Tag Archives: Enchanted forest

Lollibop – The Festival Just For Kids

27 Aug

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The Lollibop Festival is a magnificent 3-day event that is the only one of its kind!

What’s different about this festival from all others, is that it’s solely dedicated to the the little boppers of today (AKA the kids)! This basically means that if you’re between the ages of 0-10 years, then you’re gonna love it! Lollibop is Located within “Regents Park” one of London’s Royal Parks that also plays host to the Famous London Zoo! Lollibop is a child’s paradise, it’s been filled with magic, the type that creates long lasting magical memories for kids big and small

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We decided to check it out on the Saturday which is day 2 of this exciting 3 day event. I took the toddler and my daughter Alice-Sara wheres Little man enjoyed a days gardening with his dad instead. His that bit to old for Lollibop and given he knows this and likes to stick to the “Rules” he protested from the onset.

My sister also came along with my 2-year-old niece Amy. It’s nice when Harley gets to spend time with his cousin as they are both so close in age with just a mere 10 weeks between them. They’re great company for one another even if they do get into a little mischief every now and then!

The days plan basically consisted of leaving early to ensure our arrival at the Lollibop festival for when it opened! However, this simple plan was shattered when I was left running around like a headless chicken looking for odds and ends that I needed to take with me all while the toddler indulged in huge paddy thrashing around on the floor by my feet.

Then just when I thought nothing else could possibly go wrong Little man starts having a meltdown over his brother touching his things. I couldn’t just leave his dad dealing with it all, So in the end I didn’t actually get going till the afternoon! Thankfully South east London isn’t Wales so travelling didn’t prove to be much of a problem, even if we did have pushchairs on the not so child friendly London Underground!

This was our second year attending this festival which was now in its third year. Last year myself and sister just took the toddlers and despite there being one or two little things that needed a little ironing out, it was fantastic, which explains the reason why we were looking forward to discovering just what they had planed this time around.

It was over 90 degree heat that hit London that Saturday and the walk from the station to The Lollibop itself was anything but jolly! Last year the festival was set up in an area of the park that was much closer to the Regents Park entrance.This year however, it was being held much further within the parks grounds.This meant that regardless of the station you arrived at, you were still in for one hell of a walk as the nearest station to the Lollibop is at least 15 minutes walk away. At a guess I’d say that the move may have had something to do with the Olympics because when walking past last years plot I noticed it was occupied by a couple of Olympic mascots alongside hundreds of tourist snapping away at their cameras.

After a long walk through the park in what can only be described as deadly uncomfortable heat, we finally reached destination Lollibop! As expected there was no queuing to be done, what with it being the afternoon we strolled in no problem. Once inside I noticed how this years event was much larger than that of the previous one. Everywhere you turned something magical was taking place! There was clean toilets stocked with tissue at every corner of the park, plus dedicated areas to park up and leave your buggy. The area had been well decorated transforming this park space into a brightly coloured magical children’s kingdom. Large coloured flags hung from tall white beams that had been hoisted up high into the blue skies above, while pretty Bunton was draped around pretty tents, stalls and stands. All around us were hundreds of bubbles big and small floating through the air, it was magical!

As we arrived it was the sounds of the ZingZillas singing that greeted us as it roared out from the live stage that was located right in the centre of everything else making it easily accessible for all.The rest of the festival was divided into numerous different areas each hosting different shows, workshops and more. This therefore made things much easier to find.

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One of the great things about Lollibop is that once you have brought your ticket all the days activities are free (with the exception of food, drink and gifts).This includes all those important little things that kids just love, such as face painting and the opportunity to get themselves a child friendly air sprayed tattoo… Plus loads more besides.

Note: Queues for things such as face painting can become quite lengthy due to it’s popularity so be warned and get inline as early as you possibly can!

Lollibop, had organised some magical entertainment this year. Roald Dahl story telling, Horrible Histories, The science museum and that of the Skylanders area were particularly great for the older children and these seemed to be popular for the duration of the day.

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The organisers behind Lollibop had done a great job to ensure there was enough activities and workshops to keep everyone entertained. There was so much on offer and we felt quite honestly spoilt for choice. One of the first things we did was check out the Halfords riding tent where children were invited to jump on a bike or grab themselves a micro scooter to try. Next up we headed of to see Mister Maker which provided us with the perfect excuse to sit in the shade and cool down for a bit. Mister Maker did an awesome job at entertaining the children. The show last around 20 minutes and within this time he did some quick and easy crafting demonstrations while getting the kids up on their feet and participating in the fun by encouraging them to make various miming actions like pretending to paint, mixing a pot of glue or cutting out shapes. In all honesty, I think the toddlers were quite star struck as their expressions went from that of wide eyed and open mouth to twinkling eyes and giant smiles as they were overcome with excitement.

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Other guest that had Harley jumping up and down for joy was that of the Moshi Monsters who at one point he refused to leave. The Moshlings had also brought along their huge double decker tour bus that doubles up as a Moshi Monsters Discount shop therefore selling everything Moshi monster at cheaper prices. Nonetheless, this did pose a problem for some, especially when kids both big and small could be seen throwing themselves to the ground howling the words “I want, I want!” as their helpless parents stood red faced and close to a mental breakdown.

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This year there was an endless array of crafts and activities on offer. The 3ft and under area was particularly good for little ones with its extra security and fenced of location. WOW toys (one of Harley’s favourite brand of toy) had a great tent that was full of WOW toys for the children to play with while parents were offered the opportunity to grab a beanbag in the shade. I don’t doubt Harley recognised the WOW area from last year when I had no choice but to carry him out kicking and screaming when it was time to move on. This year both Harley and Amy had loads of fun getting to grips with the many different WOW toys on offer and thankfully didn’t do a repeat of last year when it was time to leave.

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This years Lollibop was home to many different children’s tv characters and Harley loved getting to see them all. We even run into the super cute Haribo teddy as he walked around the area handing out sweets to anyone who came his way. We then meet the one and only Titan the Robot and this for me has to be the highlight of the day. This clever futuristic robot was everything you would expect from a robot and more. There was never anything this brilliant when I was a kid! All we got was my dad dressed head to toe in cardboard boxes with bottle tops stuck all over him. Titan was absolutely massive and would have made my 6ft odd brother look a midget. He was also kinda humorous as he let out some very comical one liners. As for my my daughter, she couldn’t get enough of him and therefore ended up chasing him around the park taking numerous pictures for her very own blog

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The live stage offered a wealth of entertainment With a number of great acts such as Mr men and ZingZillas taking to the stage. It was having CBeebies presenter Alex alongside the lovely Katie from the CBeebies show” I can Cook” that really worked up the crowd resulting in a sea of families smiling and dancing till the end.

Alice-Sara was also pleased to see Dick and Dom do their thing up on the main stage, and eagerly participated with all the games that were played.

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Of course We were never going to fit everything in given we had missed out on the mornings goings on, but we still manage to squeeze in a reasonable amount. We finished a great afternoon by way of chilling out on a couple of toadstools over at the enchanted forest where we all enjoyed story time with the loveable Waybloo.

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So, there you have it! The Lollibop was a success. It was bigger and better than the last, a day that I’m sure both myself and the children will remember forever more. With this do you really need to ask the question… “would you recommend the lollibop festival to others ?” My answer… Hell Yer!

If you missed out on the Lollibop this summer then check out the Lollibop Mini Disco due to kick off this October half term (2012) at Ministry of Sound London. You can grab Earlybird tickets for just a tenner per person. Check the Lollibop website that has all the information you need.

Lastly I’ve made a little list of tips you may want to consider if attending the Lollibop Festival in 2013. I’ve also included information relating to the Lollibop’s Disability Access Policy and how these services were provided this year (2012).

Things to consider if visiting the Lollibop:

Arrive early to avoid long queues at the face painting stand.

Check the whether forecast and ensure you pack appropriate supplies for the day. The Lollibop is a festival that takes place during the summer month of August so you stand a good chance of sunshine. Bottled water, plenty of sun protection and sun hats for all are therefore essential. I’d personally advise that you also pop in your bag a suitable lightweight waterproof jacket & some wellies! After all this is London we’re talking about.

Food isn’t cheap but is reasonably priced in comparison to other festivals.

Gifts are reasonably priced with Helium balloons costing around £5.

If the Festival remains in the same area of the park next year you will need to remember that this is a fair walk from the nearest tube station which is Camden town.

Toilet facilities are good so please, there is no need to bring your own
loo roll.

You can check out all the latest updates over on the Lollibop Facebook Page or if twitter is more your thing you can also find them there too!

Autism & Disability Friendly?

Little man didn’t come along but I did check out the Website earlier on in the year on what accommodations would be made for those with disabilities. I also tried my best to follow this up on the day.

Gaining Access To Disabled Facilities: In-order to fully access the disabled facilities a form had to be downloaded, completed and emailed back to the lollibop team. A photocopy of DLA letter or similar must be forwarded to the the Lollibop team with application. This is a good idea in many respects as it allows organisers a way of ensuring disabled peoples needs are fully met. This system also stops people abusing the facilities provided. However this also means you need your forms submitted pretty quickly normally within a few weeks of purchasing your tickets. The final date for submitting a form this year was the 6th of August meaning those with disabilities, would not be able to enjoy spontaneity and would not be able to access the disabled facilities if turning up and buying a ticket on the day.

The Facilities on offer:
LolliBop provides facilities to those with disabilities within that of its own dedicated area “The Arena” A free carer/PA ticket where required can also be provided to ensure the day is both enjoyable and comfortable for those with disabilities. Note: Carer/PA tickets need to be applied for using the form discussed above.

A viewing platform is available at the LolliBop Live Stage so all can enjoy the performances on offer. As great as this seems Lollibop do have a strict one plus one policy (disabled customer + their carer/PA) and its noted that Carer/PA’s may be asked to leave the platform when it is busy to avoid overcrowding. Note the above isn’t great for the single mum with an autistic child and 2 siblings in tow. The parent/carer would struggle if they were unable to leave the two smaller children to be of assistance to the child on the spectrum. A child like mine would be overly anxious to leave their mothers side. However, I do understand why the Lollibop are imposing these rule and I’m unsure If accommodations can be made in these situations as they may well have been this year.

General Notes: All disabled customers are welcome at Regent’s Park, but as it is a greenfield site there are sections of the arena that have uneven ground meaning that sometimes, access is difficult. Lollibop do note that stewards however, will be around to assist those having any difficulties.

I’ve been advised by a mother of a child with disabilities, that the toilet facilities were of a great standard.

Disabled Parking is allocated to the Blue badge holder on a first come first serve basis.

Lollibop Say… We will provide access to the viewing platform for all customers that need use of this facility. This includes, though not exclusively, wheelchair users, customers who are unable to stand for long periods, customers unable to be in large crowds and customers with invisible disabilities.

The music was quite loud as one would expect. However we discovered that ear defenders were on Sale at the official merchandise stall and these were really fairly priced. Despite Little man not attending we brought some ear defenders for Harley as his quite sensitive to loud noise/music.

Upcoming Competition

What’s more I decided to buy an extra set of children’s ear defenders to offer on my blog as a prize. These are great for any child attending a festival but are used a great deal on a daily basis for the child with SPD or ASD. The ear defenders along with a few other pieces will ran as a competition tomorrow.

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The 2012 Lollibop festival for little ones

4 Jul

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So I went last year with the toddler and it was an absolute blast… Now it’s almost that time again… Time for the Lollibop, the kids festival that has it all.

I blogged earlier in the year to alert all readers that the early bird tickets went on sale, now I can’t quite believe that it’s almost here already!

Last years festival was amazing, I went along with my sister and we both took along out toddlers. Seriously, it was a toddlers paradise. I had to drag Harley kicking and screaming when it was time to leave… He loved it.

If you haven’t got your tickets to this years Lollibop at Regents park then you just may want to after reading the updated line up below.

LolliBop, in partnership with John Lewis, is returning to Regent’s Park this summer, with a line up designed to delight mini festival goers. Billed as The Big Bash for Little People, the event takes place between August 17 and 19 and is aimed at children up to the age of 10.

The ‘LolliBop Live’ stage will play host to some of the hottest names in kids entertainment with musical performances from the likes of the ZingZilla’s, Jassa Aluwahlia (Art Attack) and The Mr Men & Little Miss Party Roadshow. TV favourites Dick and Dom will also take to the stage to entertain crowds with their unique blend of music and games.

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Celebrating its first year in the West End, Shrek the Musical will also make a special appearance with a performance from the award-winning show (Sunday 19 only).

Global phenomenon Moshi Monsters will also be on site, bringing the UK’s first Moshi Monsters Mash Up Tournament to Lollibop. Taking place each day, children are challenged to put their Mash Up skills to the test. All players will also receive a free pack of Mash Up cards, so everyone can join in. Fans are encouraged to bring their own collections with them, as there has never been a better chance to trade with other Moshi Card collectors. Head over to the Moshi tent for lots of other fun and games including character appearances, monster quizzes and more!

In the Lollipaladium, see the story of The Gruffalo brought to life on the stage with plenty of audience interaction. CBeebies favourite, Mister Maker will be on hand to demonstrate his unique arts and crafts skills. Mister Maker is a real life character who gets inspiration to make art from everything around him. Packed full of stimulating ideas, set in his own fantasy art world, prepare to expect the unexpected!

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The brand new life-size Transformers Optimus Prime Truck will also be at the three day event, giving fans the chance to get up and personal with this movie legend.

Other headline attractions include yoga sessions with Waybuloo, workshops by Horrible Histories, Roald Dahl Museum and Storytelling Centre, performances by 8ft Titan the Robot, an Alice In Wonderland tea party and a chance to meet ‘Tiny’, a 125 million years young dinosaur.

Pint sized guests (and grown ups) will notice a few more additions to the 2012 event.

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The ‘LolliBop Kitchen‘ is an exciting new area, where LolliBoppers will have the chance to learn new skills from live demonstrations and interactive workshops, featuring popular blogger My Daddy Cooks.

A new ’Tween Town‘ area will feature a number of activities for older kids including street dance, hula-hooping, magic and beat-boxing workshops, plus an older arts and crafts tent and a brand new laser room!

Halfords will create a bespoke Bike City at LolliBop, which will include a Wacky Races obstacle course for under 5’s, where children can be the first to try out a brand new range of Balance and Apollo kids bikes. For older kids, highlights include a BMX stunt display and demo area.

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Other new areas include: ‘LolliBop Animal Curiosities’, which features animals including a polar bear, a dinosaur and gorillas! ‘The Disco Shed‘ which will have mini boppers (and parents!) dancing the day away and ‘The Village Green‘ – the perfect spot to chill out and enjoy some street theatre.

Back by popular demand, the Science Museum are preparing for a triumphant return to Regent’s Park with an expanded area and dedicated Science Zone.

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For pre-schoolers, the ‘3ft & Under’ area is also back. Confirmed activities include a mini disco, tiny play, little arts, baby ballet, yoga, teddy bears picnic and sing and sign. There will be two boob and botty boudoirs this year, and covered buggy parks and lollishade areas are also being created.

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Old favourites, including ‘LolliSports‘, ‘Imagination Stations‘, ‘Itsy Bitsy Strictly‘ and ‘The Enchanted Forest‘ will all also return for 2012.

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And if that wasn’t enough, there are plenty of arts and craft activities, face painting and workshops, including circus skills.

A wide selection of food and drink stalls are on offer to provide a welcome rest.

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All of the activities, stages and events are included in the entry ticket price, which starts at £22 per person. For more information, including a full programme of events, visit www.lollibopfestival.com

LolliBop 2012

28 Mar

Last year myself and the youngest member of the household, got to experience a fun filled day at the fabulous Lollibop festival, the festival especially for tenny boppers. Seriously, I cannot put into words how awesome an event this really is!

A few days back I received an email informing me that the Super Early bird tickets for this exciting event have now gone on sale (as of the 22nd March)! Trust me, last year this was an absolute sell out and you really don’t want to miss out!

LOLLIBOP SUPER EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE

LolliBop 2012 tickets went on sale Thursday, 22 March for a super early bird price of £19.50pp. There are a limited number of tickets available at this special price for the family event, which is returning to Regent’s Park, August 17-19.

LolliBop are delighted to announce Halfords as an official partner for the 2012 event.  Halfords will create a bespoke Bike City at LolliBop, which will include a Wacky Races obstacle course for under 5s, where children can be the first to try out a brand new range of Balance and Apollo kids Bikes. LolliBopper’s will be the first in the country to ride the new bikes, which are available to buy exclusively at Halfords from September. For big brothers and sisters highlights include a BMX stunt display and demo area.

Pint sized guests (and grown ups) will notice a few more additions to the 2012 event.

The ‘LolliBop Kitchen‘ will bring an exciting new area to the event, where LolliBoppers will have the chance to learn new skills from live demonstrations and interactive workshops.  A new ’Tween‘ area will play host a number of activities including street dance, hula hoop, and beatbox workshops, and even it’s very own laser room!

Other new areas include ‘The LolliBop Human Zoo’, ‘The Disco Shed‘, and the ‘The Village Green‘ (with its own live music, craft stalls, and street theatre).

Back by popular demand, the Science Museum are preparing for a triumphant return to Regent’s Park with an expanded area and dedicated Science Zone.

For pre-schoolers, the ‘3 ft & Under’ area is back.  Confirmed activities include a mini disco, tiny play, little arts, yoga, teddy bears picnic and baby salsa.  An extended covered buggy park is also being created.

Old favourites, including ‘LolliSports‘, ‘Imagination Stations‘, ‘Itsy Bitsy Strictly‘ and ‘The Enchanted Forest‘ will all return for 2012.

And of course no festival would be complete with a live stage.  ‘LolliBop Live’ will play host to some of the hottest names in kids entertainment, with some surprises for adults to.  Headliners to be announced soon.

LolliBop Super Early Bird day tickets are on sale now priced £19.50pp (numbers are limited). http://www.lollibopfestival.co.uk

Bopping at the Lollibop

11 Aug

Friday the 5th August was certainly a day to remember for both myself and that of my youngest, 20 month old, ‘Harley’ aka little, ‘H’ 

I had been very fortunate to obtain a, “Press pass ” entitling a family of four free  VIP access into the Lollibop (the three-day festival designed especially for tiny-weeny partygoers) It was noted that the festival was best suited to children aged ten and under, Little man is ten, eleven in October, looking at the programme, I didn’t think it would appeal to him… I was right! It didn’t! Little man decided to spend the day with dad, over indulging in his, “Special interest… Buses” My eight year old daughter had already made plans to go on a trip to the seaside with her friend (I know, better social life than me)! So, It was just me and my very cheeky toddler, ‘H’. Knowing I had access for up to 4 people, I decided to invite my younger sister, ‘Rachel’ and her daughter, “Amy” a 18 month old crazed, “Waybuloo fan” 

Finally the day had arrived, I don’t know who was more excited, Me or the children? Yet the morning wasn’t one of my best! Everything that could possibly go wrong… did! Harley thought it was a great time to show of his talent, “Having a tantrum” and as for me, I was putting washing powder in the microwave and milk in the washing machine. I hadn’t hardly slept a wink the night before and this had nothing to do with Little man! I had struggled with the hellish heat and found it impossible to get comfortable. This resulted in me walking around like a zombie the best part of the morning. Finally having left the house I met up with my little sister and niece and we headed to the train station. Once there I discovered I had forgotten Harley’s rains resulting in a crazy dash around Oxford Street in a bid to purchase my third pair of rains this year (forgetful being my second middle name, Late my first). We finally reached Regents park, the location for the Lollibop. Harley had cried the whole way there. I was at my wit’s end, praying the day would be worth the stress of that horrid morning.

It wasn’t particularly hard to locate the venue once of the tube at Regents Park. It was pretty well sign-posted and only a two-minute walk just across the road. However, we should have entered via the press tent, which I just couldn’t locate. We were thankfully allowed through the main gate where we were directed to the press area to obtain wristbands and passes. My first impressions were good ones! Just through the main gate to the right you would find, “Lollibop’s transport for kids” (Smart trike with parent handle) were available to borrow for the deterioration of your day, I’m unsure if there was charge for the service, but I don’t think so. The area looked amazing, with lots going on. The queues didn’t look that long and the smiles displayed on the face of almost every child said it all! 

On the way to the press tent, we bumped into some really funky characters, Our first of the day. Harley looked at this two funky little oldies with nothing but confusion, Me I thought they were pretty cool. Harley was here to see someone with a little more popularity, “Bob the Builder” would be his highlight of the day, what with him being his biggest fan. Having made it to the press tent, I met the very lovely Jen and her team. After a warm friendly welcome, a cold drink and a nappy change, we were off. 

Leaving the pushchairs safely in the VIP tent, we put this pair of over excited toddlers on their rains (yes, new rains £12 Oxford St) and off we went. 

Bob the Builder was due to meet and greet in the 3 Ft and under area of the festival, in around 20 minutes time. So, with this in mind we decided to stay close by, opting to set the kids free in the soft play area. What is it with kids and balls? Seriously Little H is ball pit crazy. He loved diving in and out of the balls  and Amy seemed to enjoy it too… Well, that was in-till a bigger boy dived in, knocking H flying over the side of the pit. Thankful it’s a great padded area and my little boy was brave, he wiped his little tears, got up and throw himself back in. The soft play area was nice enough… However a little constructive criticism, “Big kids should not have been allowed in the soft play area or that of the 3 Ft area all together” (with the exception of meet and greets , yes bigger kids like Bob too). It was clearly designed for the smallest of little people and having ten-year old + boys jumping all over the place ruined a great play session for what looked like many. Lastly it wasn’t fenced in, meaning your child would escape every ten minutes and you would need to set chase. Apart from these two things, It was lots of fun.

Harley seemed happy in the soft play area and I wondered just how I would persuade him to leave. Then he saw something! “Bob Builder, Bob Builder” Harley shouted frantically. Yes, there was Bob making his way to his meet & greet. I grabbed Harley making a mad dash for the gate, “I didn’t fancy a long wait as Harley just wouldn’t have understood” Luckily we only had one or two people in front. 

This to me was the highlight of the day! It made the whole stress of that morning extremely worth it, I even had a tear in my eye as I watched my little boy walk up to Bob, put his little hands out and say, “Bob Builder, hello” In a shocked little voice. I whispered to the big guy,”I warn you, this is Harley and his your number 1 fan and from now on, your biggest stalker” It was at that moment I thought to myself, “Jesus, How am I going to get him out of here” We tried to get Harley to turn to face the camera so I could catcher the beautiful moment. Amy obliged without problem, yet H was unable to take his eye’s of the big guy, he was totally star struck. Take a look for yourself!

As suspected H didn’t fancy leaving his mate Bob the Builder! I turn around to see just how long the queue had now become…  there was only one thing left for me to do, The good old, “Grab & run” As he so angrily kicked his little legs while delivering a string of  head-butts to my chest, he shouted, “No, no, More..More… Bob builder, Fix it” I turned to see Bob bobbing up and down obviously indulging in a little giggle… “Harley really was acting the crazed little fan” 

I carried Harley straight into the WOW tent located bang next door. It was filled to the very rim with fantastic WOW toys. They had Wow play tables with at-least three toys on each. The tent was busy and from every corner you could hear the sound of mothers ordering their children to share. Myself and H are a massive fan of WOW toys and Harley has been lucky enough to review a few this month. These are toys that will be added to the Birthday and Christmas list in our house for sure. 

This visit to the WOW tent had also given me the chance to meet Lucy who had put together Little Hs reviews… It was nice to personally thank her for so kindly doing so.  Just as I contemplated moving one I realised that the tent had some empty seating, so it was nice to take a break and chill for five minutes while H and Amy explored all the wonderful toys that surrounded them. The WOW team had the right idea when it came to keeping the kids happy. With the parents all set to move on only to be faced with refusing toddlers, (this or they wanted to take the toys with them) the WOW team came to the rescue  with they’re cleverly prepared surprise! Each child was given a cute little WOW toy as a gift on their exist. This Just proves that these guys really do know children when it comes to toys as most smiled and bopped away happily. 

It was such a hot day on Friday. We sat on the grass where I topped up the children’s sun cream while my sister grabbed them an ice lolly to help them cool down. These were steep at £2 each, but it came as no surprise, it wasn’t any more than other festivals and child friendly events we have attended so no shocks there!

Next we took a trip to the Alfresco Bandstand, which was a nice area, smaller than the main stage but not as busy! The Waybuloo’s were busy teaching the children their moves. Harley waved and clapped and it was Amy’s turn to be star struck. Sitting on her mummy’s shoulders her face displayed one almighty smile. It was these little moments that made Lollibop a festival that stood out from the rest. Sadly Amy didn’t get to give the Waybuloos a hug as they were entertaining up on the stage which was fenced off for health and safety reasons. 

There was plenty to do and see, everywhere you turned something magical was taking place. It was hard to follow the scheduled acts and appearances that we wanted to see due to the sheer wonderful distractions we faced, Clowns, music, beautiful stalls and amazing activities. 

The Children meet Peppa and George Pig (from a parents view these guys weren’t pretty) There was no photo opportunities as again they are in an enclosed area. However, despite this, the children were able to touch them and say hello face to face. I had to laugh when George pig put his face near Harley’s leaving him shouting, “Woo, woo pig, away, away” as he pushed his snout in a bid to get him out the way. Yes, these guys are pigs remember 🙂  they didn’t look as cute as they do on the TV but H soon got used to them, again needing to be carried away (My chest was bruised by now)! 

We then visited my favourite area, “The Enchanted Forest” It truly lived up to its name, with stalls selling everything from fairy wings to fairy dust, there was toadstool seating areas and a range of magical activities, it was a lovely area within the festival. This was the place to find great storytellers and awesome bubble blowers. It was beautiful watching the children happily run around chasing bubbles. 

We then Checked out some of the yummy food on display! The Children had not long eaten when we arrived at the park at just gone 1 pm, a few hours after it had opened at 11 am. This resulted in the children showing Little if not any interest in food. However, as for Me, I was staving, but at that point in time I didn’t fancy the queue, I was just to hot (Food queues were not outrageously long but long enough to put me off )!  With this we left it till a little later in the day when at some stages they could be found empty.

There was much more exciting staff needed doing! We danced to the, “Zingzillas” and the fabulous sounds of “Rastamouse and da easy crew” who were performing on the main stage. The Cbeebies Presenter Sid was hosting the show and did a brilliant job too. The area did get a little busy as expected, However, it was nice to see Alex, (another Cbeebies presenter) stood next to me with his family. Of course he could have got himself right up the front… What with it being his turn to host the same show at this very same festival the next day it wouldn’t have been hard. Yet to see him with his child on his shoulders happily dancing to the sounds of the easy crew in the same way I was, did put a smile on my face.

I also noticed something very interesting about the main stage, (In a good way) It had a large viewing platform! Ok, What did I care, Little man wasn’t at the festival right! Just to see that they were catering for those with disabilities was a wonderful sight! Some of those who accessed the platform wouldn’t have stood a chance of seeing anything down below as there were those in wheelchairs and other children like Little Man who wouldn’t have coped well with the crowding that was taking place on the ground. Honestly If my Little man was younger and interested in the Lollibop I would have been able to take him that day with little problems. The organiser had noticeably tried to make the event a good one that was fun and accessible for all.

Having had a good boogie with my smiling toddler, sister and niece, we grabbed some food (fish and chips… Very yummy but a tad expensive, though it was expected). This was followed by beautiful fresh strawberries and cream, one word, ‘WOW’ very lush. As we ate we watched some funky makeovers taking place! These were done on random people out the crowds & pulled up on stage. The makeover itself was pretty funky business, involving coloured hairspray, “Lots of it” funky makeup, sick on gems and other funkiness … Seriously this was entertaining stuff , I loved it! 

Soon after we took a walk back to the VIP tent where we decided on taking the children back out to the main festival area in their pushchairs, both looked a tad hots and eye rubbing was a sign little H was getting tired. All the same I was surprised when they both happily complied with no fuss made at all (Not normally Harley’s style).

The Press/VIPs tent was much cooler with seating areas in and out. I was quite surprised to see a number of Celebes within the area( I dunno why I was, after all those with children are their to give their kids a fantastic day just as I was! I guess, I just didn’t think about)! Well,  all were very down to earth, enjoying the sunshine with their children just like anyone else meaning no one felt out of place (re-phase… I didn’t feel out of place), Celebes included, ‘Jeff Blazer’ and his children & ‘Angela griffins’ to name a few. Lucky, I don’t get star stuck, that is… unless your an overly good looking Hollywood film star (I say no names) Well after a short rest,  a lovely cold drink and quick game of spot the celeb’ we set back off exploring.  

We checked out some of the many stalls where I was shocked but presently surprised to meet Andrea (The very lovely business mum… founder of the “Mommy I’m here child locator”) I’m currently running a giveaway on this very blog, where I’m giving away one of her lovely teddy bear child locators (ends 25th August) I was also very lucky to conduct a review on the wonderful child locator, which funnily Harley had tied to his shoe lace at this very festival, (The fault of losing him in at the lollibop, any festival in-fact… makes me feel a little light headed.) Meeting Andrea allowed me to put a face to the name and personally thank her for the review opportunities and her wonderful device I now can’t live without! Andrea is a very inspiring business woman  and extremely nice lady, was so glad we met!

We hadn’t been out the vip area that long when I suddenly noticed the two little were knocked out sleeping in their pushchairs. With this, me and my sister indulged ourselves in a little harmless childish behaviour I even considered getting my face painted (I didn’t… much to my sisters delight) 

We also visited the lovely stall of the online shop,”festivals Kidz” where I got to meet the lovely founder, ‘Romany’ who was making beautiful head dressings with dried flowers for the little fairies of Lollibop. The stall was amazing selling items like, ear defenders in a cool range of neon colours (great for those on the autism spectrum and well as festival goers). There were also beautiful, yet funky kites on display and some really awesome “Tees” all half price. The stall was filled with lots of festival treasure from pretty fairy customs and girlie raincoats, to head dresses and baby items. I loved the many circus bits and pieces which again are great for those on the autism spectrum & those with Sensory processing disorder (SPD) These products would be ideal in helping the development of motor skills or could be used for their sensory benefits. A,” must visit” both on and off line.

Sadly we didn’t get to visit the actual circus, nor did we do any off the baby mini mission activities or indulge in “Baby loves disco” which has the likelihood of becoming a firm  favourite off mine! Yes, serious, I love to dance and it seems Harley does too! Baby loves disco could quite well be a match made in heaven!  Really looking forward to hearing more about the company at the…  “Business mum’s unite” in October this year. Our reason’s for not being able to participate in the above planed activities is down to a couple of now snoring toddlers ! With this we Instead walked off in the hunt for a couple of helium balloons (Bob the builder for little H and Waybuloo for Amy) these were  very reasonable priced. reasonably priced at £5 for a small and £6 for large (serious I’ve seen these things sold at a tenner ago, so was nicely surprised)

As the time quickly passed, regardless of our enjoyment, We left a little earlier at 5.45 pm as opposed to 7 pm, If the children were a tad older we would have stayed till the very end! This doesn’t mean we were bored or there wasn’t enough activities for the toddlers as their seriously was!This wasn’t to do with the children’s entertainment needs, I’m not stating their wasn’t enough on offer for them, quite the  opposite in fact… The children were totally knocked out with all the excitement of the days events, and didn’t even get to try everything, there was  just so much to do! that they were still happily sleeping when we headed off home. 

A quick Little summing-up on the festival designed for little people

I was lucky to have free Vip tickets so for the festival. Hence reasons why I haven’t really commented on such issues. However I did hear parents moaning about cost stating their disgust at the price for a little one to get in! In the defensive of Lollibop, It was advised that tickets should be brought on line avoiding the gate fee & a situation where you’re paying a lot more… Tickets on the day equal pricey tickets and we all knew it! It know it’s easy for me to state, but I truly felt that given their was such a great line up and so much to do, You got your moneys worth… After all its no more than other places this time of year, such as, “Lego land” and in my view Lollibop is just as good, especially for my little Bob fan!  When I arrived at one queues were very small at the gate and also not huge in the park itself. I did hear that the queues were very long on the Saturday & Sunday, I can only comment by stating, “Yay I got the right day” (This really wasn’t the case Friday) How about Maybe a book and return service  for meet and greets, workshops and face painting for next year? s that something that could be organised?

The location was perfect (I’m a London girl and love Regents park & it famous, ‘London Zoo’) maybe a Lollibop tour  could be worked upon for all those missing out on such a great event. This would put the smiles on lots of little faces,  which is so worth the effort!. The event was big but everything was nicely compact and easy to locate. I wasn’t to keen on the Haystack seating! I ran over thinking we were gonna find a mini farmyard for little H & Amy to explore. 

The festival was awesome, very child centred, as stated on the tin! Yet it provided an amazing day for all the family, and had lots happening. It still managed to keep that rather hippy feel about it that I love..  (If that’s the right word for it). This atmosphere was helped by the sights of Little girls in tutus, and fairy wings with pretty flowers in their hair running around throwing handfuls of fairy dust while playing with glittery hola=hoops! This made me wish that my daughter was there with me, “I know she would have loved it” 

So the big question: Would we come back next year and do it all again? Gosh, Yes! Lollibop is magical, a festival that will continue to develop it’s magic into total awesomeness  with every passing year. It’s a festival that’s not to be missed!

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