Bebe Paluzza – Chicago Expo for Bebe and Me!

Face painting at Baby & Toddler Expo.

In my former life as a trade magazine editor, you could find me in the press rooms, seminars and show floors at expos and trade shows in Chicago. Without a doubt, my favorite being the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show at McCormick Place where you could graze aisles and aisles of foods from around the world, watch demos and take home some goodies. The All Candy Show was a close second.  I had an emergency stash of sweets under my desk for almost a year.

The announcement that Bebe Paluzza’s Chicago Baby & Toddler Expo is coming close to home this summer is  the giddiest I’ve been about an expo since those foodie show days. This will be the event’s inaugural year in the Chicago area and they’re rolling out the pastel pink and blue carpet for not only parents, but grandparents, caretakers – and of course, babies, toddlers and kids! Needless to say, my little fam will be there!

The expo rolls into town Saturday, July 31 through Sunday, August 1 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center (1551 North Thoreau Dr., Schaumburg, Ill.), and will include more than 125 exhibitors with the latest products and services for parents and children, as well as family-friendly entertainment, games and activities, and expert speakers. Ollie is in for a real treat (let’s be honest, so are Mama and Dada)!

Here’s what to expect:

The Latest Products: Moms, dads, and grandparents will find hundreds of exhibitors with everything for babies and trendy toddlers, from furniture and bedding, toys, and clothing to organic foods and eco-friendly baby products, handmade baby carriers, diaper services, customized books and photo albums, birth announcements and invitations, daycare services, and nursing supplies.

● Contests and Competitions: Infants will crawl, scoot, and wobble their way to victory in the Diaper Derby, and dads will push strollers through an obstacle course of baby-themed activities in Daddyathon for the chance to win more than $500.00 in prizes. One Chicago-area baby will be crowned America’s next potty-training pop star in the Juno Baby Little Star Search talent contest.

Seminars: Experts will share their insight and guidance with families and couples on a wide range of topics, including planning for a new baby and preparing for labor, potty training and taming the terrible twos, and staying healthy after baby.

● Lounges: Parents will find reprieve in the Mommy Pampering Lounge and Daddy Tailgate Lounge.  While licensed babysitters watch the kids, moms will relax with luxurious manicures and spa treatments, while dads chill in the ultimate “man cave” outfitted with big screen TVs, cushy recliners, and videogames.

Bebe Swag Bags: The first 50 moms at the show on Saturday and Sunday receive the coveted swag bag overflowing with more than $500 in prizes, products, and goodies for baby.

Fantasy Parties: Little “ladies who lunch” will escape to a magical castle for treats, games, and crafts at the Princess Tea Party; and boys will dress up as their favorite pirate to ward off evil villains and play  games at the Pirate Party.

Live Music: In the ultimate display of girl power, a band of bad-to-the-bone moms will rock out during the Expo. Kids can make their own tunes in the Rock ‘n’ Roll play area.

Sponsors: buybuy Baby, Joovy, Boogie Wipes, Juno Baby, and local sponsor, Chicago-area MomsLikeMe.com.

Tix: $10 general admission, $5 for grandparents, and free for children under 5. Beginning June 15, 2010 general admission tickets will be available online for $7.

About: The expo is the brainchild of Jenn Kampmeier, a mom herself and founder of Bebe Paluzza Productions, the nation’s largest producer of baby fairs and expos.

HOPE TO SEE YOU (AND YOUR “BEBES” THERE!)

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