Lollibop 2011

Louise writes:

The Lollibop Festival bills itself as “The Big Bash for Little People” and for those who are familiar with the schedules of CBeebies and Nick Jr had a pretty impressive line-up including Rastamouse, the Zingzillas, Charlie and Lola, Ben and Holly, Peppa Pig, as well as lots of fun-sounding tents such as The Fairy School and Wizard Academy, Roald Dahl Museum and Storytelling Centre and Babyoke. On top of this were some London-versions of local favourites Baby Sensory, Yogabugs, Little Kickers and HENS Theatre, various crafts and story stalls… a pretty much endless list of fun for little ones!

I took along my 4 year old son and 2 year old daughter (and 34 year old husband) to check it out and it was well worth the trek up to Regents Park as we had a really fun day. There was lots for them to do and see, and for Iris in particular, meeting Ben, Holly, Peppa and George was worth going for alone – the experience was akin to what I imagine Beatlemania must have been like with screams of “It’s Peppa!”, toddlers everywhere jostling for space and wanting to touch the big besuited chums. Felix was a little more cynical and asked if they were “the big soft ones or the real ones” but was still pretty taken with Ben when Ben tried to take off his wellies.

So, favourites (other than the Peppa/Little Kingdom loveathon): seeing the Zingzillas and Rastamouse on stage was rather surreal but quite fun, and the kids all seemed to love it and to genuinely believe they were seeing them live. Iris loved Yogabugs and the inflatable air thingy (I think it was called an Air Vag but that just seems wrong), Felix the mini-golf and craft-tent. They both loved bubbles and ice-cream (£2.50 for a 99! I nearly fainted), which is fairly predictable.

Unfortunately a lot of the bigger attractions were just too busy and the queues too long. Iris was too small to see over the other kids and Felix not keen on crowds so we didn’t even go near some of the things I thought they would enjoy. Kester and Felix queued for about 45 minutes for the mini-golf and Iris nearly had a tantrum when I said we couldn’t queue for facepainting (the queue spread across the length of the field next to it) and then another when we were told it was an hour wait for the trampolines. They would have loved Charlie and Lola but were told there was no point even trying to get tickets as people were queuing for ages just to be told there were none left.

In all, we had a great day but I did leave feeling like we missed out on a lot of the amazing things that were there because there were just too many people. Would definitely go again though – maybe the friday would be less crowded so would love to give that a go instead and hope for the best. Might avoid the ice-cream van though.

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