Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 

Once again this year we opted for experiences over things at Christmas, so our Christmas budget for the kids mostly went to two things. 1- Hyde Park Winter Wonderland and 2- The Lion King the musical.  

Last year when we went to Winter Wonderland we had a good time but it was a Saturday and there were so many people it stressed me out.  When I heard about the preview charity night, I wanted in.  On the Thursday evening before Winter Wonderland “officially” opens, they host a charity event, where you buy a wristband and you can have unlimited rides.  I bought wristbands for everyone but my pregnant self, and focused all my attention on the delicious carnival foods.  

The kids had such a great time.  There were virtually no lines, so on their favorite rides they could just run right back up to the gate and get on again, and again.  I had such a good time watching them have a good time.  I think that Richard might have been disappointed to be the only accompanying adult, which meant he went on more than his share of silly rides whilst I ate doughnuts, but otherwise he had a really good time too.  And the kids were all relieved that since I was pregnant I wasn’t going to go on anything that they perceived as a threat to my life.  (See here.)  

I’ve heard people say “Why take your kids to Disneyland when they are too young to remember it?” To which I respond, “Because even if they don’t remember what a good time they had, I’ll never forget what a good time I had watching them have a good time.”   

In fact, there was one ride that the kids went on a couple times with another little girl, who from the looks of it had been riding repeatedly for some time.  She giggled delightfully through the entire thing. Every time.  Richard and I were so amused, and we were equally amused at how amused her dad was.  I doubt he’ll ever forget those minutes he spent watching his little girl feel so happy.   It makes me teary just thinking about it! (Doesn’t take much for me to get teary these days.)  

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No crowds. So chill.

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I don’t remember what we ate for dinner, but I’m sure it was hot and yummy.

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Double-decker carousel.

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Chocolate covered churros for the win. It’s like magic shell chocolate. Mmmm.

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Simon’s favorite ride was these reindeer that just sort of bounced up and down. He grinned the entire way around, and when it was time to go, he begged to go back and ride it a couple more times until they literally shut it down.

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A classic favorite with all our kids at any European carnival/fair we’ve been to.

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Bavarian Village.

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I rarely use the word stupid, but I think Fun Houses are stupid.

We lucked out on the weather, it didn’t rain on us at all and it wasn’t even too cold.  Cameron’s feet got wet walking through the park to get there, so his toes were cold, but otherwise I think we all stayed plenty warm.  We stayed until everything closed for the night and bought some “candy floss” (cotton candy) for the ride home.

​It was the perfect kick-off to the Christmas season and I’m so sad we can’t come back next year.  

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Urban living- train rides home.

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