LolliBop

Last weekend, Husband and I took four-year-old Munchkin to LolliBop, the big bash for little people, in Regent’s Park. Munchkin had such a great time last year that of course he wanted to go again, and so did I! As last year’s highlights were the Lollipalladium (theatre tent) and the storytelling tent in the Enchanted Forest, we made sure we arrived when it opened at 10am and went straight to the Lollipalladium, which had plenty for Munchkin to watch. We arrived just in time to see Mister Maker, whose CBeebies show Munchkin has watched since he was very young. Munchkin happily joined in the singing and actions and loved the show. Next was Bubbles Inc, with lots of amazing bubbles of all shapes and sizes. Then came the big event, The Gruffalo Live. This was the main reason we’d come (Munchkin knows the book by heart and had insisted on a Gruffalo cake for his birthday) and it was absolutely brilliant! It was the full version of the theatre show, with all the words in the book plus extra dialogue and great songs, all performed by a cast of just three very talented people. We’ll definitely go and see the show when it comes back to London on its current tour. After a quick break for refreshments, it was time for Horrible Histories, which made Ancient Egypt lots of fun and very engaging for the children in the audience.

After over 3 hours in the theatre tent, it was time for a break and to see what else was going on. The site was smaller than last year, but less walking was a relief as it was a very hot day. There was plenty to do and see, and the shady tents provided were a welcome relief from the sun. After the Mr Men show on the main Lollibop Live stage, we headed off for some fun science games run by the Science Museum, then made a mini banoffee pie in the LolliBop Kitchen. Next came the Moshi Monsters and their bus (a shop) with a great slide to whizz down afterwards, followed by a bit of ZingZillas. We also met Dora the Explorer, Moshi Monsters, Zing Zillas, a dinosaur, a gorilla and a fire-breathing dragon wandering round.

Now it was time to go back to the Lollipalladium for the Go!Go!Go! Show, which Munchkin has seen in the West End and absolutely loves – “Go! Go! Go!”

To finish the day, we headed off to the EnchantedForest for Mike Dodsworth’s fantastic storytelling. He was a charismatic and engaging storyteller with great stories that he adapted to involve children (and adults) from the audience, showing an amazing ability to think on his feet.

There was so much to do that we ran out of time on the first day, so we went back again the next day. Yes, that’s right, we loved it so much we went twice!

One of the highlights of day 2 was John Lewis Lane, with its music shop, where Munchkin turned out to be a great drummer (not a present I’ll be encouraging though!), Art Shop, Village Store, complete with groceries and cash registers, and gadget shop with the fantastic Kurio kids’ Android tablet to play with. There were also a pet shop full of cuddly toys, and a dressing-up shop for more fun.

This time we made sure we visited the fantastic Roald Dahl Museum tent, which had story telling and activities such as colouring and making masks. There was also a big tent packed with creative activities including puppet making and painting ceramics. A quick visit to the Skylanders Arena was fitted in, although Munchkin was a bit young to play the games (and also not used to playing Wii-style games).

We still didn’t have time for the B&Q Mini Maker tent, making ceramics, Titan the Robot, the Village Green, Waybuloo or Transformers, although we did see the enormous and impressive Optimus Prime truck.

We had such a great time that I can definitely recommend it to anyone with children under 10, especially if you go prepared for the weather. I’d suggest going on the Friday if you can because it’s quieter with shorter queues, arriving early and taking plenty of water as the bottled water on sale was quite expensive. The food was quite expensive, too. You can take in food with you, although the organisers politely ask that you don’t take in too much, which is a reasonable request as there is a food village. There were also freebies from Haribo, Ella’s Kitchen (the vending machine was great and very popular), Pop Chips, Flora and Peter Rabbit up for grabs! There were plenty of toilets, with hand sanitiser, and buggy parks.

I was lucky enough to be able to use the Bloggers Lounge, which was perfect for rest breaks as it was quiet with lots of shade. We were very well looked after, particularly by the lovely Jess, who Munchkin fell completely in love with! Here’s Munchkin’s reaction to having a choice of four different Trunkis to play with in the blogger’s area:

Disclosure: I was given 2 tickets to LolliBop for the first day as a thank you for acting as a local promoter and doing extensive leafleting, and was furtunate to be offered 3 tickets for the second day. However, my opinions are my own and honest.

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