Lollibop 2013 started today, the first day of a three-day festival for kids.
Lollibop 2013 moved venues to the Olympic Park this year, and although we haven’t been to previous ones, both Shaun and I are seasoned festival goers, a bit of rain wasn’t going to scare us, so we were ready!
Our journey wasn’t too painful, a train to London Bridge then just a few stops on the tube to Stratford with a fifteen minute walk to the park. We also got to walk past the Olympic Stadium, somewhere we never got to last year – it’s huge! (I am seriously struggling imagining West Ham having it as their home)
The Lollibop 2013 site was clearly marked – and helpers were starting to line up to guide everyone. I suspect people with buggies may struggle cutting across Westfield, so look into other ways there, but as we were on foot it wasn’t an issue.
We made it inside just in time for Poppy Cat who did some dance moves on the main stage – the sound cut out a bit but that didn’t spoil it for H. It was running late which was fortunate – H says Poppy Cat was probably her favourite thing about Lollibop 2013 (that and fifteen other things).
On the way in we got chatting to two boyfriends of the GoGoGo Show, and found them near us when they came on stage so insisted they join in with the dancing (they did). Shaun had no idea who they were then realised it was the band he sees every morning when he does his ironing – he knew the songs best of the three of us! H enjoyed it, and I like that one of them wears glasses so hopefully H can relate. We have never spoken about this.
There was no time to stop, as once they left the stage Rastamouse came on – and did a neat little set. The creator of Rastamouse came on too, as well as a lady and man who make the music – and it was perfect festival music, really enjoyable, plus everyone was handed Rastamouse flags. Somehow we caught Rastamouse three times over the day which was pleasant.
Shaun found free yoghurt courtesy of Chobani who were giving away full-sized tubs opposite the main stage, so we helped ourselves to one each and decided to have a wander around the site.
We found the Magic Belles stand, and got to chat for a long time to the lovely Maxine – H coloured in two postcards and posted them, it was such a sweet idea and good to stop. We love the Magic Belles and really you should be signing up for the Flutterbud Club – it’s free and it’s fab – every month we get a lovely picture and some fab goodies from them. H loves them too and they’re a really positive influence for little girls – their tent wasn’t just for girls though, it was for anyone who wanted to send a postcard to the fairies, boys of course are included.
Bear Nibbles were handing out free samples of their scrummy food, and next to them were some Barny edible teddy bear cake-y type things (which H loved). There was also a Haribo man making his way around the audience giving out free packets for those moments when it becomes too overwhelming for your little one and you need to give them sugar.
After that we headed back into the main area to get some food. Oh my, everyone else had arrived and the queues were long. Fortunately Dick and Dom were on stage, my Lollibop 2013 highlight, too funny, no ‘bogies’ but plenty of Dick Vs Dom and brilliantly funny. I think it opened up a new kind of comedy to H who wasn’t sure what to make of it. Definitely the best thing we saw – I could have cried laughing at times. H still finds it very strange someone would shout in a library ‘as you’re not meant to do that’ (oh, she’s so good).
Food queues were getting silly, so after a quick scoot around (Nando’s – too long, The Food Stop – too long) we decided on toasties. Reasonably priced Shaun queued while H and I had a little rest – we hadn’t sat down by this time (Hello Kitty had been cancelled on the main stage much to H’s disappointment and the Mr Men had finished which was our only stage clash) plus we were hungry.
The Toasties are quick, but the queue is slow – we got them after about 20-30 minutes in the end, and headed to the press area to sit down and eat them.
After that we felt a bit more refreshed and headed out to catch the end of the GoGoGo Show – we really liked the sets were repeated so at least we caught them at the start of the day when it was quiet and didn’t miss anything as Rastamouse started again. This time we wandered around the shops.
I saw this. I managed to hold myself back. Just.
There were loads of great stalls but we don’t have a lot of money to spend with H’s 4th birthday next week, so we were sensible – in the end I got her some Hello Kitty Top Trumps as I think she’ll like them. There was an entire Top Trumps stall, so that was good to see. I spotted some Moshi Monsters ones too but will wait for now.
We headed towards the Lolli Kitchen where Katy Ashworth from I Can Cook was about to start, which coincided with Andy & Sid from Cbeebies on the Lollipalladium – both stages pretty much next to each other so you can easily get between the two. Actually, H wanted to stop at the Parentdish stand and colour in some bunting. Eventually we got to see both, and both were excellent. Katy was especially funny and got H giggling – a very talented lady – another Lollibop 2013 highlight. Sid and Andy were singing nursery rhymes by the time we got there and being ever so funny – H was getting tired though and by now was on Shaun’s shoulders.
After that we were a bit Lollibop-ed out, and decided to check the face painting queue – it was still long, but we spotted a Hello Kitty Meet and Greet, so joined that queue instead. They closed it when we were FIVE away from meeting Hello Kitty, cue lots of sad kids who just bombarded her with cuddles. That was enough for H, that and there was a Hello Kitty Twister on the hill too which was pretty awesome (and we got to sit and let her get on with it which was even better).
A quick wander back to the main area and the face painting queue had gone right down so we joined it, where the fabulous ladies from Kattoo were, giving out free tattoos to everyone – we already had ours and I got to have a chat with them. It’s a brilliant idea and perfect for events like Lollibop – keep an eye out for them! H had her face painted like Hello Kitty (see a theme here?) and we headed back towards the Magic Belles stand for one last colour in.
After that a quick stop at the Wow Toys stand, I’m kind of sad as we’re at the top end of their age range, their toys look excellent though and one I’ll consider for my new nephew when it comes to Christmas time. Duplo were next door so we had a quick play before it really was time to leave Lollibop 2013 and make a move back home.
All in all we spent the day from around 10.10 until 5.30 which is pretty good going. I was pleased how well H handled it, there was plenty of space to rest up, plenty of shelter from the rain and everything was reasonably priced. Lollibop 2013 was a fantastic day out and I really wish we’d got to the National Geographic Kids area as I would love to subscribe for H if it was age appropriate and they had a good deal on. We missed the science area too. I feel like you need an even longer day to do it all!
It was a wonderful day, we have no complaints and we’ll be back next year.
You can still buy tickets here!
We received free passes for our day at Lollibop 2013 – all opinions are our own and honest.