When Louise asked me to review the Lollibop festival this year at Hatfield House I was over the moon. We had already attended the three foot festival at highlands park earlier in the year and was very impressed! We had high hopes for the Lollibop festival and max who is three was mostly looking forward to meeting some of his favourite characters from the tv.
Upon arrival the festival was clearly signposted and easily accessible by car or train. One of my only negative comments about the festival is the £10 parking fee. If you are paying for two adults and two children its a quite expensive day which many of the people I had spoken with had voiced their opinion that parking should have been free (like the other children’s festivals).
Once inside, the layout was superb. The different tents were spread out with the main arena in the middle. Despite the fact that there was a lot of people there it didn’t feel crowded. However, you noticed the amount of people when queuing to get into the main pavilion to see the shows as some people had over an hour of waiting. This I felt was a shame as the younger children would not wait for this long, therefore we didn’t actually make it into the pavilion to see the shows.
This didn’t spoil the day as there was so much going on and such a wide range of activities on offer. Our favourite activities included baby ballet, face painting, the assault course, Lego, the VIP area, the under three tent and the non mainstream activities such as the cardboard box tent and painting t shirts.
The VIP area was great as it wasn’t crowded, there was entertainment for the children… When we were there it was a disco which was fantastic and there was a computer set up with some new games on it which my little one loved! You could also meet the characters and star guests here without the big queues in the main area.
The under threes tent included baby yoga, massage and music sessions. I spent a lot of time here with my 9 month old baby as he was in his element. It was also much quieter as I felt that this festival was aimed at children aged 4 and up really due to the particular acts that were on in the main area and the fact that children were expected to wait for a long time to get into the main pavilion.
My children got great enjoyment from playing with cardboard boxes, listening and dancing to music and looking at the animals. These areas didn’t seem to busy throughout the day.
There was lots of different types of refreshments on offer but these were quite pricey. However there was a picnic area and a few tables and chairs dotted about. My top tip would be to take a picnic and a picnic blanket with you.
Toilets were dotted about rather than being in one location which I felt was really good due to having a fairly recently potty trained child! We got through the whole day accident free!
We had a fantastic family day out but my husband and I agreed we probably wouldn’t go next year as its quite a lot of money for a family of four if you are not going to queue to watch the main acts in the pavilion. For children under the age of 5 I think something like the three foot festival is much better value for money as it offered suitable activities and you didn’t have to queue to see main acts.