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Lollibop 2013

Lollibop 2013 was our very first Lollibop festival and the littlies had a fun time despite a few Lollibop hiccups!

If you’re heading over this weekend these tips might help your day go a little more smoothly than ours!

1. Plan ahead.

Oh how I wish we had planned ahead!

Think about what you want to do/see and get there early to avoid missing out.

The littlies were desperate to design River Island little T-shirts but were turned away at 11am as ‘fully booked for the day!’ We didn’t get to see half the things we wanted to because of either queuing or being in the wrong part of the festival at the wrong time!

2. Face painting!

Go early. By lunchtime the queue was 45 minutes long. The littlies were disappointed in missing out (seriously little Oz wouldnt have been happy waiting that long) but hey – it wasn’t the end of the world missing out on face painting – right?

3. Go have some fun at Little Tikes!

Only a 5 minute queue and you can chill in a deck chair while your little tikes drive cars, ride bikes and climb the little tikes castle!

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Oscar loved the cars! He had such a fab time we went back several times!

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4. Pack a picnic!

The queues for food were long and the food was a little expensive. A hot dog (B’s not-so-healthy choice) was £4.50!

There is however, lots of choice and lots of lovely snack stalls selling melon and fruit. So if you would rather not carry a picnic around, just avoid 12-2 for lunch!

5. Take a picnic blanket

There are lots of seating areas and picnic benches but obviously these fill up quickly. It was nice to pop a blanket at the edge of the crowds and watch the entertainment from afar.

6. Prepare to queue.

On Friday there were queues for everything – all the activities had at least a 15/20 minute wait which for under fives (mine are 2&3) is quite a wait.

However, the activities are great once you get a chance to try but we missed out on so much through queuing.

7. Take a buggy for little legs.

The walk from Stratford station took 30 minutes with two little ones (they’re slow walkers) and we’d not taken two buggies due to three train journeys to get to Stratford. I really wish we had now as they were tired before the fun had even begun!

It might be worth getting a taxi from the station but then that’s an added cost.

8. Choose your littlies favourite characters to meet and greet and get there early to meet them!

We waited quite a while for Postman Pat but the look on their faces when he cuddled them and waved was worth it! (Although Oz thought it was very weird that Pat didn’t say anything!)

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9. Check the schedule!

My two were excited to see Justin fletcher, Hello Kitty and Peppa pig. We didn’t see any of them because Justin was a Saturday guest, Hello Kitty had cancelled and the crowd surrounding Peppa was so big we couldn’t get through! My fault really but a big disappointment to Oz and B.

Despite the long queues and missing out on a few favourite characters the littlies had a great day and I guess that’s what’s really important.

Here’s some of our best bits of Lollibop 2013!

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Disclaimer: We were given tickets by the lovelies Little Tikes as their guests at Lollibop.

 

15 Comments

  • Liska @NewMumOnline

    Fabulous review Fi. Really enjoyed it.
    TRYING to write mine now, but uploading 211 photos is taking hours and I still haven’t decided what angle to write it from.

    I may as well have been sent by Little Tikes as that is where we spent most of our day LOL. Great photos taken there.

    Liska xx

    • Fi

      Thanks for dropping by lovely ~we loved the Little Tikes area – I think lots did – it was very relaxed and fair in both the queuing and playtime each set of littlies had.

      I just wish everyone else had adopted the same system. Short queues, shorter sessions?

      Of course with any big event you expect a queue – but not long queues when it’s aimed at young children.

      My two loved it despite the disappointments they faced. They also loved the journey – they loved the tube! Their first ever underground ride bless them!

  • Mummy Matters

    A really honest post, I have written about many similar issues to you. My tiddlers did enjoy themselves but I came away feeling disappointed. I did take a pushchair (the Crusi with sibling seat) and I really struggled with transport at one of the tube stations – on the way back the queues for the lifts were horrendous so we went to Westfield to have tea and wait for the queues to subside and then when I needed to carry the buggy down a HUGE flight of stairs approx 50 people passed me by before a very lovely Polish gentleman offered to help me. Then later approx 20 people passed me as I was bumping my buggy down two further sets of stairs before a lovely Chinese gentlemen offered to help. I wondered if all the English gents had taken the day off? Oh well, tomorrow is a new day.

    PS. Gutted we didn’t see you (and Mr Tumble and Hello Kitty!)

    • Fi

      Oh no! That sounds awful – one of the reasons we decided not to bring the buggies but we needed them really for that long walk. It was a big track for little legs.

      The littlies did have a great time but my mum and I agreed it was missing something – that magic festival feeling!

      We were gutted to have missed our favourites – we really should’ve checked the listings for Friday, but hey-ho. There were still smiles and that’s all that really matters.

      • Liska @NewMumOnline

        THAT’s the phrase I was looking for “that magical festival feeling”.
        I also noticed the lack of that.
        What do you think they could have done differently. I couldn’t work it out or I would have said it in the post I just published about our Saturday at Lollibop xx

        • Rod

          Try Camp Bestival – a family focussed festival that has all Lollipbop has to offer and so more in a beautiful setting in Dorset by the sea. As it’s over 3 days, there’s plenty of time to do stuff and none of the horrendous queueing of Lollibop.

          My kids had the best time ever and I highly recommend it

  • Mammasaurus

    The Little Tikes section was definitely Ozzys highlight too – he went back out and queued again after his turn three times in a row!
    Smashing review – for the first time I cursed that mine no longer fit in their old buggy. At 4 and 5 the walk from the Tube was doable but there was much moaning!

    • Fi

      Thanks for popping over – yes, it was a really long walk for little legs wasn’t it?!

      The littlies did have fun – but it was really missing something. There was no festival buzz or magic – perhaps I was expecting too much after reading last years reviews and reading the Lollibop website. I don’t know – I just hope they perhaps take in board the negative comments and act on it to make next year a lollibop hiccup free festival.

  • Lee Di Stasio

    Hi Fi, We just got back from Lollibop this evening and the first thing I wrote in google was ‘Lollibop dissapointing’ and it guided me to you! Couldn’t agree more with your comments. We went last year and had such a magical time we were ALL so excited about going back because even the adults thoroughly enjoyed it too. They lacked the intamacey and little touches this year, packed more people in to what seemed like a smaller, industrial estate like venue instead of a beautiful park. You could see into the distance last year instead of feeling like caged animals as we did this year. I avoid places like legoland or as we call it “queing world'” because you just can’t queue that long with a 3year old. We missed the creativity and non commercial aspect that we found last year and the group I dragged along after highly recommending it felt so dissapointed too. We were popping headache pills on the way home! Thank you for having the space for me to vent. I did speak and leave comments with someone there but this has helped me to feel better. Sending love to you all, Lee x

    • Fi

      Hi Lee!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      You’re not alone in your comments – the Lollibop Facebook page was full of complaints on Friday evening (which they kept deleting) and I had hoped they’d take note and make adjustments over the weekend.

      I’ve also read quite a few review posts of the festival which echo your thoughts.

      I felt it was lacking a magical quality – something I think is essential at family festivals and something I’ve seen at Little Funfest (which I’d highly recommend!)

      We didn’t go to Lollibop last year but I’d heard it was fantastic fun so braved the long journey, and was excited to attend.

      I found it all really disappointing and disorganised for such a popular festival.

      The littlies did have fun, they loved the train journey and so I’m glad it wasn’t all bad.

      Would I return?

      Probably not. I really hope they listen to the complaints and make improvements for next year.

  • Emily

    Hello Kitty cancelled – what a Diva! We had a fun time but also found the walk long and had much bigger kids (7&9) and carried tot (3). I forgot my picnic blanket 🙁 xx

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