Barbara Kaplan’s All Kids Fair 2014 Brings Excitement, Entertainment, Education, for Fourth Year Running
Published on February 4, 2014 · Filed Under Uncategorized
(Long Island, NY) When it comes to a day of family fun, entertainment, and education all wrapped up with a shiny bow of excitement, few events come close to eclipsing the All Kids Fair, now celebrating it’s fourth year catering children on Long Island.
Taking place at the Melville Marriott on Sunday, April 27, at 10 a.m., the All Kids Fair 2014 is the brainchild of East Hills resident Barbara Kaplan, who said the event is sure to please youngsters of all ages.
“This event is more than they will expect,” she said. “The whole experience is just so unique, and what we offer is a whole experience; lots of different things relevant to that age group.”
Kaplan has been involved in donating her time to help others for quite a while now; however, she recently found even more time and decided to use it by offering something really valuable to fellow Long Islanders, according to Kaplan.
All Kids Fair Director Barbara Kaplan.
“I had taken off a lot of years, and was only working part-time,” she said. “My kids are older now, and I was looking for something with more hours, and I was trying to find my passion. I really needed to get out and be part of the community more… I had done a ton of volunteer work over the years, and was looking for something more substantial.”
Prior to the All Kids Fair, Kaplan had worked for one season at the Long Island Autism Fair, a charitable event that unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore, she said. But while working there, she learned the ins-and-outs of how to put together and run a fair; insights she brought with her to her next venture.
A fabulous day was had by all at 2013 All Kids Fair event.
“I started looking for a market…what was missing from Long Island? What market was under-served?” she said. “Four years ago I ended up creating a health and wellness fair for people 50 years and older called the Over 50 Fair, and it was a huge success. I had 80 exhibitors and over 500 attendees. It was a lot of fun and the response to it was great, and it’s become an annual event now.”
Spurred on by her success with the Over 50 Fair, Kaplan tried her best to find yet another demographic on Long Island to serve in the same capacity – thus, the All Kids fair was born.
“The All Kids Fair is part health and wellness fair, and part activities and education expo,” she said. “In addition to having things that you expect, we have a lot of things that you wouldn’t expect as well- mentally, physically, socially, spiritually, and financially. I have everything from tutors and special needs providers to doctors, chiropractors, and dentists to financial services specialists.”
But rest assured, Kaplan said…the All Kids Fair has more than its fair share of fun and games to keep children entertained.
The All Kids Fair has more than its fair share of fun and games to keep children entertained says Kaplan, program director.
“We have places to play, arts, music, dance, archery, and cooking and fitness classes,” she said. “We have camps, pre-schools, daycares, and even lice removal, birthday party entertainers, people that will renovate your bathroom, and vendors who sell all kinds of kids stuff like toys and games…all at one fair!”
Kaplan said that last year’s All Kids Fair attracted a whopping 85 exhibitors and over 850 attendees; this year she’s expecting closer to 90 exhibitors. Initially she attracted exhibitors via phone sales and networking events, but now that her reputation has grown she relies mostly on word-of-mouth and promotion through social media websites.
Kaplan said that last year’s All Kids Fair attracted a whopping 85 exhibitors and over 850 attendees; this year she’s expecting closer to 90 exhibitors.
In addition to the enthusiastic response of vendors and exhibitors, Kaplan said that the positive response of the community has been even more warm and unbridled.
“I can’t tell you how kind people have been…it’s amazing,” she said. “People have been contacting me months away from the event asking me when the next one is…they can’t wait. We have people who don’t just come for a few hours, we have people who come for the entire six-and-a-half hour day. They do an activity with their kids, they walk around, they hand their kid off to their husband to take a class geared towards the adults…we have a very passionate following.”
Kaplan said that she has truly found her life’s calling – helping connect people of all ages with what they need, and the joy she receives from this talent makes all the hard work more than worthwhile.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “I felt for a lot of years that I wasn’t doing everything that I could be doing… I enjoyed the volunteer work that I was doing immensely, but I felt that it was time for me to move on and do something different. I’ve never had a better job, and I’ve never had a better boss.”
The 4th Annual All Kids Fair takes place on Sunday, April 27, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Melville Marriott. The event is dedicated to bringing together individuals, businesses, and non-profit organizations with children from birth through high school age and their families.
Interested parties may contact Barbara Kaplan at 516-621-1446. The All Kids Fair website, which contains a list of all exhibitors and classes, is www.AllKidsFair.com.