Twice a year, my family goes out for a day of family fun. We go to a place where we can explore a different world and ask questions and learn. Where do we go? We go to the Reptile Expo!
OK. I know. Some of you may be saying “Ewe! Snakes and stuff?”, but I wanted to express how much fun it really is for you and the kids, and let you know how much more than snakes there really are!
I understand that the Reptile Expo may not be the ideal place for everyone to spend a few hours at (my grandma wouldn’t set one foot in there!), but there are a lot of things that the kids can learn and see. There are a lot of benefits to the expo as well! It’s a great place for:
- Kids to learn about many different species of reptiles, arachnids, and amphibians
- Learning about the correct way to keep any of these creatures
- Handling almost anything you want to help with curiosities
- Asking questions from top breeders around the nation
There are a ton of different species from snakes to turtles to spiders etc. If you have any interest in reptiles, arachnids, or amphibians, you will love this place! Here are a few of the pics that I took from a variety of different creatures.
I have been asked a few times about the alligator. His name is Bubba. No, he was not for sale, but he was there to educate people about them. Also, for a donation, you could sit or lay next to him and get your picture taken. The smaller kids could even sit on him for pictures. The donation went toward education and preservation of the alligator.
These pictures shown are only a small portion of what they carry there. They do have a lot of snakes, but there are also a lot of lizards, chameleons, spiders, and insects (although the insects are primarily sold as food YUMMY!).
Family fun can involve education as well. You see, like Bubba, there were many different vendors that educate on certain creatures. There are even speakers throughout the day that talk about the care and handling of different reptiles, arachnids, or amphibians. The kids (or you) may not want to go see someone talk rather than spending the entire day walking around and exploring. There is nothing wrong with this, and you can still learn a great deal from any of the vendors if you don’t choose to sit in on one of the talks.
You have a question, you ask them, and everyone there is more than happy to talk about the creature they raise. They will provide any information they can. I actually overheard a question being asked of a vendor that he was not positive about. He went to another vendor with the person that asked the question and asked this other vendor what he had been asked. The second vendor ended up getting the sale, but the first vendor was not upset. It’s not only about sales there. Its about education as well! Everyone takes pride in what they offer and want you to be satisfied with feeling like you not only got a great snake or lizard (or whatever you decided on), but also feel confident that you can raise and handle it correctly.
Handling the Reptiles
My kids love the expo for one key reason, they can handle a ton of different creatures! Yes. I said handle them, as in pick them up and hold them. My youngest son loves this and always wants to hold everything! One year, he was pushing everyone out of the way at age 2 so he could hold the 14-foot python. That has not changed either! The picture above is one of the crested gecko’s that he held and wanted. He did not want to give it back. In case your wondering, yeah. I ended up getting it for him, because his brothers have some too.
When I bought the first gecko a few years ago, I had to ask the breeder a bunch of questions on how to care for them. He was super informative and provided websites I could go to for further info too. Thank goodness, because that would have been a lot of family fun if it came with no idea how to care for it.
Tips When Bringing Kids
- The expo is always packed (at least in the few expos that I have been to). If you have young children that cannot walk, I would suggest NOT bringing a stroller. Instead, bring a Kid Backpack to put them in (if you want to save even more, check out our Wikibuy article which will allow you to save around $3-$5 more than Amazon’s ad by installing a free Chrome extension). Trust me on this one! These events are busy and packed and the isles are not very large. I brought a stroller the first year I learned really quick to never do it again!
- Bring water! It is not always the easiest to get in and out of the events just to get something to drink.
- Bring small snacks (for the same reason as point 2).
- Be prepared to spend at least a small amount for entrance fees and small things here and there.
- Get your tickets online prior to the event – Usually cheaper or offer entrance 30-60 minutes prior to everyone else.
For those of you that have reptiles, arachnids, or amphibians, this is a great place and time to stock up on foods for all the different creatures and equipment too! The expo has great:
- Varieties of species
- Social connections
- Educational Information
Since this is an expo with a ton of different direct vendors from around the nation, you are going to get great prices on food and materials for your critters. For a great example, you can buy a Veiled Chameleon for around $80 from a pet store and $25-$40 from the expo. The same goes for food. I can generally get Crested Gecko food for $10+ less than the pet store. However, I still suggest that you bring your cell phone with Amazon to compare as I have found a very few items cheaper on Amazon.
There are a ton of different species to look into for growing your pet count. there are way more than you will ever find at a pet store and all with MUCH better reputations and breeding reputations!
The expo is a great place for you to gain social connections and contacts for future needs. A great example is a close friend. She built a connection with a bunch of different vendors, and when she goes to the expo, she stops to talk to all the vendors she built a relationship with. This relationship gets her better pricing than others in the end, and also gets her needed items faster than usual when being shipped to her home.
If you bought a pet from the pet store and need information on how to care for your critter, this is a great place as stated before.
Wrap It All Up
The reptile expo is a great place for family fun! It’s a great place for you and your kids to explore and learn about a ton of different reptiles, arachnids, or amphibians. It is a much better place to purchase your critter from than a pet store as all the people at the expo are breeders and know exactly where their reptiles came from! Remember though to ask a bunch of questions if buying a new reptile, arachnid, or amphibian. They are about education!
Do you want to find a reptile expo near you? Look here for upcoming events:
If you want to learn more about how to care for your pet, I suggest looking into the following guides:
Have you been to an expo? Was it just you or was it a family fun day? Let us know your experience.