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A lighted archway greets visitors to the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London.
A lighted archway greets visitors to the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
A lighted archway greets visitors to the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London.
A lighted archway greets visitors to the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
A giant Ferris wheel provides the background to an animated tree trunk that told jokes to passers-by at the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London.
A giant Ferris wheel provides the background to an animated tree trunk that told jokes to passers-by at the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
A delicate paper decoration sits on a tree branch at the last year's Winter Wonderland in London's Hyde Park.
A delicate paper decoration sits on a tree branch at the last year's Winter Wonderland in London's Hyde Park. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Colorful lollipops that look like whirligigs and candy canes make for festive treats at last year's Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
Colorful lollipops that look like whirligigs and candy canes make for festive treats at last year's Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Rides galore light up the midway at London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park.
Rides galore light up the midway at London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Germans, with their Oktoberfest beer hall and other attractions in in area called the Bavarian Village, had a huge presence at the Winter Wonderland Hyde Park.
Germans, with their Oktoberfest beer hall and other attractions in in area called the Bavarian Village, had a huge presence at the Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Sparkling tree lights compete with midway lights for the prettiest show at the Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London.
Sparkling tree lights compete with midway lights for the prettiest show at the Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Food from all corners of the world is available at London's Winter Wonderland Hyde Park, as proven by this World Burgers stand in 2012.
Food from all corners of the world is available at London's Winter Wonderland Hyde Park, as proven by this World Burgers stand in 2012. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
A fanciful double-decker carousel offered rides on a dragon and leopard as well as the usual merry-go-round horses at London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park.
A fanciful double-decker carousel offered rides on a dragon and leopard as well as the usual merry-go-round horses at London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Those seeking liquid refreshment could ride a revolving bar with a carousel theme at the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London.
Those seeking liquid refreshment could ride a revolving bar with a carousel theme at the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
A mischievous pirate appears innocent enough --- until someone passes by him, whereupon he spits water at them at the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London.
A mischievous pirate appears innocent enough --- until someone passes by him, whereupon he spits water at them at the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
A roller coaster helps light up the midway at London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park.
A roller coaster helps light up the midway at London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
A parrot adorns a pirate-themed attraction at the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London.
A parrot adorns a pirate-themed attraction at the 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
This pirate appears to be up to no good at an attraction at London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park.
This pirate appears to be up to no good at an attraction at London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Sky-high rides and refreshment stands are a big part of Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London.
Sky-high rides and refreshment stands are a big part of Winter Wonderland Hyde Park in London. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Typical German scenes are posted on a pole at the Bavarian Village section of London's Winter Wonderland Hyde Park.
Typical German scenes are posted on a pole at the Bavarian Village section of London's Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
A sweet penguin ride offers a dizzying experience for youngsters visiting London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park.
A sweet penguin ride offers a dizzying experience for youngsters visiting London's 2012 Winter Wonderland Hyde Park. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Reindeer really do fly --- at least they did at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland last year.
Reindeer really do fly --- at least they did at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland last year. (Pary Smith/ Stars and Stripes)
A vendor at the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park shows off his Christmas cake made on a rod.
A vendor at the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park shows off his Christmas cake made on a rod. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
A German labyrinth fun house was a part of last year's Winter Wonderland.
A German labyrinth fun house was a part of last year's Winter Wonderland. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)

This time of year, London’s famous Hyde Park transforms into a Winter Wonderland, bringing with it a whimsical holiday experience.

In 2012, Winter Wonderland Hyde Park offered lines of stalls selling decorations, lights, bags and figurines; food-and-drink stands; a circus; terrifyingly tall rides; mischievous, animated figures; and beautiful ice sculptures. A rotating bar with a carousel theme, complete with merry-go-round horses, was a popular meeting place. An ice skating rink was crowded with accomplished and not-so-accomplished skaters.

For those living in England but longing for a German Christmas market experience, never fear. The Germans have a huge presence at Wonderland this year with a Bavarian Village, an Oktoberfest hall, live music and vendors selling bratwurst, pretzels, beer and mulled wine.

Many of the other popular attractions from last year’s Wonderland are back for this year’s market, which lasts through Jan. 5 (closed Christmas Day). Entrance is free. The website is www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com.

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