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Winter Wonderland Arrives in Hyde Park

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Days out, Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: christmas, christmas market, circus, fairground, father christmas, hyde park, ice skating, london, rides, santa, santa land, winter wonderland

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Winter Wonderland has opened for the Christmas season in Hyde Park, London; take your little ones along for a festive spectacle of lights, sounds and the smells of Christmas foods!

Situated at Hyde Park Corner, Winter Wonderland offers a Christmas Market, Christmas themed fairground rides, a big wheel, ice skating and lots more!  Winter Wonderland is full of sights and sounds that will trigger your little one's senses and bring that magic sparkle to Christmas.

Entry to Wonderland is free but you will need to buy tokens to enjoy the rides which typically cost between £2 and £4 per person.  Babies and toddlers will love Santa Land where all the rides are suitable for even the youngest visitors and they can meet Santa for free.  Kids will love the carousels, a train ride and many other fairground attractions.

Plenty of food stalls are scattered throughout, selling hearty fare including hog roasts, fish and chips, bratwurst, potatoes, soups and Belgian chips.  For grown-ups, there's mulled wine and German beers.  Food is a little on the pricey side for a family because you won't find children's portions, each food is priced at around £5, and with so many stalls around, everyone can choose a different meal.

The large attractions include a giant wheel with rides lasting around 15 minutes and Zippo's Circus.  The ice rink isn't particularly good for younger children as there are no 'Penguins' to help children stay on their feet and build confidence on the ice.  Keep an eye out for the talking tree, that will keep children engaged for hours.  There are plenty of toilets on site, as well as baby changing facilities in two locations.

At the Angels Market you will find Christmas decorations, London memorabilia, traditional toys and craft, jewellery and other gifts.

Winter Wonderland is open daily now, from 10am to 10pm, until 3rd January 2012.  Check out more information from the Winter Wonderland website.


No More Mince Pies for you Santa!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Health, Family , Tags: christmas, father christmas, health, role model, rudolf, safety, santa

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Santa should swap his mince pies and glass of brandy (or rum or wine) for a couple of Rudolf's carrots say public health experts at the British Medical Journal.  He should opt for a bike or even walk and get rid of the sleigh and reindeer!  We are told that the current image of Santa promotes laziness, drink-driving and speeding!

Dr Nathan Grills from Australia, claims that Santa offers a poor role model and should instead be promoting healthy living!  His studies reveal that the persona of Santa is very influential and the most recognisable character in childhood.  Because we suggest he drinks alcoholic beverages, this implies he is a drink driver and that clearly sets a bad example!  Similarly the mince pies are a high fat, high sugar cake product - countries where Santa is popular are also the countries where childhood obesity is greatest.  He adds that there's no seat belt on the sleigh and that Santa promotes fast driving!

Grills dressed-up as Santa to meet some children (lucky kids!) who offered hugs and kisses - even though some had runny noses, coughs and sneezes!  Yes, you've guessed it, he claimed Santa was a source of spreading infection too!

So, what do you make of that?!  I wonder if we should cancel Christmas all together because obviously the spread of germs, childhood obesity and drink-driving is all because of Santa!

Or perhaps we should look at the positive aspects, such as his spirit of geneorosity and impressive work ethhic, and teach our children what to eat, how to behave and a bit about road safely!  We wish Santa, and the festive and cheery Mr Grills from Australia, a MERRY CHRISTMAS!



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