We went to LolliBop on Saturday and are completely exhausted but still on a high from a fabulous day out. There are some minor grumbles, there is a fair bit of queuing that can wear thin by the end of the day but besides that it was a complete hit with us.
It is the kind of event that you will not get round everything as its huge with so much to do, if you go in with the right expectations you leave pleased you managed to cram in as much as you did and not panic over what you might have missed out on. The schedules will overlap and the new location (Hatfield House) saw the stands and tents quite spread out so with all the walking (our legs still ache!) and stopping to top up on food and drink or use the toilet will eat into your time at the event.
It was on 10am till 6pm which is a generous length of time, its just the LolliBop organisers cram the activities and entertainment into the day so you have to really whiz around to do it justice. Pick out your child’s favourite things and make a point of visiting them first, then you can relax your pace and soak in the sights.
There are things we did not manage to see but overall I feel we had a most memorable day. The boys left with some wonderful memories, my eldest even managed to stroke an armadillo and my youngest a big snake in the National Geographic tent. I think this might have been our most favourite place to be, we actually spent close to two hours in there which may explain why we did not manage to see everything else!
The National Geographic Kids tent had the AnimalMan Nick Spellman there and he did an amazing presentation on animals including an opportunity for lots of children to handle them and get up close. It was extremely educational and Nick presents in such a lively way the children did not get bored, they sat completely focused on everything Nick had to say! My eldest son already subscribes to National Geographic Kids so I am pleased to keep supporting them when they put so much thought into keeping children happy and engaged.
Eldest was keen to try out the Skylanders Trap Team game and there were ample screens dotted around the area for children to experience it before the official release date in October. When your as big a fan as he is, its such a thrill getting a sneak peak of what he has to look forward too. My biggest problem was getting the boys to leave again when they were caught up in such an exciting adventure.
There are lots of lovely photo opportunities to be had, with brand figures, Kids TV celebrities and cartoon characters. The BEAR snacks bear, looking very fierce but was a big softie! My boys love those tasty treats so were pretty pleased to meet the main bear himself.
My boys loved giving lots of characters a cuddle. The Mario Bros were a particular highlight for my gaming boys.
They enjoyed going around the Nintendo area collecting stickers and completing challenges.
Sam and Mark from CBBC - adorable!
My youngest managed to win the full house (and a cute soft toy!) at the random but hilarious Carboot disco bingo session put on by the Southbank Centre. The energetic ladies running the stand were a good warm up when we first arrived at LolliBop, they soon got all the adults copying their disco moves - my boys just watched on a little bemused!
My boys are five and seven and they were both happily occupied at LolliBop, lots to do for there age group and I am sure I could squeeze out a couple more years quite easily. Meeting animals, decorating gingerbread men with Kiddy Cook, playing console games, hob nobbing with celebrities (I spotted Simon Pegg, love his films!) and getting given free snacks/drinks along the way appealed to the boys no end! The queuing parts the boys handled well, but I admit we did avoid the LolliPalladium, the queue there seemed to go on forever and I just did not have the courage to face it! It did mean we missed seeing the main acts but for us strolling around seeing what activities we could find suited our family more.
Face painting is included in the entry price, but yet again we seemed to pass that one by! There were lots of stands available too, but for one reason or another we were always busy doing something else. That's what you will find when you visit in LolliBop there is just so much to do!
The Vita Coco area was quite good fun, the boys decorated a t-shirt each and enjoyed the coconut shy even if they did not manage to knock down the green coconuts and win a prize!
The Horrible Histories tent was hilarious first we learnt more about Tudor times before seeing children in the audience audition for parts in an enactment (jury, defendant and executor). The faces they pulled had us all in cracks of giggles. Again it was great fitting in some more education into the day.
The boys both enjoyed the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, it was just what they needed to burn off some energy running around the obstacle course.
LolliBop enabled my boys to be creative, gain knowledge, get physical and use their imaginations, where else could you do so much in one day!