It was all fun and games – with an emphasis on families and education — at The Queens Courier’s first annual Kids’ Expo this past weekend.
Close to 1,500 people attended. Hundreds of children were able to play with games and interactive models at the New York Hall of Science while their parents absorbed useful information from 50 various vendors about summer camps, children’s health, deals, tutoring and fun activities and places, such as the Queens Zoo.
“You come here and you find a lot that you need as a parent,” said Laura Reyes of Forest Hills.
Reyes was talking to New York Life Insurance about setting up an account for her five-year-old daughter, LeAnna Baez.
“I get information, she has fun, it’s a win-win situation.”
Children indulged in cotton candy, face painting, airbrush tattoos, spin art and a photo booth provided by Frankie’s Carnival Time. There was also kite making and entertainment by a clown from the Big Apple Circus.
A live minion, the short, yellow creatures from the movie “Despicable Me,” and Snoopy from the Charlie Brown cartoon greeted kids as well.
The event was sponsored by EmblemHealth, Party City, jetBlue, Rapid Realty, the Big Apple Circus, Frost Valley YMCA, North Shore Animal Hospital, Fidelis Care, Happy Family Foods, Frankie’s Carnival Time, American Style Baby and Caliper Orthodontics.
Vendors had the opportunity to talk with parents and introduce their products and services.
The expo “is giving us great exposure,” said Morgan Chen, head trainer at Title Boxing Club. “We’re due to open May 1. We came out here to get our name out there and get some pre-registrants.”
Some attendees went home with raffle prizes including gift cards, gift baskets, a stroller, Big Apple Circus tickets and Broadway tickets donated by Queens businesses.
And there were grand prizes to raffle off as well. Sharon Seales won a five-day, four-night trip to Cancun, Mexico, donated by The Creative Group, while Nneka Wharton won an iPad donated by Rapid Realty and Shanae Barrett won a two-week stay at Frost Valley YMCA sleep-away camp.
One hundred percent of the raffle proceeds will go to Life’s WORC.
“I think what made the day so successful was the variety of vendors – everything from baby products to home improvement,” said Amy Amato, VP of Events. “We gave parents the opportunity to speak to experts and receive a lot of information under one roof while children had fun. The giveaways and prizes added great energy and excitement. Everyone left with a smile!”
-SLIDESHOW AND ARTICLE BY LIAM LA GUERRE