The UK’s biggest bonanza for bumps, babies and their owners, the Baby Show, took place this weekend at ExCel London. Despite the grim weather, I made the trip down to the Docklands with my boys in tow. It was our first visit to ExCel and the experience was worth it for the journey alone.
I’d already prepped Ezra with the exciting idea that he was going to be travelling on a new (well, new to him) train called the Docklands Light Railway. But he was totally blown away not only by how swish the train looks – he actually said ‘Oooooh!’ when he first saw it – but by the fact that it was driverless. Sitting right at the front, he could see the tracks ahead and pretend he was operating the train.
The journey is quite rollicky and at certain points, the track curves and twists like a mini-rollercoaster. There were a couple of other kids up front and I think all of them could have happily ridden the DLR for hours.
All that rocking and rolling also helped ease Jed off to sleep so by the time we arrived at ExCel, everything was copacetic, baby. To enter the show, you cross a ‘footbridge’ from the train to the centre (another thrill for the little mister) and then follow the pushchairs and pregnant ladies.
The London Baby Show is a bi-annual event featuring hundreds of stands plugging a variety of things you may or may not need, stuff you crave and some shit you wouldn’t believe.
Navigating your way through all the visitors and stalls takes patience and determination, but it’s worth it for the bargains you can score and useful info you can pick up along the way. Throughout the weekend, there are expert talks, demonstrations, catwalk shows and other entertainment.
The good thing about ExCel is that it’s larger and offers more options to eat and drink than the show at Earls Court (in October). The bad side is that the toilets are located downstairs which means queuing for lifts and when you’re dealing with preggazillas and potty-training toddlers, that’s a recipe for potential disasters!
Some people think a show like this would be one giant commercial exercise for big brands. But in truth, the best part is meeting a variety of indie business owners, many of them new or recent parents themselves.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be blogging about some of the cool people and products we discovered and featuring a range of goodies and giveaways. Watch this space!