Well. This last week has been crazy busy, and I have at least 5 blog posts I need to write, including this review on LolliBop 2013!
Last Sunday I took our girls up to stay with my parents for a week in my home town - sadly I had to return here to go to work in the mornings, but in the afternoons and evenings I cracked on with redecorating both girls' rooms at the same time (yes, I am crazy). I just about managed to complete them before making the trip back up to see my parents and spending a fantastic weekend with them and the girls - but more on that another time. Here's a little teaser for you though:
We arrived at 10am, opening time, and were pleased to see there were no real queues for entry. Once inside, we found our way quite easily to the first attractions, although the area did have an air of 'not quite finished' about it, despite already having been open the previous day...
Little Tikes had an area (Little Tikes Town) full of their well loved outdoor toys. Did you know they've been going for over 40 years, and they have a fab range of products? Click on Big Play to find out more! It was there that we found the highlight of Mr C's day... an adult sized Cozy Coupe. He couldn't help but experience a little bit of road rage, though he did make sure it was fit for young ears.... the girls loved this product too, as they could sit in it together - no arguments over whose turn it was!
Next we trotted along to the Magic Belles tent. If you haven't yet heard of Magic Belles, but you have little girls, please do go and check out their website at www.magicbelles.com right now! They are fab - they also have a Facebook page, are on Twitter and have an app which is well worth downloading. My two girls got to colour in postcards at their stand and then pop them in the postbox - still exciting at the age of 8 apparently.
The rest of the morning we spent wandering happily about, looking at the Discovery Zone and all the stalls which had goods or activities to offer. At the Lolli Kitchen Sasha waited patiently for fifteen minutes for Katy Ashworth from I Can Cook to come on stage, but then literally 1 minute after she had appeared, Sasha wanted to leave that area - not because she wasn't good, (because she was, brill, bounding around at 8 months pregnant!), but because she had seen her. Literally, just there, then on the stage. Sigh. Anyhow we moved over to see the Cloud Babies and CBeebies presenters Sid and Andy on the Lollipalladium but that area was well set up as you could see both stages quite easily at the same time.
The highlight of our day was seeing first Alex Winters, and then Dick n Dom appear on the Lolli main stage, with the biggest 'BOGEY' shout I've heard in my life. Sasha wasn't too keen on hanging around in the crowd for that, but to the side of the stage was an area which was large enough for her to run about it, flying her miniature kite, so she was still having fun while Tamsin and Daddy enjoyed the main stage action, which included dancing from Pre-Skool (you know, those little kiddies from Britain's Got Talent). Sadly we couldn't wait for Justin Fletcher or Hello Kitty to appear but I'm sure they were amazing too.
There was plenty of other action going on, such as free face painting, Skylanders game playing, rubber duck and cupcake decorating, story telling, Science Museum Tent, Graffiti Wall, beat boxing workshops, a River Island Design Den and an Itsy Bitsy Strictly Tent. Sasha's autism means that she doesn't really have the patience for waiting in queues, and she's not great with large crowds and lots of noise, but as we now understand that it just means we don't hang around much, so we weren't able to take part in all that was on offer. As we were leaving the event at around 130pm we did have to push our way through the crowds, and we did see some fairly long queues, but I guess that's to be expected at any large event for children.
I'd recommend LolliBop to any CBeebies or CBBC fans, although I'd say 8 is probably the top age of when they'd find it interesting. For us it was plenty of fun though; we had a fabulous family day out and we've brought home lots of lovely memories.
Oh, and a balloon dog with legs that walks.
Disclaimer: we were very gratefully given these tickets for free, but all the views expressed here are our own!