Published on January 19th, 2013 | by Matthew Young0
Great European Winter Wonderland Festivals.
So it’s winter, that means Christmas time, New Years and lots of social activities you are obliged to take part in. Summer is well and truly over and with that, all your Summer Lovin’. Perhaps its time for a new winter Romance? Or a chance to show that special someone you can still be that romancing Lothario, and it doesn’t have to be valentines day. Perhaps you just want to kick it with some old friends in a park with some alcohol, like the good old days. Winter wonderlands are the way forward.
Good food, good drink, good music, fun rides and entertainment all conveniently placed in one park. Winter Wonderlands are popping up all over Europe as if Santa has taken his Lapland Organisation trans-Global. Here is a few of Europe’s most praised winter wonderland experiences in case you are heading abroad this Yule-time.
The original winter wonderland, in the frozen north of Scandinavia. Lapland is looked upon as the Disneyland of all winter experiences. Here you can go chill with the ACTUAL Santa-The-Old-St.-Nick-Father-Christmas-Clause himself and make sure his reindeer are in stead supply of carrots before the big Christmas run. Lapland is right on the edge of an endless Artic tundra and perfect for those who want to experience a European Christmas in it’s purest form. You can also have some adorable huskies pull you along on a sled while witnessing the northern lights above your head. Better than a lump of coal any day.
Barcelona has very old Christmas traditions dating back to 1786, and you’d be surprised at that although it’s a Mediterranean city with plenty of tropical wildlife it still receives it’s fair share of snow. In the winter of 2010 the city centre received around 4-6 inches of snow with buses out of town stopped running and some motorways deemed impassable. Barcelona has its very own rich history of Christmas and every year hold a wonderful winter wonderland with stall selling trinkets of all kinds and plenty of activities to see and do.
Switzerland do things a little differently at a festival they call Fastnacht. Fasnacht is essentially a german-switz version of Mardis gras complete with dressing up in outrageous costumes, floats, throwing beads and such. The festival starts on the Thursday before and ends on shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day!) it dates back to medieval times and is a celebration before lent.
The Austrians know how to party. Strap on your Laderhosen and bring out those beautiful Bavarian barmaids with a big pair of steins and the party is on.
Every year since four years ago I’ve been going to London’s Hyde Park winter wonderland, and it never disappoints. Some things can be a little expensive, but if you plan to spend a day there it’s well worth saving a little money for the day. The rides there aren’t like you average travelling steam fair, taking into consideration the concerning parent they are far more safety-conscious and with that far bigger and enjoyable than you’ve seen at fun fair. The Bavarian Hot Dogs are a must and although initially the Steins full of beer seem a bit pricey at £10 (£8 for 2 pints and £2 deposit for the stein) for me they are well worth it for the laugh especially if you are with a few mate in the Bavarian tents charging your glasses and trying to sing along with the Austrian. I would definitely recommend that after the waltzers mind you. I’ve already been this year but it’s open well into the new year so I’ll definitely be going again in January.