The parks are magical in winter so get out there and enjoy those crisp, bright mornings!
Then wrap up warm to cosy up from the icy bite at night because we’ve got a whole sackful of festive activities to enjoy this winter - from the return of the fantastic Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park to magical horse-drawn carriage rides in Richmond Park.
1. Come along to Winter Wonderland.
Get into the Christmas spirit at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland extravaganza of more than 100 spectacular rides and attractions. Brace yourself for lots of festive fun with ice skating, shows, roller-coaster rides, street food stalls, festive bars and live music. And it’s still free to enter the Winter Wonderland grounds to soak up the joyous atmosphere.
2. Book a fairy-tale horse-drawn carriage through Richmond Park.
What could be more magical than a carriage ride in beautiful Richmond Park? We’ve teamed up with Operation Centaur to bring you an experience like no other. A four-person carriage drawn by our beautiful greys will drive you through the park in style.
This 90-minute experience begins at Holly Lodge, Richmond Park, where you will be met with warm refreshments, and a unique behind-the-scenes visit of the working stables, as your horses are readied. You’ll embark on a 60-minute ride, under warm blankets through the park in all its stark winter beauty. There will, of course, be plenty of photo opportunities en route.
Proceeds help fund sustainable conservation initiatives with the working Shire horses in The Royal Parks.
3. Guided walk of Richmond Park.
What could be better than a stroll to take in the stark winter beauty of stunning Richmond Park – and what’s more you’ll be guided round the best bits.
Join the Friends of Richmond Park for a free guided walk around Richmond Park. Everyone is welcome.
Meet at Pen Ponds car park at 10:00am. Saturday 2 December. Most walks finish around midday.
For further information, visit the Friends of Richmond Park website or contact Ian McKenzie on 0208 943 0632.
4. Get a free Christmas Slice at Hyde Park’s Serpentine Bar & Kitchen this December.
Get yourselves out of the chill and into this fabulous restaurant, overlooking the Serpentine Lake. And as a special treat this December the first 150 people who buy a coffee get a free Christmas Slice – literally Christmas in a cake!
Show this blog to claim your slice! Hurry before they run out!
5. Meet Santa at ZSL London Zoo.
Families can book to Meet Santa at ZSL London Zoo as an extra special wintery treat on 9th, 10th & 16th-24th December.
Children can meet some of their favourite Christmas characters as well as visit animals!
Join in arts and crafts with Mrs Claus and chat with cheeky elves before heading into Santa’s grotto to meet the main man himself and receive an early Christmas gift.
Packed with pine trees and decked out for the season, visitors can wander the Christmas Village before venturing on to see our lions and penguins as they explore the rest of the Zoo.
Every child meeting Santa will receive a special gift. Parents can also buy a photo as a festive keepsake.
Prices vary. To book visit the ZSL web site.
6. Buy your sustainable Christmas tree from a Royal Park.
Lovers of The Royal Parks can give something back when they choose their Christmas tree this year. Visitors to Bushy Park, Greenwich Park and Richmond Park can buy a quality Christmas tree that not only looks fantastic, but is grown in a sustainable manner, in balance with nature. Your purchase helps The Royal Parks care for over 170,000 trees for Londoners to enjoy.
The Christmas trees will be available to buy at these parks:
Bushy Park 8am-6pm, on the last two weekends in November and daily throughout December until the 20th.
Greenwich Park 8am-5.45pm, on the last two weekends in November and daily throughout December until the 20th.
Richmond Park 8am-3.45pm, on the last two weekends in November and daily throughout December until the 20th.
7. Walking Tour - Christmas with Victoria and Albert.
As the year’s shortest day approaches, join us for a stroll in Kensington Gardens to discover how Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert introduced many of the traditions we recognise today. Discover why the robin features on Christmas cards and see first-hand where the geese were traditionally fattened for Christmas dinner.
Some traditions stretch right back to pagan beliefs and were developed to sustain us through winter’s darkest days, so come along and let our expert guide tell you more!
This event is pitched to an adult audience but children over 8 years old are welcome.
Saturday 9th Dec 2017, 10.30am – 12.000 pm
Tickets cost £5.
8. Watch the Peter Pan Cup on Christmas Day.
Be inspired by the serious swimmers who tackle a very chilly swim before they put their turkey in the oven.
Since 1864, swimmers have been taking to the water in Hyde Park to compete in an icy 100 yard race before heading home to tuck into their Christmas dinner.
Only members of the Serpentine Swimming Club can take part but the public can watch from the sidelines.
When: 25 December, 9am at the Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park.
‘Conker’ the Virgin Money London Marathon whilst supporting The Royal Parks
Set yourself a New Year challenge by signing up to run the world’s most famous marathon. Join Team Squirrel and raise money for London’s eight amazing Royal Parks. The race takes in stunning sites across London, starting in our very own Greenwich Park and finishing on The Mall in St James’s Park. So pull on your trainers and join our nutty scurry of runners on 22 April 2018! For more information and to secure your place Click here.
10. Enjoy New Year’s Day at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
Get your dry January off to the best start by getting up and out to spend the day at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
Its family day on January 1 and there is no alcohol sold on site - perfect if you overindulged the night before!
Winter Wonderland opens from 10am to 10pm and is free to enter, so join us and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
To find out more, visit Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.