With Reading festival busy blaring through the streets of town, the festival feeling is catching. Of course with tinies, places like Reading Festival are long gone off the agenda but if you’re desperate to get the wellies back on, then be sure to add Lollibop to your yearly festival line up.
We were extremely lucky to be invited to Lollibop 2014 as bloggers, to come and experience the magic on offer for young and old at their new venue Hatfield House and we jumped at the chance to go along.
Lollibop ‘the big bash for little people’ is completely geared for families and young ones. A few days before the event we received by inbox a ‘parent superhero pack’, ready to download and print. It was full of show timings, meet and greets info and a full run down of all the food venues on offer around the site. This was a blessing, it gave us a good chance to understand what was on offer and be confident on what we did and didn’t need to bring along with us and plan exactly what we wanted from the day.
The new venue is fantastic for access. Easy to reach by train, bus and car it allowed the flexibility that families really desire. We ended up driving, with a journey of just over one hour from Reading (1hr 10 to be precise). Parking surrounded the venue so no big treks, perfect for tiny legs.
Whilst short on rock and roll, the festival was by no means short on rock stars to meet and great. Cbeebies favourites; Mr Bloom, Mister Maker, Christ and Pui, Andy Day and Alex Winters were all on hand throughout the day for kids to meet, cuddle and pose for a piccy with. TV stars like Scooby Doo, Dennis the Menace, Fireman Sam, Fat Controller, Steffi Love, Poppy Cat, Postman Pat and Horrible Histories all featured in the impressive line up too.
The line up of shows across the two main stages was also staggering including mega star Justin Fletcher but our favourite show of the day by far, was Chris and Pui’s mini roadshow. This enchanting duo had my kids dazzled with their lively songs and fun props, whilst my husband and I were dazzled by the staggering amount and speed of the costume changes this brilliant pair achieved. We even got a chance to wave hello to the toys from show me show me, something Eldest has been giddy about ever since!
Outside the shows, the fields were alive with activities, mini shows and entertainment. The queues were long for many things but we had anticipated this and tried to plan our day around the shows fitting popular extras like a photo opportunity on Thomas the Tank engine for later in the day when things had much quietened down.
To keep hands busy and minds active there were tents offering activities across the site, Eldest’s favourite was certainly the Little Tikes area and giant Cozy Coupe. Youngest fell in love with the Baby Annabelle play area, lovingly tucking a dolly in and out of a crib.
We were fortunate enough that our passes allowed us access in to the VIP/Press arena. VIP passes were available to purchase and I think these were worth their weight in gold for many and something I would seriously consider in future. The quieter corner offered shorter wait times on many of the popular aspects of the day; meet and greets, food vans, toilets and seating. A brilliant disco sat in the centre and scattered around this were comfy bean bags, garden games and mini sandpits. My husband didn’t mind the bar offerings either.
There was so much on through the day, that despite being there from 10am to 6pm we still wished we had more time to see and try it all and would’ve been straight back the next day if we could have! Not once did we have a melt down from the kids, nor a tantrum, they were too busy being entranced by the wonderful surroundings and entertainment.
Whilst the days of Reading Festival seem to be far behind me, it really doesn’t matter quite so much with the joy we all had as a family down at Lollibop 2014!
Tickets were kindly given to us, however all thoughts, opinions and words are my own. Photos are a mixture of personal and those provided by Simon Jacobs © under licence to simonjacobs.com