IndyFamilyFest returns Oct. 15

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Daddy-a-Thon participants work to dress a baby doll. (Submitted photo)

Daddy-a-Thon participants work to dress a baby doll. (Submitted photo)

By Chris Bavender

With more than 80 vendors, indoor and outside activities, and a stage full of entertainment, the IndyFamilyFest is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15 at Ritz Charles in Carmel.

Founder Jenn Kampmeier started IndyFamilyFest in 2012 after success with a similar program focused on infants.

“It all started because of my son – I was a single mom and wanted a place to take him, but there weren’t any type of baby or kid shows at the time,” she said. “My son is older now, and he jokingly said to me one day ‘You should start Baby Expo again but make it for older kids.’ I talked to my former vendors who said they’d love to work with me again.  We put it all together and have been rocking and rolling ever since.”

IndyFamilyFest features something for everyone from expectant moms and dads to pre-tweens (11 – 12-years-old). Activities include Indy Bubble Soccer, bounce houses, Indy Lightsabers, Bongo Boys Drum Circle, the Pacers van, face painting and a slushie truck. A shopping area, as well as information on health, wellness and nutrition will also be available. KinderCare will be on site and an interactive area for younger children will be provided.

“The Diaper Dash for babies is always fun, too, and we will again feature our claim to fame – the Daddy-a-Thon – an obstacle course for dads that is super fun and super-fast-paced,” Kampmeier said. “Last year they had to blind taste baby food and get a Cabbage Patch doll dressed. It’s free to participate but you do need to pre-register. The winner will receive a stroller set worth $400.”

Admission is $12 for a family four-pack and is available ahead of time on the IndyFamilyFest Facebook event page at http://bit.ly/2dK80jW.

“We want to make it affordable for everyone to come in and have family fun in a safe environment,” Kampmeier said. “We live in world of technology that takes over our lives, and people want to have fun with their families, and this is a way to do just that.”

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