Lollibop is an enjoyable family day out, well more-so for the little ones! The annual kids festival is now in its fourth year and this year it was held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. The event is aimed at 0 – 10 year olds but I think 4 – 8 year old children will get the most out of it.
Me and my son reached Lollibop at around 12.30pm and at this time there were no queues to get in! A lot of advice would recommend you get there before the doors open at 10am but if you don’t want to queue try getting there a little later and you’ll get straight in. We still managed to see most of the things we wanted to and we ended up staying till it closed at 6pm.
Plan your day
Look what time your favourite people are on the main stage and what time characters are doing meet and greets. When you know this information then plan your day around that! My son (and me!) really wanted to watch Katy Ashworth from ‘I Can Cook.’ Her last show of the Lollibop festival was on at 3pm so we worked our way around all the different play zones from the front of the event to the back and returned to the Lollibop Kitchen area at 2.50pm.
I would have loved to go to the River Island Kids Design Den but the queue was really long all day. If you go early to Lollibop, I would run to this to get in the queue first.
Things to do
One of the best places to visit at Lollibop where your little one can run around and play with other children is the ‘Little Tikes’ play area. We only had to queue for around 7 minutes and my son played here twice at the start and end of the day. It seemed all the children loved riding around in the little play cars and burning off all that energy.
My son also enjoyed the Duplo Lego play area which had space to play with the Lego and also included a Duplo lego train. It was well laid out and looked lovely but I feel it could have been bigger to accommodate more children.
Quick Top Tips
- Bring a packed lunch – As with most festivals food is very expensive so bring some snacks and sandwiches with you, otherwise you will be forking out a lot of money.
- Bring a blanket – There’s lots of benches and chairs scattered around to rest your tired legs but bring a little blanket too as there’s not much seating when you’re watching one of the many shows.
- Get an early nights sleep – By the end of the day I was VERY tired. On the other hand my son was still full of energy! Nevertheless, still get an early night so you have lots of energy to run after your child (my son ran off several times – I WAS NOT IMPRESSED!)
- Pack some wipes & tissues – My son got ice cream all over his clothes. Luckily, my friend came to the rescue by whipping out some wipes!
- Bring a water bottle! – To save money on buying endless drinks and ice cream bring along a water bottle. There’s a place that you can fill up your bottle with fresh water. This made me very happy as I brought a calypso for £2, my son had one lick of it and then dropped it on the floor! Ahhhhh!
Watching Katy from I Can Cook (a great TV programme on Cbeebies) was definitely my highlight at Lollibop 2013! My son is still talking about it now as he got to speak to her and my son being my son offered her a drink. Katy kindly replied ‘maybe later.’
Katy is currently 8 months pregnant and put 100% into her show. She thoroughly entertained the children and the parents. I am in love with her as are many other people! Katy brought so much energy and fun to the children’s festival and I would happily pay money to see her in her very own show.
There are lots of things to buy at Lollibop. Personally I feel many items were overpriced. Make sure you always ask if the stall / product you’re getting is free. I nearly queued up for a wax work of my son’s hand. It looked great but I wasn’t prepared to pay £12 for it.
I was ecstatic to find out face painting was free! Don’t be put off by the long queues as they move very fast and we ended up queuing for only 10 minutes. My son decided he wanted to be spiderman!
Book in advance!
I would recommend you going to Lollibop next year if you want a nice family day out. However I wouldn’t recommend buying tickets on the door as they are very expensive – £29 for ONE person! I was lucky as I was given press tickets which gave me free access to the festival. In all honesty I don’t think I would pay £58 for me and my son to attend.
If I were to pay that price I would want to see lots more characters, have much more opportunities for ‘meet and greets’ and have a Lollibop goody bag! More things like that would justify the price.
The only tickets I would recommend that you purchase are the super early bird tickets which cost £16 each. That is great value for money to experience the Lollibop festival and see all your fav Cbeebies and other popular children’s characters.
Follow my quick top tips above and most of all have lots of fun if you go. Enjoy you day!