As we strolled our way through the Vancouver Convention Centre doors this past weekend, something struck us right away: this year’s Healthy Family Expo is much busier than last year’s event. Word had been spreading through social media for weeks about the show and the level of excitement was palpable. Happy parents with their happy kids looked very happy to be there.
The Healthy Family Expo approached nearly every aspect of raising a happy and healthy family. Like last year’s show, dozens of vendors were sampling their goods, offering show specials, and answering questions. A lot of this had to do with food, like the terrific Nuoc Cham Vietnamese dipping sauce by The Wooden Boat, the grass-fed yogurt from Tree Island and the natural soup delivery service from The Soup Solution. Many products were organic, GMO-free and/or made from all natural ingredients.
It’s not just about good eating, of course. We took some time to look at the bamboo clothing and bedding from Earth Baby Outfitters and Adalynn got to try riding the pedal-free bikes from Tykes Bikes. Like her father, her sense of balance isn’t quite so sharp, though we’re told that these $99 balance bikes are suitable for little ones as young as 18 months.
What’s great about the Healthy Family Expo, and this is something I commented on last year too, is that it is so much more than “just” another trade show. On the main stage, they hosted performances by Bobs & LoLo and country music star Jessie Farrell, for instance. Adalynn got into the action with the DANCEPL3Y class (top) and learned about animal conservation from the Urban Safari Rescue Society.
With a rock climbing wall, free Sportball games, a giant hamster track and even a bouncy castle styled after a fire station, the Active Kid Zone was a very popular area of the show. Whole Foods provided an area with coloring books, while CBC’s Scout & the Gumboot Kids featured a discovery area too.
We had originally planned to stay for only an hour or two, but we ended up spending about four hours at the Healthy Family Expo. It was a lot to cover and I imagine we’ll end up staying even longer once Adalynn gets older and is even more interested in the additional activities.
As a parent, it’s invaluable to know your options and shows like this are a great way to get educated about what’s available on the market, both in terms of products and in terms of services in the Vancouver area.
More pictures, including a few shots of our friend Mike Granek from Top Daddies, are embedded in the slideshow below. The full photo set is available on Flickr too.