I find London quite a magical place at the best times, there’s something new to see, whether it’s Kenwood, a country house in London, or the view from the top of St Paul’s. However, at Christmas, it seems to get just that little bit more magical with the added sparkle around town. A London-Christmas stalwart, is Winter Wonderland which ‘pops up’in Hyde Park every festive season. Every year it seems to get bigger and better each year. This year the Imperial Ice Stars have brought the fabulously seasonal-appropriate Nutcracker on Ice to Winter Wonderland.
Firstly, even as a seasonal-weary 40 year old, walking into Winter Wonderland on a cold, dark, stormy night was nothing short of festive. It really lifted the spirits. The place is awash with colour, twinkly lights and well, Christmas! And the smell of mulled wine and the constant playing of the Christmas classics is just too enticing …
Tucked into the corner, near the Marble Arch entrance, is the Ice Palace Theatre, firstly from the outside it looks like something out of a fairy tale and then once inside, you feel like you are in a fairy tale under the twinkly ceiling bedecked with chandeliers. Oh, and parents, there is a bar in the foyer, ideal for supping something a little festive before the show.
The show itself is a feast for the eyes. The dancers are incredible: They are all world-class skaters and this is reflected in the jaw-dropping choreography. The skaters whizz around the frozen stage performing spins, lifts, jumps and throws. I won’t lie, my nerves were on edge as they performed some of these! There are a fair few tricks incorporated as well, with performances including fire twirling and a suspended hoop, it all makes for a great show.
We all know the story and music of The Nutcracker, and this hour-long show is filled with fabulous skating and beautiful costumes (look out for The Snowflakes and their fairy-light skirts: I need one for Christmas parties!). The kids loved it, and were mesmerised by the Nutcracker on Ice, in parts snow also falls on to the stage, and we all know kids and adults alike go a bit wild for snow, whether it’s real or fake! What’s more, the show is inspiring, my daughter has already asked to go ice-skating.
As it’s just an hour long, it is easy to make the Nutcracker on Ice part of a day trip to Winter Wonderland. The children’s eyes were on stalks at they wandered around the site – so many rides and attractions (including the biggest transportable roller coaster, which I find rather intriguing!), that we could have easily spent a whole day there and got our fill of Christmas feeling.
I hope to cover a few more of the wonderfully Christmassy delights in London over the next few weeks, I would love to know if you have any great recommendations, let me know in the comments.
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