Hard to believe it’s been one year since our last trip to the Hannaford Kidz Expo! The 2018 Hannaford Kidz Expo will be held on Saturday, March 3rd from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Egg and Convention Center in Downtown Albany. We’re back again with another Ultimate Guide to the Expo to help you plan your day. Just like last year, we’ll plot out where all of the different attractions will be. A new addition to this year’s post is we’ll be referencing questions posted on the Hannaford Kidz Expo Facebook event page. Let’s get to it!
This year’s featured activities:
- Hannaford Supermarkets (Meeting Rooms 3– 4): All Day
- The Octonauts (Hart Theater):11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm
- Meet the Octonauts (Hart Theater):2:00pm, 4:00pm
- Win a prize at the Piñata Wall (at the Bash Birthday Parties booth in the Convention Center)
- See Circo Comedia Performance (MR 6):10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm
- Incredulous Chris & Presto Pete Magicians (MR 6): 1:30, 3:30
- Planetarium Adventures (Concourse): 10:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm
- Make a Comet (Concourse): 11:30am, 2:30pm, 4:30pm
- Enjoy Debuts Theater Performance (MR 6): 11:30am
- Battlefield Live Laser Tag (Concourse)
- Observe dance and movement shows by Dance Dimensions (Concourse): 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm
- Ride the Rails at Roaming Railroad (Concourse)
- Putt putt your way to fun at Fun Putt (MR 5)
- See reptiles from Reptile Adventures (MR 1)
- Lots of activities for the little ones in the Toddler Zone (Base of The Egg): All Day
How much is all this fun going to cost?
You weren’t the only one asking that question. Our first Facebook question comes from a mom in Saratoga Springs: Is everything free bounce rides face painting etc to which @EmpirePlazaEvents replied:
Empire State Plaza Events All of the shows and activities are free. Food and merchandise will be available for purchase from vendors. It is also $5 to park in Visitor Parking. Free parking is available in the East Parking Garage and in lots on Madison Ave.
Anyone that’s attended this huge, free family fun event before knows that it has lots to offer parents and kids of all ages but it can be a bit daunting because it is so big. To help, we’ve come up with a guide for your trip to the 13th annual Hannaford Kidz Expo at the Plaza to make the most of your trip!
Note: This guide is meant to be a helpful source of information and we’re not being paid to put this together. Of course, we’ll do our best to keep this updated so if you see something incorrect please shoot us an email so we can update – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hannaford Kidz Expo at the Plaza!
Parking at the Empire State Plaza for the Kidz Expo
Let’s start with parking. The Visitors Parking Lot (V Lot) is located within the Empire State Plaza and we definitely think the location is worth the $5 parking fee (weekend rate). You can reach the lot from Exit 3A off of 787, you’ll enter the tunnel that goes under the Concourse and it will be the last parking lot on your right before you exit the tunnel and the road turns around the other way (a confusing description but you’ll understand it when you see it). More info about parking in the area can be found on the NYS Office of General Services website.
Cool to Cruise Around with Strollers?
Those of you thinking of bringing strollers, you’ll find your answer from the Hannaford Kidz Expo Facebook event page.
To make it even easier, if you do park in the Visitors Lot, there are elevators that take you up to the Expo from the Visitors Lot.
Map of the Empire State Plaza
Alright, you’ve made it in to the Kidz Expo! The Expo is divided up into 4 major areas, the Egg’s Hart Theatre and the Base of the Egg (Toddler Zone), the Meeting Rooms, the Convention Center,and the Concourse . We’re going to breakdown the attractions and vendors in each area. Before we do that, you need to know where we’re talking about. We took this map from the NYS SBA and add some descriptions to let you know the areas we’re referring to:
If you’ve taken the elevator up from the Visitors Lot you’ll find yourself at the star on the map – right in the thick of it! Now where to start? We’ve taken each area of the Hannaford Kidz Expo and broken down everything it has to offer by category: Kids Activities, Events/Rentals/Entertainment, Food, Education & Health, Shopping, Sports & Dance, Summer Camps & Kids Programs. Let’s get going!
Area 1: The Egg’s Hart Theater & Base of the Egg
The Octonauts will be in the Hart Theater at 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 and you can meet the Octonauts at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. The Toddler Zone is located in the Base of the Egg along with Guido’s Frozen Desserts and Fidelis Care. Last year this area hosted face painting, clowns and balloon twisting so they’ll be sure to have lots of fun, age appropriate activities.
Area 2: The Meeting Rooms
The Meeting Rooms are between the Concourse and Convention Center and will provide lots of great entertainment and shows for the kids.
Room 1: Reptile Adventures
Room 3-4: Hannaford
Room 5: Fun Putt
Room 6 has lots going on:
Circo Comedia at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm
Debuts Theater at 11:30am
Incredulous Chris & Presto Pete at 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm
Area 3: The Convention Center
The Convention Center is sure to be a popular area because that’s where you’ll find the bounce houses! We (Bash Birthday Parties) will be in the Convention Center at Booth 3, which is on the top tier to the right of the bounce houses. Be sure to stop by to say hi, check out our Fiesta Bash booth, and maybe even win a prize at our Pinata Wall!
Kids Activities at the Convention Center:
Bounce Houses from Bounce N’ Play
Take a pull at the Piñata Wall with Bash Birthday Parties
Events/Rentals/Entertainment at the Convention Center:
Piéce d’Occasion – Photobooth Fun, giveways and a chance to enter to win a Birthday Party
CRE Bushkill Group LLC
Enchanted Forest Water Safari
Herkimer Diamond Mines & KOA Campground
Howe Caverns Inc.
Mountain Ridge Adventure
The Great Escape Resort
Summer Camps & Kids Programs at the Convention Center:
The Fresh Air Fund
Albany JCC Center Camps
Kreative Kidz Zone Program Inc.
Capital District YMCA
JMU 4 KIDS
New York State Network for Youth Success
SCAMP at Doane Stuart
Summer Academy for Youth
Theatre Institute at Sage
Sports & Dance at the Convention Center:
Northeastern New York PGA Junior Golf
School of the Albany Berkshire Ballet
Shopping at the Convention Center:
Children’s Place at the Plaza
The Jerky Hut
Old Tyme Toys
Health & Education at the Convention Center:
Capital District Child Care Council
Capital Region Safe Kids
Dr Douglas Tucker DMD
Homeless and Travelers Aid Society
NYS Workers’ Compensation Board
St. Peter’s Health Partners
The Community Hospice
The Doane Stuart School
Albany Community Charter School
Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls
Brighter Choice Charter Schools
City School District of Albany
Henry Johnson Charter School
KIPP Tech Valley Primary School
RiverRun Community Montessori
Sacred Heart School
Saint Gregory’s School
SKribblers Magazine Inc
UPSTATE NEW YORK FALUN DAFA ASSO
Yacon Village Learning Community
Home, Auto & Finance at the Convention Center:
LeafFilter North of New York, LLC.
New York Life
New York Power Authority
Renewal by Andersen
Area 4: The Concourse
The long hallway of the Concourse offers up a little bit of everything.
Kids Activities at the Concourse:
Planetarium Adventures: 10:30am, 12:30pm, 3:30pm
Make a Comet: 11:30am, 2:30pm, 4:30pm
Battlefield Live Laser Tag
Dance Dimensions: 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm
Ride the Rails at Roaming Railroad
Create art inspired by the Empire State Plaza Art Collection with NYS Curatorial and Visitor Services
Star Wars Characters from The 501st Legion & Garrison Excelsior
Events/Rentals/Entertainment at the Concourse:
Hoops By Jem
Sparkle Spa Parties
TANTRUMS SPA BOUTIQUE
Summer Camps & Kids Programs at the Concourse:
Albany Boy Scout Troop 2
Capital District Youth Pipe Band
Sports & Dance at the Concourse:
Westland Hills Park
Shopping at the Concourse:
Usborne Books and More
Health & Home at the Concourse:
Albany County Department of Health
NY State Fire
NYS Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
NYS Division of Consumer Protection
Food at the Concourse:
Cravings Too Inc
Dom’s Fried Dough and Pizza
And that’s our guide. We hope it helps you make the most of your trip to this year’s Expo and don’t forget to say hi to us in the Convention Center! We’ll be posting all sorts of pictures the day of, so follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@BashBirthdayParties). See you there!