21 Aug 2014
I had been debating for weeks about whether to go to Lollibop with an under 2 year old as I just wasn’t sure it was worth the time, money and effort to take Bee this year. But thanks to Little Tikes, who offered us tickets, we went on the final day, Sunday. And am glad we did go!
For those that don’t know what Lollibop is, in brief it is a festival for kids aimed at ages 10 and under. I had read previous reviews about how crowded it was the year before, and before going on Sunday I read recent reviews which were complaining about lengthy delays with parking and queues, and the parking area getting muddy. In all honesty it did make me nervous as Bee isn’t very good in the car and I didn’t want to be stuck in it any longer than necessary.
And I don’t do mud.
With rain being forecast there was the possibility of mud.
I don’t own a pair of wellies so was panicking slightly.
However there was nothing to fear.
We arrived about 15 minutes after the festival opened, and we were not stuck in a queue for parking at all. And the parking area was not muddy! My only complaint is that I did think the £10 parking was a bit steep for parking in a field. If you pre-booked then it was only £6 but still, with the cost of the ticket and then the parking on top, it seemed a bit much.
We headed straight for Little Tikes Tikes Town as it was close to the entrance.
Tikes Town is designed for children to play, pretend, drive, slide and ride. Packed with lots of Little Tikes’ iconic toys including the Cosy Coupe and the Tikes Town Playhouse, parents can get involved or enjoy a break in the deckchair area outside the white picket fence, whilst their children run wild in Tikes Town.
There were no queues when we arrived and Bee got straight in to the fenced area to play with the toys. Only a certain number of children are allowed in at one time and for a certain amount of time. As Bee was the last one to go in, it did feel like she didn’t get to spend long in there. She was all slightly apprehensive about it and by the time she warmed up and starting playing, our session was over! We had hoped to go back later but with so much else going on we didn’t get a chance.
Bee loves climbing and slides so had a go on them.
And she had to have a look in the playhouse.
And have a go on the cars.
She wasn’t too happy at having to leave once she got more confident about playing but she soon forgot about it as we moved on to the to the next place.
Baby Ballet was right next door and Bee was happy to be given a balloon. We sat down to watch the show but Bee wasn’t in the mood for joining in. She normally loves dancing but she seemed more interested in exploring.
Our next stop was the Duplo tent. Both Bee and Munchkin got stuck in with making ice cream! (I thought that was soooo cool and am tempted to buy
me them some Duplo. There was also a green tent into which you took your creation and it was made into a quick animation.
Itsy Bitsy Strictly was next to the Duplo play area and we were just in time to see part of the show, where dances moves were being taught to the children. Bee again didn’t seem to be in the mood to join in.
Our next stop was the Discovery Zone and we headed straight to National Geographic Kids, after passing Kia motors and what I believe was a chipmunk. Bee wasn’t too impressed by it and wouldn’t go near it!
Munchkin loves factual books and magazines…she is slowly turning into a walking encyclopedia. So of course she wanted to sign up for the National Geographic Kids Magazine. There was a good deal on for the magazine, and to be honest I really don’t mind spending money on informative and educational things like this so we signed up and she was very happy with the goody bag she got for signing up.
The animal man was due to do a show but we decided not to wait.
Also in the discovery Zone was the River Island Kids design a T-shirt. There was a slight queue for this but again we decided not to queue up as there were so many other things to do and Munchkin wasn’t too bothered about making a T-shirt.
Heading over to the Science Museum, a heavy shower hit. And everyone in the area sheltered in the tent, making it crowded and we were literally stuck for a while. The science museum had some fun things for the children to join in with and get a stamp for each activity completed, but with the tent packed it was virtually impossible to get around and do them all.
As it was almost time for Chris and Pui’s show, we headed over to the Lollipaladium, after the rain shower, only to find a massive queue! There was no way Bee was going to queue up and no guarantee we would get in to see them so we left it. I was disappointed by that as that was one show we did want to watch. And I can understand people being upset when they have paid for the tickets thinking they would see the main stars but there was no guarantee of this.
There was also a queue to see Thomas and have your picture taken. As both the girls aren’t into Thomas we didn’t have to queue so had a go at some of the fun games in the area. Munchkin had a go at a game similar to ‘hook a duck’ where instead you hooked Thomas and she won a sticker book and crayons.
Lollibop Live was so much better than the Lollipaladium as it was open, with some benches and there was also a screen next to it so people at the back could see better. Alex Winters was a fab host and Bee got excited to see Poppy Cat and kept shouting ‘Cat!! Look cat!’
The only problem was adults who insisted on standing which made it difficult for little children behind them to see.
As we had to leave the festival early, we didn’t hang around too much to see the shows as we wanted to explore the other areas. We didn’t attempt any of the Meet and Greets either so don’t know how busy it got.
As we continued exploring we came across Titan the Robot entertaining the crowds and also spotted a tent for the under 3’s.
Bee was interested in seeing the Baby Annabelle stall and went to take a look at the dolls. She really does love her dolls.
Harry Potter was also on our list of things to check out and they were doing Magic Shows but we missed that. They were also doing some crafty things like planting magic beans but Munchkin didn’t want to do that for some reason.
As we left the tent, Bee spotted some animals and promptly went off shouting ‘Duck, Duck!’ I think that was the highlight of her day!
Finally we had a wander around the stalls selling things and Munchkin brought some bubbles and bubble sticks!
Unfortunately we had to leave early and so we missed Justin who was due on the stage after 3. The organisers had realised that a lot of people were missing out on seeing some of the shows so Mr Bloom and Justin had been moved to the outdoor stage so more people could see them. I am pretty sure it would have been crowded but then I guess that is pretty much what a festival is about!
So would I go again?
I think yes I would, and we would easily be able to spend the whole day there. Having read reviews from other bloggers I have realised we missed so much even though we walked around the whole area. However, it would be good if all the acts could be out in the open so everyone who wants to see them can do.
Even though we left at 2 after arriving at 10, Bee was already exhausted and promptly fell asleep as soon as I picked her up and started walking towards the car park!
Thank you again to Little Tikes who provided us with the tickets and we hope to be at Lollibop next year!