Did you make it out to the debut of the Louisville Kids Fair? I hope so, because you’ll have to wait another year to go again. My family went and had a great time! This new event premiered Saturday and Sunday at the Kentucky International Convention Center. According to the website, this “fun-filled event was created to allow families to spend the day together while shopping, gathering information, and most of all allowing the kids to have fun.” I would have to say they achieved their goal.
We arrived shortly after opening, 10:00am, Saturday morning. There were probably about 100 people there, but by the time we left a couple hours later it was pretty busy. We visited almost every booth and activity. Shows were scheduled all day on the stage in the back of the convention hall.
With about 75 venders and lots of activities for the kiddos, we played and walked around for about two and a half hours. There was something for just about everyone. Most booths had something to giveaway, lots of freebies ranging from toothpaste to temporary tattoos, water bottles and coupons to PediaSure. I came home with a new, large reusable bag full of stuff! That was fun for me.
I was also able to get information on some new products and check into a few things I’ve seen around or heard about. We registered to try to win several birthday parties, still waiting to hear about those. Most booths offered a giveaway for the kids. Either candy, a little toy, stickers or something like that. Some had games the kids could play or balloon animals made to order. We came home with several toothbrushes and trial size toothpastes and a stack of literature about two inches thick.
Initially, as someone who used to do the daily grind  in the corporate world, the layout reminded me of a trade show; rows of booths full of friendly people eager to tell you about their business. But how could you miss the fun stuff around the perimeter? That’s what caught the eyes of my children. We had to do it all!
My kids loved the activities! They got to bounce until their legs were tired. Four large bouncers were set-up, varied in activity level for various ages. One even donned a huge Justin Bieber banner across the top. Some of them had slides, obstacle courses and even a basketball goal inside.
They watched a magic show and got to see Sponge Bob SquarePants. The fire truck was a big hit with my three year old son. He climbed in and jumped right into the driver’s seat and tried to put the seatbelt on. The firemen manning the truck were very friendly and helpful. They welcomed questions and play inside the cab. A bicycle safety town was set up for bigger children. While it wasn’t the most popular activity, many kids participated and enjoyed the ride.
We waited longest for the pony rides. I believe our wait was close to 10 minutes, but when I saw my daughter’s glowing face while she was on the pony it was all worth it! She got to ride “Andy” around the circle twice. The miniature horses dutifully did their job, child after child.
Another popular stop was the face painting station. The lines moved quickly with four seats at a time. Kids could choose from about a dozen pictures and of course my son asked for Sponge Bob…who was not on the choice board. The very nice woman did her best to please my three year old, and we very much appreciate it!
Our last activity was the petting zoo. Although kind of small it was very busy. We got to pet some llamas and goats and see some chickens. We can never pass up the opportunity to touch farm animals. And thankfully, they provided hand sanitizer for everyone.
I saw lots of happy kids and parents. Annie Kirchner said “My son, John really enjoyed himself! The lines were a little long at times (30 minute wait for a balloon animal at one booth)...but overall a good time.”
I recommend this event, hopefully they will hold it again next year. There was an admission fee, but with coupons available around town or online it was more affordable. All activities were included in the admission price. I only paid for parking and two hair bows at a booth for my daughters. I have to say the hair bows were very reasonably priced as well. You can view the website for more information
Photo: Roxane Haynes