1) Make sure the little ones have gone to the bathroom before you head into the main hall. It is really quite big and there’s so much to see, the last thing you want to do is have to rush back for a bathroom emergency, and be completely lost as to where you were up to in your pattern, which you had cleverly devised upon walking in.
2) Know where the coffee is! Check the map, there’s a coffee stand near the back corner. If you go clock wise around the outer of the main hall you will find it. Go there and get your fix before tackling the chaos.
3) Leave the stroller in the car. If you can avoid bringing it in, then do so. As in every expo you will attend, strollers make for fun obstacles to dodge and get trapped between when trying to view all the amazing stalls.
4) Bring snacks. There’s not a lot of food stalls inside, so if you have a little one who’s going to get peckish and turn from the little angel you know and love, into some dark creature from the underworld, be prepared with food.
5) There is a lot to see, and a lot of walking to be done. Check the map for the seat stations. Some of these have water dispensers, but not all. There is one in the middle of the main hall when you pass it grab a drink, and get one for your little ones. Unless you were prepared and brought your own water bottle, you will need a drink, as it can get really hot with all the people walking around.
6) Every stand has balloons! Now as we found our 3 year old loves balloons, and when nearly every stand has them you need to be picky about which balloons you grab. This may seem silly, but when you’re leaving and your child’s having a melt down because they want to take all 5 helium balloons home, you car will look like a mobile birthday party.
7) There are some sections not to miss. The entertainment stage is great, when we were there, there was a clown doing balloon animals, which was very entertaining. Also, the Duplo/Lego area is awesome, a massive pile of Duplo to play with for the little ones, and make sure you grab a goody bag from them as it has a character and a few blocks to bring home.
8) A lot of the stuff is aimed at mums, but don’t let that deter you from checking everything out. There is a lot of great stuff on show. And of course there’s some nice new Ford’s in the main hall to check out, there’s also a competition to see who can put a car seat in the fastest too. Have a go, we did.
9) Right at the beginning they are handing out free Huggies nappies. Even if you don’t need one, grab it. These come in a nice big bag, which is ideal for all the other stuff you will collect along the way.
10) There’s a parent room in the smaller hall, which is off to the right of the main hall if you are standing facing the main entrance. There’s only one but its big, but if you need to change your little one best go there first as the bathrooms will be full.