Take a selfie with Maisy the mouse, create your own clouds or kick around a soccer ball with the Miami FC: You and your kids can do all of these things and more – much, much more! – at The Children's Trust Family Expo, happening on Saturday, September 9.
Now in its 11th year, the Expo is held at the site of the Miami-Dade County Fair, where 15,000-20,000 moms, dads, caregivers and kids pass through annually to take advantage of what’s on tap: all-day activities that engage and inspire children, as well as hundreds of academic, enrichment and health resources that families can connect with to enhance their lives, all in one exuberantly presented place.
“We come every year,” said a Hialeah mom of three at last year’s Expo. “I found after-school programs for all my kids here, and the book bag giveaway is really great.”
Bringing together resources from local organizations and putting them face-to-face with parents, the free to park, enter and enjoy Expo makes it easy for families to find out about the programs and services they need and want – including some targeted specifically to parents.
“I thought this would be all about my kids, but I found out about a couple of programs that are just for me,” said a mother of two from Miami. “That was a nice surprise.”
As in years past, Expo guests will find exhibitors sharing information on after-school and enrichment programs, pre-K registration, programs for children with special needs, health and nutrition education, KidCare outreach, injury prevention and community services. Other returning favorites include a low-cost book fair, face painters and balloon artists, a bounce house and rock climbing wall, storytellers and stilt walkers, martial arts demonstrations and music and dance performances, and meet-and-greets with beloved characters like Llama Llama, Elephant & Piggie, Maisy the mouse, Pete the Cat, Geronimo Stilton and Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants.
What: The Children’s Trust 11th annual Family Expo, a free, fun-filled day of comprehensive resources, hands-on activities, live entertainment and great giveaways for children and parents
When: Saturday, September 9, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Where: Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo Center, 10901 Coral Way (SW 24th Street), Miami, FL 33165; entrances at 109th and 112th Avenues
For more information about the Expo, showtimes and other event details – and a video highlighting last year’s event – visit www.thechildrenstrust.org.
Back-to-School Boulevard, which promotes the academic, enrichment and
wellness programs oﬀered by Miami-Dade County Public Schools, will also be back, as will the crowd-pleasing arts and crafts area hosted by the Miami Children’s Museum. New for 2017 are hourly raffles for big-ticket prizes; an interactive robotics area; a huge kick dart inﬂatable with the Miami FC and team mascot, Golazo; a special racing exhibit with Homestead Speedway; and a hands-on installation from HistoryMiami, showcasing the museum’s current special exhibit marking the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew. There, Expo visitors can form clouds using cotton, chalk and charcoals; create Hurricane Andrew radar images; and see a tornado in a bottle.
“We hold The Children’s Trust Expo every year because we know how critical it is for parents to find the information that they need for their families,” says Trust Director of Communications Emily Cardenas. “This is our gift to the community.”