I am an Eastend girl, born and bred and although I now live an hour away, deep in the Essex countryside I do like to pop into Stratford every now and then, so I was thrilled to discover that Lollibop's new home is The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. I love how much the area has changed over the past few years and I really like the urban feel to the venue.
The minute we stepped out of Stratford station we were greeted by Lollibop ladies dressed in bright pink rain jackets, handing out wet wipes. I was immediately impressed because I had forgotten to pack any in my bag. Nice touch, I liked it, a lot.
The park is a good 15/20 minute walk from the station, but it's a nice walk so we didn't mind. The pavement was lined with cheery Lollibop ushers guiding us along the way. All very friendly and helpful staff.
We went on the Friday and we queued for about ten minutes at the front gate, where we were issued with a map and a time table. You can also download and print off an information pack from the Lollibop website before you go.
Our seven year old Granddaughter was keen to take part in as many craft workshops as she could, and there were lots. We loved the Lalaloopsy tent. It was really well thought out, with lots of crafts, dress ups and a great goodie bag with toys (This was our favourite tent). We also really enjoyed the Magic Belles tent (the staff were lovely) and we had to drag our Granddaughter away, for fear of her spending all day in there.
There was character after character who were all more than happy to have photo's taken. Every single one made sure our Granddaughter felt special. They were all brilliant and I loved keep bumping into them throughout the day.
We made our way over to the meet & greet for Katy Ashworth from 'I Can Cook'. Our Granddaughter is a big fan and soooo wanted to meet her, but sadly we didn't get into the queue in time. Meet & greet slots go very fast indeed, you need to be super quick. I must admit it was our only disappointment of the day. Instead though, She was happy enough to have seen her, so close up in 'real life'.
Titan the Robot was a huge hit. We really enjoyed his performance and our Granddaughter was totally transfixed, she couldn't take her eyes off him.
We had a great time at the Disco shed with two fantastic entertainers who were full of energy and enthusiasm. We joined in with a sack race, which was so much fun.
There were lots and lots of free face painting tents, all with very long queues. We picked the Heart FM face painting simply because it had a great play area to keep the kids entertained while the parents queued. We couldn't go home without face painting so we didn't mind the long wait.
The highlight of our day? Dick and Dom! They were fantastic. Hilariously funny for both adults and children. We loved every second of their show and we all cried with laughter. They really did make our day!
Food - I rarely buy food out, whenever we attend events as they tend to be a bit overpriced. At Lollibop there were lots of yummy looking food stalls to choose from, even a stall that sold fish finger sandwiches, which I thought was a great idea. There are lots of nice picnic areas, perfect for us. And I liked that there were loads of free food samples, including a free tub of luxury yogurt, yum!
Toilets - Typical festival loo's but clean and lots of them. We didn't have to wait to use them.
Baby changing & feeding - Plenty of tents with space to change & feed, including some with bean bags.
Ice cream - The price of an ice cream was £2.50. A bit pricey but to be expected at this type of event. As we didn't need to spend any money while we were at Lollibop we didn't mind splashing out on an ice cream.
Drinks - Take your own!
- Plan before you go. Print off the free information pack and make a note of everything you want to do, especially with the meet & greets, design a T-shirt etc. Make sure you get to these chosen activities/shows in plenty of time.
- Get there early! You will miss out if you don't.
- Think of the weather. Take brollies and rain coats or plenty of water & sun cream.
- Take an extra kid. If like us you are only taking one child, let them bring a friend too. Our Granddaughter had a blast but she would have loved it even more had she brought a buddy, her own age.
Bottom line - Do we recommend Lollibop?
Yes!!! Great event, we loved it. Over the past 23 years we have taken our four kids and our Granddaughter to a lot of events and this is right up the top of our list. Having read a few other reviews, it appears that the Saturday was a little too busy so it sounds as if the Friday had just the right amount of visitors as we didn't find it over crowded at all. We think it was well organised, the ticket price is well worth the money, there was plenty to entertain all ages (inc the adults), we got to meet lots & lots of characters and we really liked the fact that we were not pressurised into spending any money, unlike a lot of other places we have visited. A great day was had by all!