ChiTAG is the place to be in Chicago this weekend

The most fun expo of the year is happening this weekend at Navy Pier and it’s open to the public! The Chicago Toy& Game Fair, one of the largest toy and game fairs in the world and th only one open to the public, runs today until 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

If you go

ChiTAG runs through Sunday

10 a.m.-5 p.m., Navy Pier, Festival Hall

kids, adults. Buy your tickets online to save.


Not only do you have access to every imaginable toy and game to play with, try out, and buy, you can meet the inventors of the games.

After spending the morning getting a sneak peek, this is what my son, 11, and I determined to be the must-see booths. Hit these first before everyone tires outs or finds that one toy that they can’t stop playing.

1 Razor (booth 501)

The creator of awesome toys that get kids moving has a track set up so you can try out their latest ride, the Crazy Cart, the go-kart that you can use in your driveway or yard that allows kids as young as 8 the ability to drift. My son had a great time trying it out! I gave the RipSurf a try and aside from embarrassing my son (bonus!) it was super fun and honestly a great core workout. The RipSurf allows you to “surf” on land, like a skateboard only cooler and you don’t have to constantly take your foot off to move it.

2 Pom Pom Wow (booth 715)

You couldn’t miss the Pom Pom Wow booth if you tried. It’s an enormous Pom Pom covered igloo that you walk through to enter a pomtastic world of creativity. Pom Pom Wow is going to be the creative craft your tweens will want this year. You can cover anything with Pom Poms with a simple peel and stick system. We created a notebook and blinged out my coffee cup. Head around the back for a chance to sit in a tub of Orbeez.

3 Play Monster (booth 701)

The Play Monster booth will entertain the entire family no matter what their interest. We enjoyed building and racing the Automoblox. There is a huge pile of pieces to build the largest Roominate creation you can imagine. Try your hard at the enormous Perpluxus or play a game of Yeti in my Spaghetti.

4 Adventure Sandwich (booth 1125)

A cardboard playground that you build! Kids will get lost in their imagination building whatever they can imagine in this creative wonderland. Located right next to the Young Inventors Challenge (where kid-created games are displayed). The next toy of the year may be found right here!

5 Games, Games, and More Games!

We love playing games in our family, all kinds, all levels. The best part for us at the fair is finding and trying new-to-us games! Many of the booths have larger-than-life versions to play as well! We enjoyed playing Happy Salmon, Tak Tak, and Wordsearch. The larger-than-life Wordsearch was the most fun and the regular version will definitely be under our tree this Christmas.

There is so much to see and do at the toy fair that everyone will have a blast. I was thrilled to see so many STEM toys that used coding, engineering and electronic concepts for all ages from toddlers and up. Also big this year is virtual reality, so I’m sure a phone of his own is on my son’s list as well.

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