We got our festive season off with a bang last weekend when I took up an invite to the LolliBop Christmas Cracker. Staged at Stoke Newington Town Hall, it really was a cracking event made up of two parts: LolliBop Fun Day and LolliBop Cabaret.
We went to the morning cabaret performance, which was a variety show filled with hula hooping, acrobatics, clowning, human beat boxing and basketball tricks.
The town hall is airy and spacious enough that the kids were free to run riot. By the intermission it seemed every child had bought a light sabre, which they used to attack comedian Phil Kay (above) in his hilarious, improv guitar act.
It was all held together by the delightfully batty Ida Barr, our wisecracking OAP compere with street attitude. By the end, ‘she’ had us all in front of the stage doing the hokey cokey to hip hop beats. Oh no she didn’t! Oh yes she… well, you know the score.
Jed and Ezra were having a blast and it turned out we’d made a sensible decision to watch the early show. Someone told us the Fun Day workshops had been pretty manic that morning, but by the time we arrived things had calmed down considerably.
We seemed to have oodles of time for the babes to do the Christmas quiz, decorate gingerbread men, make Christmas crackers, play party games and try some circus skills.
This was a much more low-key (and far less pricey) event than the big LolliBop festival that took over Clissold Park in summer. But the organisers clearly went to some trouble to create a fun, Christmassy event for families with young kids and we think they pulled it off.
On the Spot
Malcolm and Joseph, aged 2
Click to find out about LolliBop 2011