The Baby and Toddler Show, Event City, Manchester, 2015
The Baby and Toddler Show took place at Event City in Manchester over the weekend. In all our years doing Best Buggy, or even as parents, we had never attended a Baby Show. So, we thought we would write up some of our outing so that others can know what to expect. We also have some photos of the pushchairs we saw to share.
We were surprised how easy it was to park outside, despite us being in an overflow car park. We were inside in minutes. We were handed a MAM bottle on the way in (which is going to a friend who is expecting a baby) and a voucher for an Emma’s Diary goodie bag.
What surprised us was how large the show was. It was a little overwhelming at first, but armed with our map, we set off along one side, looking at the various enticing stalls. Unlike the Harrogate Nursery Fair, which is trade only, there were things to buy at The Baby and Toddler Show. This made everything much more fun.
We passed stands of toys, clothes, pushchair accessories, cots, beanbags, bottles, wipes, organic food and more! Towards the rear of the hall were all the pushchair stands. These are run by the Baby Planet store. Some stalls were run by Baby Planet staff, and others were run by staff of that particular brand. All the stalls took orders at the stand, and then you had to queue at one of the two pay points to pay for your items. The queues to pay were quite long, however, we suspect that the prices or freebies e.g footmuffs, were the incentive to place your order there and then.
It was fair to say that the stands were extremely busy. We could not photograph everything because there were so many people crowding around various stands notably Egg, Mima, Joolz and Bugaboo. As a potential customer, you would need to be patient at certain stands if you wanted specific advice. I am sure some of the stands would benefit from providing chairs for pregnant mums to sit whilst they wait to discuss a product. We did spot a number of parents who waited for ages to speak to someone, before giving up and moving on. However, on most stands there was plenty of opportunity to speak to someone, to get hands on, and look carefully at pushchairs before you buy. Towards the end of the day it was much quieter, and we would recommend waiting as late as you can if you want a good demo. We know many of the brand staff these days, so it was a good opportunity for us to touch base with them and to ask about any new products etc.
There were also stands with infant carriers and car seats on such as BeSafe and Kiddy. What was great, was that many of the pushchair stands had a range of infant carriers so that a customer could try their desired baby car seat on the chassis. If you wanted to try a different car seat, then the camaraderie between stands meant that infant carriers were being carried for customers to try on different stands. It was great to see that Maxi-Cosi did not dominate on the stands, and that customers were being encouraged to look at a variety of infant carriers.
There was also a baby carrier rental system on offer – parents were encouraged to leave their pushchairs and try out a baby carrier at the show. We saw lots of parents trying them out.
Little Miss BB had requested that she came on the outing, and she a great time seeing people she knew, and making new friends. The only problem was that my purse came home much lighter, whilst Little Miss BB left with a new Frozen book and a really neat Ladybird mini hoover thing by Crumbs Away (who I am to grumble when she’s been ‘hoovering’ up before she went to school today!) which picks up lego, screws and all sorts, as well as fluff and crumbs. Both children also got a cute squeaky toy from the lovely people at Cheeky Rascals.
On the way out we tried out a new Huggies Aloe Vera ‘Disney Frozen’ wipe (thankfully Little Miss BB didn’t see these or she would be insisting we converted from our Pure Huggies wipes!) and Master BB got some pull ups, a sticker chart and lots of stickers from Huggies to help with his toilet training! Little Miss BB was kindly given Disney Princess stickers which made her day complete!
We had been concerned at the cost of food at the venue (from one review), but it was very reasonable. In the middle of the day there was a scramble for somewhere to sit and eat. Many people shared a table, and we took turns sitting down. There was a great changing area with free nappies, and lots of accessible toilets.
Best of all, the show was great for people watching, and pram spotting. I would recommend getting a coffee and watching the world go by before you even head for the pushchairs stands. One of the most eye catching was the Mee-Go Inspire. There was also a stunning all black Stokke Xplory, with gorgeous fur liner, however the baby was perched on top with no harness on. There were lots of Peaches, Oysters and Silver Cross Wayfarer’s. The Cybex Priam looks amazing being pushed.
We did see two families leave on the final day with their brand new pushchairs. We rescued one family who were stood bewildered in the car park with their new Cobalt Peach. As anyone who has a Peach knows, there is a knack to folding. They said it had looked so easy on the stand, but they couldn’t do it! We gave them a quick lesson, and into the car boot it went!
All round, it was a brilliant, and easy day out. We saw lots, learnt a lot, caught up with friends, and bought some things too. Thank you to The Baby and Toddler Show who kindly let us talk them into giving us some free tickets.
We would absolutely recommend attending a show if you are expecting a baby, or have little ones. There really was something for everyone.
There are lots of photos of the pushchairs we saw above. These are no means them all, but some stands were very busy, and we were largely looking for anything new and interesting. We will list the brands and pushchairs in these images below:
Starting at the top:
Ooba – Kimono
Supa – Flamingos
Woop – Tropical
The Wonder – Bonbon, Kew and Hepburn
Ooba – Duck Egg
Giggle 2 – All Star and Firebird
Peach 3 – 2016 colours (with the round buckle) – Honeycomb, Bubblegum, Olive, Primrose, Truffle
Peach 3 – Jet
Peach Jogger – Sneaker
Peach 3 – Cobalt
2015 Peach DC Collection – Black and Classic 5th Anniversary Editions
Peach 3 – 2016 – Royal, Truffle (behind), Butterscotch
Deluxe Carrycot on a City Mini
Baby Jogger City Mini Double (in Teal at back)
Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double (in black at back)
Deluxe Carrycot on a City Mini GT
Little Miss BB with her friend, Katie, from Baby Jogger
Mamas & Papas
Urbo 2 – Rose Gold
Urbo 2 – Liberty Collaboration Special Edition
Armadillo Flip XT – Liberty Collaboration Special Edition
Urbo Bug – Signature Edition Chestnut Tweed
Single in Artic White; Tandem behind in Gotham Black
Oyster Max 2 with new lie flat lower reclining seat.
Oyster 2 (behind)
Feather – for more photos of this super light stroller see our Harrogate 2015 post.
Pioneer in Damson
Wayfarer – Eton Grey special edition
Surf 2 – Aubergine
Wayfarer – Raspberry
Silver Cross Elegance
Pioneer – Graphite & Sand
Smart Lux (behind)
Swift (in the background – grey)
Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat
Kiddy Evolution Pro 2 infant carrier
Cameleon3 Classic in Navy
iZi Modular – Go and Toddler seat
Elea (behind in red)
Priam with Lux seat on the floor.
Fresco – sorry, Little Miss BB insisted on trying one out!
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