Winter wonderland has a special place in many people’s festive schedules.  A type of funfair (in the grandest sense of the word), it brings to mind blinding lights, wild laughter and a sense of warmth on even the coldest winter nights. So what really makes this anticipated event stand out amongst the many attractions the winter season has to offer?


As I peered from behind my scarf, I was greeted with an array of lights, sounds, smells and sights. All my senses were occupied by the constant stream of unapologetically loud festive spirit. Winter wonderland did not seem to be for the easily overwhelmed. That being said, the immense number of people made it hard to believe that the place was ever unsuccessful, as it was back in 2005 when it first began. After a two year closure, and a change of management, there was a renewed hope that things would finally begin to kick off, and so they did, with it’s popularity expanding at break neck speed. 


And so there I was, in 2023, surveying my options, which seemed to be rather numerous. From an abundance of rides and rollercoasters to ice skating and ‘the magical ice kingdom’, an attraction using over 500 tonnes of snow and ice, there seemed to be something for all tastes. I decided to lay off the excitement for a while and go to check out the food. Presented before me were many culinary delights and cuisines, such as Swiss fondue and Lebanese street food. Although to be expected, I was a little taken aback at the prices, and so in a bid to not break the bank, I purchased a hot chocolate and nothing more. It wasn’t awful, but could’ve been better for the price. 


I made my way over to the rides, and after queuing for some time, I took a turn on the big wheel, which I must admit, had a gorgeous view. I also tried out the haunted mansion, something that in all honesty felt more Halloween than Christmas, but was a laugh all the same. Intrigued, I took some time to check out the ice sculptures, which I overheard many families gushing over, and after entering, I understood why. The sculptures were beautiful, shimmering and illuminated by lights that brought them to life, a truly magical experience. Chilled by the -10 conditions of the ice sculptures, I chose one more activity to do: ice skating. It was a little too packed for my liking, but after wobbling around a couple of times, I felt warmer, which was much appreciated under the circumstances. 


After visiting it myself, I do see the place’s attraction. One family gave me their perspective on the night, with two of the children, Ethan and Dylan, singing it’s praises, mentioning how they ‘loved the extraordinary roller coaster rides,’ and that they ‘had good food’, Naomi, their mother, seemed pleased but did mention that it was rather expensive! Winter Wonderland truly is for a diverse spread of people, the thrill seekers, the foodies, the Santa enthusiasts and families, providing a night not to be soon forgotton.