It was a good day to be a child at the annual Everything Kids Expo, as youngsters were treated to an afternoon of sports, games, giveaways, contests, music and more.
Held at Matchpoint NYC on Sunday, March 1, and organized by this newspaper, the day of fun attracted families there to enjoy and glean information despite another snowy afternoon. Numerous local programs and companies were in attendance to both entertain kids and inform adults.
“I did not expect so many people here, which is great,” said Julia Bazylko, president of children’s clothing store Kiddos and vice president of Land O Fun Amusement Center. “It’s just great to see so many happy people. It’s a great idea to do an exhibit like this so people can learn about everything in one place, such as day camps, day care, kid stores and party places like ours. It’s a great idea. We’re all about kids.” Their booth offered face painting, tattoos and goodie bags giveaways filled with school supplies.
The New York Cosmos soccer team also had a booth at the expo to promote the first professional soccer match in Coney Island and offer free soccer lessons for the youngsters. “We’ve gotten a pretty good reception. People are excited and interested, especially that they don’t have to go to Long Island to see them, which is where they normally play,” said Jonathan Ghandforoush of the Cosmos booth. “It’s family friendly. We pride ourselves on the fact that you could take your kids to one of our games and not worry that they’re going to hear something that you don’t want them to hear. The clinic today has been very popular and we also have a youth academy in the works.”
Music Box School of Bay Ridge also offered entertainment, as one of its violin students performed during the event. “We enjoy being here. Overall, we think it’s a great exhibition and great way to share what we have to offer to the community and to see what other businesses have,” said Natalia Kozel, founder of the school.
Many organizations put together informative booths for parents, such as Coney Island Hospital.
“It is very important for us to be here today because Coney Island Hospital has very extensive services for kids. We have in-patient and out-patient pediatric departments,” said Director of Marketing Gregory Maizous. “We also have a beautiful birthing center and most of our postpartum rooms and birthing centers are single rooms and we do not charge anything extra for it.”
Parents considered the event a success. “My son got a lot of little trinkets today,” said Casey W. “Everyone has been really helpful. There’s been a lot of helpful information. It’s good because when you come to these expos, the kids want to do something, while you’re trying to get information. This gave a good distraction for kids while we learned.”
“It’s been an awesome experience,” said father Greg Ritter. “My kid was looking forward to all the sports stuff, including the tennis and soccer lessons.”
The event was sponsored by the Brooklyn Home Reporter, Brooklyn Spectator, Matchpoint NYC, Land O Fun, Kiddos, New York Cosmos, Health Plus Amerigroup, PM Pediatrics, National Grid, Brooklyn Parent, Frankie’s Carnival Time, Busy Little Bees, Bitsy’s Brainfood, PuppetsBurg, Big Apple Circus, Car2Go. Coney Island Hospital was the platinum presenting sponsor.
Raffles for the afternoon included a one-year gym membership to MatchPoint NYC and a free birthday party at Land O Fun. The grand prize was a trip to Cancun.