For the first time, The Chicago Toy& Game Fair is opening its doors early both days of the huge annual toy fair just for families of children with special needs. And you have the National Lekotek Center to thank.
If you go
Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave., Chicago
Lekotek, which promotes toys and play for all abilities, is hosting a Super Power Sensory Hour at ChiTAG one hour before doors open to the public 9-10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Nov. 22. This should give time for children with special needs to navigate the fair, get easier access to the fun and time to touch and experience all of the toys.
“Hopefully it will empower them to stay the rest of the day, make them feel comfortable and connected to the exhibitors and what’s going on at the fair,” says Ahren A. Hoffman, manager of industry relations& partnerships for the National Lekotek Center in Chicago.
There also will be a Chill Out Zone, a curtained area next to the Lekotek booth, when the kids need a break from the action once the doors open to the public at 10 a.m. The Lekotek booth also will have resources about the importance of play, toy raffles throughout the day and interactive arts and crafts.
The Super Power Sensory Hour includes includes free admission to ChiTag.
ChiTAG started in 2003 by game designer Mary Couzin to support inventors. Over the years, it’s become a destination event for industry professionals and toy enthusiasts alike, and with good reason: the biggest names in toys are there with products for testing. The event also hosts the dream-worthy Star Wars luncheon, which includes character photo ops, prizes and giveaways and a themed buffet lunch.