Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG), the largest toy and game fair in the U.S. open to the general public, returns to Navy Pier offering a weekend of fun-filled discovery and interactive events.
Running Nov. 18-20, the 14th annual ChiTAG event brings together consumers, families, inventors, manufacturers, retailers, educators, and hobbyists to play, celebrate, discover, support and promote the creation of toys and games.
The weekend of fun at Navy Pier kicks off Thursday and continues throughout ChiTAG, with additional signature events presented by Chicago Toy & Game Group, including:
- Innovation Conferences ( Nov. 17-18): The Chicago Toy & Game Group Innovation Conference has a line-up of noteworthy speakers. This year’s keynote speakers include Kathleen Campisano (VP GMM Toys, Games, Hobby & Collectibles at Barnes & Noble), Andy Roo Forrest (Partner, Forrest-Pruzan Creative), Jim McCafferty (Owner, JMP Creative), Tim Walsh (Chief Playmaker, The Playmakers), and Michelle Thaller (Assistant Director of Science, NASA Headquarters). The conference is held on Thursday, Nov. 17 and Friday, Nov. 18 at Navy Pier. Both days kick off with a Continental Breakfast at 7 a.m. with speakers beginning at 8 a.m.
PlayCHIC Fashion Show (Nov. 18): Haute couture fashion designers team up with playful toy and game brands to create delightfully stunning and fresh runway looks. The 5th Annual playCHIC Fashion Show takes place Friday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. directly following the TAGIE Awards Gala. Tickets are $50.
ChiTAG Fair (Nov. 19-20): The 14th annual Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) is a fun event for the entire family to celebrate play, right before the holidays! Not only can families test out new products for the holidays, but they can also walk inside the World’s Largest PomPom, be a part of Twister’s 50th Birthday, meet toy & game inventors, watch Ben’s Giant Bubble Show, compete or watch the Illinois State Yoyo contest, and attend the IllumiCraft STEM-based Craft Party. Kids can also enjoy ride-on fun and test out tot-sized Teslas. The ChiTAG Fair is the largest toy and game fair open to the public in North America on Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fair will open an hour early both days for families with special needs.
Play in Education (Nov. 19): The Chicago Toy & Game Group has been sharing the importance of play in education for nearly ten years. The Play in Education Conference is on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year’s keynote speaker is Leslie Scott, the inventor of Jenga. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit chitag.com/educators-track.
Young Inventor Challenge (Nov. 19): Children from the ages of six to 18 are encouraged to use their creativity to make and showcase their own original toy & game inventions. This free experience provides an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the play industry. Winning inventors will take home exciting grand prizes and have the opportunity to get their invention produced and sold at retail. The event takes place at Navy Pier in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Young Tech Challenge (Nov. 20): Chicago Toy & Game Week adds a new challenge to its lineup this year for young creators called the Young Tech Challenge. Inventors from the ages of eight to 22 years are encouraged to bring together imagination, play and tech to create an original tech idea. The event takes place on Sunday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
ChiTAG Tickets & Info
Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for children, available now at chitag.com/fair. Fair hours are November 19, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and November 20, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.