“Mom, can we come back again?”

In toddler terms, that’s a rave review! That’s what my 3-year-old daughter asked me as we walked out of the Edmonton EXPO Centre at the end of the Mom, Pop & Tots Fair. Her little chalk-covered fingers gripped her new prized possession, a Mickey Mouse giveaway toothbrush, in one hand, while the other desperately clung to a bunny sticker that had lost most of its stickiness.

I asked my girls what their favourite parts of the show were. “A” quickly piped up that she loved getting to draw all over the floor at the chalk art setup. “E” liked the drawing, too, but was more excited about jumping through the series of hopscotch courses that had been mapped out by “the big kids”. “E” loved the bonus features of the bouncy castle – namely the slide, turtle and mushrooms, while “A”, who took a pass on the castle, preferred the Lego garden, a grassy area dotted with a rainbow of building blocks. And in true twin fashion, they told me in unison that they loved the giant “Connect Four” game.

I entered a handful of free draws for terrific prizes (please, please, please let us win that playhouse!), and happily accepted samples and information packets, when I wasn’t being pulled in one direction or the other. Everywhere we turned there was something exciting to look at, try or play with.

The spacious petting zoo, and a remarkable realistic dinosaur that roamed the hall at one point, did not make our hilight list. It was simply personal preference on the part of two very outspoken three-year-olds – but the popularity of both exhibits made them clear crowd favourites.

We opted not to join the line of fans waiting excitedly for the meet and greets with “Masha and the Bear”. The girls took a peek from afar, but couldn’t drag themselves away from the plethora of fun games and activities they wanted to try. That said, they are already making predictions about who will be the special guest at next Spring’s Mom, Pop & Tots show. (And if organizers are reading this, our top votes are for “Daniel Tiger” and “Peppa Pig”!)

No doubt, regardless of who it is, we will be return customers for a fantastic afternoon of family fun!

Mom, Pop & Tots Fair

When: Every March at the Edmonton EXPO Centre

Website: mpt.edmontonshows.com