After a wonderful time at Lollibop last year we were excited to be attending again this summer but at the new location of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and as an Ambassador for the event!
We parked with ease at Westfield Shopping Centre where parking was only £5 for the entire day and we walked from there to the main entrance. There were staff on hand to guide you and it only took about 10 minutes for us to reach the venue of the 'Big Bash for Little People'.
We arrived at 9.40, surprisingly early and organised for me after travelling for over 2 hours, and waited at the very front to be allowed in at 10am. When the gates opened we collected our wristbands and headed straight for the Skylanders section as Jamster is a big fan and was keen to try the new Swap Force Game, stopping to meet some interesting characters along the way.
The Skylanders area ended up being a favourite as not only did it have the option to play the new game with swappable figures, it had colouring, a photo opportunity and competitions to take part in too. It was also quite large so you didn't feel cramped despite the crowds forming and we picked up some great goodie bags containing Skylanders Giants, stickers and posters.
After receiving lots of Haribo sweets and meeting the bear himself we stopped off at the main stage to see Poppy the Cat. The shows throughout the day were really good and kept the children entertained, with Justin Fletcher and Dick and Dom being favourites. I felt the stage being to the rear of the park was a good idea as it meant there was plenty of space elsewhere when the favourite acts were on and there was the option to see the smaller and quieter stages throughout the venue also.
Queues were building fast from around midday so we decided to prioritise what we wanted to do and after a quick stop to see Optimus Prime and a few street performers, including balloon modellers and bubble makers, we went to Lalaloopsy Land. I felt this was a very well organised area with plenty of seating to take a well needed sit down - including a TV and bean bags. Children were able to make masks, had the opportunity to meet and greet a character and received some wonderful goodie bags with headbands and toys inside.
Next door the Cloudbabies were on stage so we danced and sang along with them until we decided it was time for some lunch. I was pleased with the variety of food and drink available which included toasties, chicken, paella and hot dogs although we had a picnic and took advantage of the tables that were plotted about. The adult creche (a bar) was a nice touch too!
After filling up on rolls, fresh fruit, savoury nibbles and sweet treats we decided to have a go at the many craft activities that were spread out around Lollibop. Parentdish provided bandanas and stamps to create your own design on which the Mini Mes really enjoyed. There was also bunting colouring and rubber duck decorating too.
There were many samples being handed out and the Mr enjoyed a delicious peach Chobani yogurt while the Mini Mes were met Barny and the Bear which included free cereal boxes and cakes. Barny also had an interesting interactive wall, some puzzle sheets and a variety of plants and magnifying glasses to get a little ones a little closer to nature.
Over at the Science tent there were plenty of hands on activities although the tent at this point was packed so we decided to move along quickly to the National Geographical Kids area. Minxy and Jamster completed a sensory activity, involving placing their hands inside sealed boxes to receive stickers, and they also got to touch a snake! It was the chance to get involved with things like this and the graffiti wall that were ideal for tweens or older children in particular although there was lots for babies and toddlers with WOW Toys and Little Tikes play areas plus reading hubs and LEGO Duplo.
We visited the River Island tent a few times throughout the day but unfortunately we were unable to take part with t-shirt decorating; at first due to health and safety and damage to the tent and then because the queue was around an hour long wait which we didn't really want to hang about for. We did however love the outfits that the Mini Mes received to wear for the event which are featured in all of their photos!
We headed to the VIP area (a really nice tent with face painting available, separate toilets, seating and sweets) throughout the day to meet various characters including the WotWots and Hello Kitty. There were other opportunities available throughout the park to meet Postman Pat, Peppa Pig and the Cloud Babies too but as queues were unfortunately quite long at times we skipped a few although we still managed to meet quite a lot of family favourites...
We finally left the park around 3pm after having fun cake decorating, getting body art, chilling out in the huge Heart deck chairs, watching Titan the Robot, colouring postcards and pictures with Magic Belles and viewing some of the stalls. We all agreed that we had a lovely day but felt the event was a little overcrowded this year making queues rather long, which children often don't appreciate. We will definitely go along next year though as we really enjoy Lollibop as a family festival and there is plenty to fill a day or more.
Good location in relation to parking and public transport
Variety of character meet and greets
Variety and quality of shows
Lots of toilets (we never needed to queue)
Lots of food and drink available
Covered areas and benches for picnics
Free samples and goodie bags
Lots for toddlers
Not So Good Bits
Large queues at times
Lack of hand washing facilities/hand gel
Some areas too small for the audience
Map didn't list stalls or food locations
*We received tickets to the event for the purpose of this review and as a Lollibop Ambassador. The opinions given are honest and our own*