You may recall that a few months back, I mentioned that the wonderful LolliBop Festival for families is this year relocating to Hatfield House for an even bigger and better experience. Since that awesome announcement, more have been coming through thick and fast. And these are my favourites:
There will be a new area curated by the wonderful Southbank Centre – anyone that reads my blog regularly will know that we love some of the activities the Southbank Centre puts on for families, especially the February half term Imagine Children’s Festival, so this is bound to be a wonderful addition to LolliBop. It promises an experience of interactive, engaging and creative fun family experiences.
Highlights will include a Pirate Training School, a Giant Dressing Up Box, Bollywood Dance, Walkabout Whiskers and Junk Orchestra, alongside activities programmed specifically for the under 3s including singalong sessions with Voicelab, Rug Rhymes from Southbank Centre’s Poetry Library, dough modelling, soft play and baby yoga. Keeping older kids entertained are the Big Sing workshops, quick flash hula-hoop performances, Hip Hop Dance with Zoo Nation, beatboxing and Southbank Centre’s regular storyteller Vanessa Woolf. In addition, performer, DJ, presenter and costume designer Boogalu Stu will be hosting a tent throughout the day, searching for wannabe pop stars to create an instant pop video with his Pop Magic team; the City of London Sinfonia will provide an accessible and interactive way of introducing young children to classical music; The Alternative Village Fete by Home Live Art will be offering a new, contemporary take on craft making, fete games and folk dancing with Robot Relays, Den Building and Hooping the Loop; there will be Car Boot Disco Bingo – part dance lesson, part party, part performance, part bingo; the Charity Shop DJ’s Party Tent with Make and Take Crafts; the Poetry Takeaway – with made-to-order poems, delivered and performed to hungry under-10s; and the Crafternoon Cabaret Club will be helping all ages and abilities weave colourful hanging webs and fashion pompom garlands.
The perfect complement to this is the chance to participate in STOMP workshops, using pipes, bins, plastic bottles and much more to create the universal language of rhythm, theatre, comedy and dance. Once fully trained, mini STOMP-ers are invited to join the daily parade to showcase their new talents. The team behind the hit West End show will be taking up residence at LolliBop running workshops across the weekend – and what child doesn’t enjoy bashing the life out of inanimate objects to make as much noise as possible?! I know mine do (especially at 6am)!
For all Thomas the Tank Engine fans, there is going to be an interactive themed play zone called the Sodor Summer Fete, packed with fun-filled activities and games, guest appearances and photo opportunities with Thomas himself and his occasional nemesis, the Fat Controller. I can’t wait to see how excited my two will be to see them up close and personal.
My girls may still be too young for the stories, but I might have to take take part in some enchanted activities at Harry’s Wizard School to satisfy the Harry Potter fan in me. I can’t wait to find out which house I’d belong to by asking the sorting hat and I’m hoping even Bunny will want to put her wizarding skills to the test with Bean Planting Workshops, Wand Making Workshops and Broomstick Training. We’ve even been told to expect one or two special guest appearances!
Another area that may be beyond my two will be the Bear Grylls Survival Academy that will be making the most of LolliBop’s new home with its fantastic green spaces and woodlands. Taster sessions include Fire Lighting, Shelter Building, Camouflaging and Concealment, Gross Eating and many more. This sounds like the perfect way to ensure our future camping trips will be even more fun!
And if, like me, you’re exhausted just reading all of this, then you’ll be glad to know that there will be another new area, LolliBooks presented by Ladybird and Puffin, that will provide some downtime from all the excitement. Among the less frenetic activities will be:
A sneak peek into the chaotic life of the naughtiest boy in the Beano, the author of Diary of Dennis the Menace, Steven Butler, will be creating Mayhem with Dennis the Menace! Expect lots of fun and games (maybe even a prank or two!); an interactive puppet show bringing The Tale of Peter Rabbit to life. See Peter Rabbit escape from Mr McGregor’s Garden, and help him on his journey; numerous storytelling activities throughout the day for pre-schoolers who love to follow the fun adventures of Spot the Dog, alongside colouring and activity sheets and a chance to meet Spot himself; bespoke activitives from Ladybird Live events to promote and celebrate the joy of storytelling for pre-schoolers and parents, including professional storytelling, expert advice for parents and arts and crafts that encourage children to engage with the stories and enter a world of imagination and fun. And those that have been to LolliBop before, will be pleased to hear that the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre will be back with swizzfiggling tales from Revolting Rhymes and Dirty Beasts and fantabulous crafts to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There will also be a Lolli Library with hay bales to kick back and spend some quiet time reading from much loved classics to new releases, all aimed at children up to the age of 10.
Over on the main stage, new girl in town, Stephanie from Lazy Town Live and her back flipping super hero friend Sportacus, will teach festival goers how to get active, what is “sports candy”, where good energy comes from and most importantly how to become super heroes!
And this is all alongside LolliBop favourites, new and old:
- CBeebies Superstar Justin Fletcher (Saturday & Sunday)
- Mister Maker (Friday only)
- Mr Bloom
- CBBC’s Big Friday Wind Up stars Sam & Mark
- Andy Day’s Live Show
- Chris & Pui Mini Roadshow
- Scooby-Doo! The Mystery of the Pyramid
- Cook and Line from Swashbuckle (Fri & Sat)
- Michaela Strachan’s Really Wild Adventures Show.
- Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic present a Silent Disco!
- Skylanders Trap Team™
- Postman Pat® Mini Show,
- The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre
- Science Museum.
- National Geographic Kids woodlands takeover
- Beano events
- Live cooking in the Lolli Kitchen
Plus, LolliBop’s first Inflatable Village, a Good Old Fashioned Sports Day, dancing session with Itsy Bitsy Strictly, Ready Sheddy Disco, Baby Ballet, beat boxing, face painting, balloon modelling and much more.
Finally, on a more serious note, the team behind the LolliBop festival – Broadwick Live and Live Nation – have announced their partnership with Sparks, the leading children’s medical research charity. Each year, less than £10 per child in the UK is spent on research into child health. Every day 1 in 30 babies are born in the UK with a condition which may affect them for life. Sparks raises money to fund pioneering children’s medical research to get this to change. Sparks will host interactive stands and exciting events at the festival each day such as a treasure trail, celebrity bake-off and a chance to find out more about the science behind their research.
LolliBop is a family day out, taking place on August 15, 16 & 17 2014. All programming and content is aimed at children up to the age of 10. If you’re sat planning the summer holidays, this would be money well spent for a really fun day out.
Hatfield House is situated in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 5NQ. With good motorways links, extensive on site parking and just a five minute walk from Hatfield train station, LolliBop 2014 is more accessible than ever before.
Tickets are on sale now priced £17.50pp
As official LolliBop Festival ambassadors, we have been invited to attend the festival and will be sharing our experiences of the day here, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Keep an eye out for more announcements in the run up to it too.