because we got there about midday on Sunday but getting around, even with the pram, was quite easy. There was no queuing to get in and we managed to navigate the park with ease. Although by the time we were leaving, at around 3.30pm ish, it looked like queueing to get in was starting to build up. Going at this time did mean we missed out on how pretty all the lights look in the dark but I still managed to bag a few of my festive favourites. I can’t hit a Christmas market-type thing without stuffing my face full of sausage. *Mind out of the gutter, please!* I obviously mean I love a bratwurst and curry ketchup. Plus, I couldn’t let the chance for some hot alcohol to go amiss either so I washed that down with some delicious gluhwein. I was tempted by the warm toffee apple cider but decided to stick with what I know. The only thing that was missing from my trifecta of festive treats was churros. I saw loads of stalls before I wanted them, then once I decided it was time they disappeared! Sad face. Never mind, I’m sure I can convince Tom to hit the Southbank or something with me one evening or over the weekend to get my fix.
I did come away feeling more festive but I was a little sad we missed the lights and never got the chance to hit up the carousel bar or go ice skating. That was down to poor planning on my behalf though really.
I love that this huge Christmassy spectacle hits Hyde Park every winter. It gives me the warm and fuzzies thinking back to visits gone by. Anything that can an extra bit of magic to Christmas is a-ok in my book.