Friday just gone saw the boys and I travelling on the overground to Stratford, The home of the Olympics last year and this year Lollibop, the BIG bash for little people. This would be our second year of attending Lollibop, last year it was held in Regents Park, the boys have been looking forward to this day all year and couldn’t wait to see Dick and Dom again and Skylanders. We live not far away so we was very lucky that the event was pretty much on our doorstep, it took us half hour to travel on the train but it was a good 10 minutes walk away from Westfield Shopping Centre. We arrived in good time so we popped into the shopping centre to grab ourselves a spot of breakfast, M&S is right next to the exit of the train station and may i add to lovely selection of pastries. On leaving the train station we followed the signs to the EVENTS for the Queen Elizabeth Park, it was quite a walk but the volunteers who were dressed in pink, who were also games makers last year, were very friendly and pointed with big foam hands the way to Lollibop, stopping the traffic and helping us cross the roads and also talking to the children. The walk took you past the old site of the Olympics
Upon arrival at the Lollibop Event there was a queue which we stood in for 15 minutes, i did hear other guests moaning about the queue but to be honest it was moving slowly and alot of people was arriving at the same time so there was obviously going to be some sort of queue, Lolli came out to the crowd to say hello which was nice for the children and got them all excited about what they were going to see once through the gates and inside.
Once inside we made our way to the back of the festival which is where the main Lolli stage was and suddenly realised that it was a very long way especially when you have three children to keep an on and they run off in different directions to the many tents, areas and zones that were there, we found a spot under a huge tent and sat down on a bench to look at the programme, this is something i wish i had done before arriving and have no idea why i didn’t!
The boys wanted to go and see the Skylanders Swap Force Team which was in the Lolli Arena, we thought that going there first would be ideal as it would get busy later on in the day
The boys enjoyed playing the new games and got all excited when they saw the swap tops and bottoms skylander figures, as they were playing the game Eruptot came out to greet everyone and pose for some photos
It wasn’t long before we heard the music tune to the Rastamouse and Da Easy Crew coming from the Lolli Main Stage so we headed over to see them.
The crowds were getting busy so we tried to edge a little closer to see a bit better but Oliver couldn’t see so Jak picked him up and put him on his shoulders, this really is the only way for the kiddies to watch the shows unless they are down the front.
Next up we went over to see Tickety Toc in the Lollipalladium in the Big Top, Oliver absolutely loves Tommy and Talulah but was really upset to see them in person, bless him! I think it was the fact that they were huge, he wouldn’t go anywhere near the Characters. It didn’t stop us from bopping away with them while they were singing and dancing on stage
Joseph found it easy to make his way down to the front, so he got a really good view.
As we walked around the venue we saw lots of the characters walking around stopping for photo opportunities with the littlies, we met Peppa Pig, Postman Pat, Eruptot (Skylanders), Top Trumps, Tickety Toc’s Tommy and Talulah, Mr Men and Little Miss, Lalaloopsy and a favourite of all of ours was Titan The Robot
Jak’s favourite part of the day was going to the Tween Town’s tent where he attended the Beat Boxing Workshops, he got picked to go up on the stage with the Beat Boxers from the Urban Arts Experience, in this area you could also book a place to have a go on the Graffiti wall, which were doing workshops all day long and the Media bus wehere there was open Mic workshops. Jak loved it here and he spent quite a while making the most of the beat boxing workshop, that much so that he went 3 times! He was awarded a certificate at the end of the day and they got him up on stage to present it to him
Whilst in the National Geographic Tent Jak was also called up to show everyone what he learnt in the Urban Arts Tent and he did some Beat Boxing for them
My boys love having an audience lol.
Whilst in the tent we also got to meet the Gorillas
Joseph loved the Wow Tent, he played with the toys and was given his very own little figure to take him with him, we guessed how many Figures that were in the bowl for a chance to win some Wow Toys. Oliver and Joseph really enjoyed playing with the toys, so much so that we went back a couple of times during the day, toys without batteries are brilliant!
We had a very busy day which was jam packed full of activities to do, the boys really did have a brilliant day!
Dick and Dom’s show was very funny with some adult humour added in, so not only the children were the children giggling away but also the adults were sniggering away too! they got the crowd joining in with the games and had people up on stage, Jak obviously had to shout out the obligatory BOGIES out really loud but not loud enough as they didn’t hear him lol
We met Andy Day, the CBeebies presenter and he happily posed for a picture with the boys, he was very polite and had a little chat with them
Or top tips for future Lollibop goers would be
- Avoid the crowds at lunch time, the queues to the food tents were horrendous around 1pm. Take a light lunch with you as there are plenty of quiet areas in The Meadows where you can sit down and enjoy your food, if you are going to buy food there I would advice trying to eat before 11 and after 2.
- Plan ahead! Print off the free programmes before hand and mark down what you want to see. I found myself running from one place to another as i was on my own with three children all wanting to see something different at the same times. Lollibop do sell Lanyard programmes on the day for £3
- Hang around near the stages as they do Meet and Greet with Characters prior to the shows
- If you want to take part in an activity that needs a booking do it early as the places fill up really quickly
- Make the most of the Discovery Zone, the Science Museum tent and National Geographic Tents are really good for the children of all ages.
- Make sure that you put the Lost Child Wristbands on the children as it does get very busy
- Where comfortable shoes, the site is big and you will be doing lots of walking
There are plenty of places to eat but i found that this area was very busy because of the Main Stage, it would have been nice to have the Main stage in the middle somewhere or maybe near the Big Top as then it would have been easier to watch the shows that were coinciding with each other, i had the eldest wanting to see one thing and the youngest wanting to watch another.
There were so many more things that we missed out on as it was very busy, the best time of the day was early on or at about 4ish when the crowds began to disperse, this is when we went to see the Transformers and the Disco shed.
The boys had a pillow fight against each other, Joseph won!
I found that there were so many things to do and not enough time, it would have been easier if i had another adult to help out as sometimes i felt quite overwhelmed with the crowds and just needed a break from the walking, lucky enough i had the buggy and Oliver had a little nap and i had the eldest helping me out too.
I was slightly disappointed with the venue this year as last year in Regents Park it was lovely and Green, maybe it was because seeing queen Elizabeth Park last year to this year, it is so different, quite like a building site still but it isn’t fully open until next summer 2014. The boys on the other hand had a blast and can not wait til next year!
I was given tickets to Lollibop as an Ambassador, views are all honest and my own!