Monday, February 1, 2016

The Lehigh Valley Pet Expo: Visiting a Family Pet Shows Event

We recently had the chance to attend the Lehigh Valley Pet Expo in Allentown, Pennsylvania. There's so much to do in Allentown and the surrounding area!  You might have seen some of my other articles about fun Pennsylvania experiences, so you know this Jersey girl doesn't mind the short trip across the border.  The Lehigh Valley Pet Expo is part of the Family Pet Shows line-up.  They are a family owned and operated company that has been hosting pet expos since 1994.  They travel throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.  If you're a pet lover, or simply an animal lover, then this show is for you!  Check out all of the fun things you could see at a Family Pet Shows expo!

Where Can I See a Family Pet Shows Expo?

The Lehigh Valley show was held at the Agri-Plex at the Allentown Fairgrounds in Allentown, PA (which, incidentally, hosts a slew of cool shows, which you can view on their event page).  But this year, you can also catch a Family Pet Show Expo in Philadelphia, Long Island and New Jersey (yay!).  

How Much Does a Family Pet Show Cost?

Prices may vary between expos, but ticket prices at the Lehigh Valley Pet Expo were $10 for adults (at the door), and $5 for children (at the door). Ages 3 and under were free. You can save a few bucks by purchasing tickets online, or follow Family Pet Shows on Facebook or Twitter for discount coupons. You can also join their email list online. Please remember that ticket prices may vary between venues.



Some of the attractions at the show might cost an extra fee, which I'll talk more about below.  The petting zoo, reptile house, and pony rides were each an additional charge, although very nominal (only $1 or $2 each).

What Can I See at a Family Pet Show?

Each show varies slightly, but I will give you the run-down of what we saw at the Lehigh Valley Pet Expo. Karen, one of the owner/operators of the show, told me that the shows are similar but each may offer something different.  Always check their website for the line-up of each show.

The Petting Zoo and Pony Rides

What was it about this petting zoo that was so special?  I don't know, but I have been to several petting zoos and farms in my Jersey life, and these animals were by far the sweetest and most well-behaved I have ever met!  Seems funny to say, but it was true!  For $2, children were allowed to come into the petting zoo area and greet each animal.  Parents were $1 each. The animals were all very gentle.  If you wanted to feed them, you had to pay an extra $1 for a little bowl of food (oh, it's only a buck!). We met goats, miniature cows, llamas, pigs, bunnies, chickens, ducks, turtles, pigeons, a chinchilla, a turkey, sheep, and even cockroaches!! 

Some of the many animals from the petting zoo
Cockroaches! Gross, but cool, right?
Even Mr. Jersey Momma said, 'How do they get these animals to sit there so nicely?' Hmm. Magic?
Are you squealing yet? How cute is this miniature angus cow, right??

Gone are The Jersey Momma's Boy's pony-riding days, but had he been a  little younger, I'm sure he would've jumped at the opportunity! For a small fee you could ride a pony or a small horse in a safely fenced in area. 

Pony riding available!

The Rainforest Reptile Show

Okay, so this was the only area of the pet show that The Jersey Momma's Boy was not too crazy about (reptiles are not his favorite! Go figure). But for $1 you could go inside the rainforest reptile exhibit and see some cool creepy crawlies! Not to mention, they had a beautiful tortoise outside the trailer, and people walking around with small alligators and snakes that you could have your picture taken with (for a small fee). 

The Rainforest Reptile Exhibit

They sold souvenirs and had interesting artifacts on display, too. Certain times of the day they also offered a free show, and there was a separate area set up with chairs for viewers to watch the show.

Seized wildlife artifacts on display for educational purposes

Dog and Cat Shows

There are a variety of shows you can see while at a Family Pet Show.  At the Lehigh Valley Pet Expo, they had a parade of dog breeds, Gail Mirabella's Dynamo Dog Breed Variety Act, the Kan-Do K9 agility and rally courses, and even 'dancing with your dog!'  There was also a TICA championship cat show going on all weekend.  It was hard to get a picture of the dog shows through the crowds, but here are some pics of the cat area.


The cat in the bottom right was bigger than Spotty, The Jersey Doggy! He was a Coberman Maine Coon. The little bald guys are sphinx kitties! I had never even seen some of the cat breeds that were featured here- hairless cats, bengals, siamese, you name it, they had it!



Rabbits, Pigs and Birds

There was an adorable rabbit obstacle course set up and we watched this cute black fella jumping over some hurdles with his trainer. Later on they were going to have a rabbit hopping show!

Getting ready for rabbit hopping

But by far, The Jersey Momma's Boy's favorite display of the day was Piggy Haven.  Piggy Haven featured some adorable pot bellied pigs performing some fun tricks.  They were so cute in their little hats and carrying their baskets!  The Jersey Momma's Boy was in his own little heaven. He even purchased a little plush piggy to take home at the piggy souvenir table.

pot bellied pigs from Piggy Haven
Yay, Spartacus!

The birds from Bird Mania were really quite precious. Where else can you see baby birds like this up close? They also had canaries, parakeets and other exotic birds and bird toys.

Baby birds from Bird Mania
Sweet babies from Bird mania

Vendors and Tables

There were aisles of vendors you could also visit. Some had live animals, some sold toys, treats or accessories. Some sold cleaning products for your pet home. There were so many things to see or purchase. The Jersey Doggy got some toys and a bandanna for Easter from CW's Berries!  One of our favorite vendors was Finely Crafted, who sold amazingly beautiful hand-sewn and embroidered items.

Beautiful hand-sewn bag by Finely Crafted
Vendors and bones and treats, oh my!
There were even artists who could draw caricatures of your beloved pet!

Adoptions

Everywhere you looked there were adoption groups and dogs and puppies available for adoption. It was so nice to see the support for these amazing groups, and to see so many people interested in adopting a new furry family member. Family Pet Shows actually offers free booth space to 501 c 3 rescue and adoption groups! We met a super sweet puppy at Roger's Rescues. I hope someone scoops him up! He was a sweetheart.

Other Fun Attractions

There was a bounce house and some carnival games you could play near the cats, rabbits and pigs for an extra fee.  But in all honesty, the show is so family-centered that there was enough entertainment for the little ones even without a stop to the games and bounce house!

Food/Concessions

At the Lehigh Valley Pet Expo, there were a few concession stands and food was affordable (with prices for food items starting around $2).  Items ranged from chicken tenders, to pizza and hot dogs.  Snacks, pretzels, drinks and ice cream were also available.  Some vendors even sold human treats like fudge and baked goods!

Why Should You Go to a Family Pet Shows Event?

I've been to so many pet shows, I think I lost count. But the Lehigh Valley Pet Expo exceeded our expectations. It was not too big, not too small. They had a little bit of everything for every kind of pet lover. It wasn't over-run with vendors and had a good variety of shows and displays. In fact, there were more shows and displays than vendors! The space was large and you didn't feel overly crowded. It was easy to get to and there was ample parking. Food was affordable. I think it was great for all ages, and there was even enough room for strollers. Catch them at one of their next upcoming shows! You won't regret it.

Philadelphia Feb 19-21, 2016
Long Island March 4-6, 2016
Long Island (in the park) Sept. 17-18, 2016
New Jersey Nov. 5-6, 2016 (this event will be held at the Garden State Expo Center in Somerset!)

Jersey Momma Notes and Tips

-Parking was free and the walk from the lot to the event in Allentown was not far.

-Hand-wipes and hand sanitizer were available around the event, but you might also want to bring your own for quick use.

-Bring some dollar bills for the attractions that cost a little extra to participate in (the petting zoo, reptiles, etc).  It's not a huge amount of money and they are worth the few added bucks. Some of the rescue groups and sanctuaries could also use your monetary support, and there were plenty of places where you could donate your dollar bills.

-Friendly, leashed pets are welcome at the show. Just be sure to check their policy and sign a waiver when you arrive.

-Strollers are permitted and there is space to maneuver them! The show is also wheelchair friendly.

-Remember to clean up after your pet. We saw one couple fail to do this when their dog decided to take his potty break in the middle of the floor. It's a pet show and most people understand that these things happen, but clean up!! Clean up stations were provided throughout the show, so don't ruin it for everyone else. 

You can visit Family Pet Shows on their website www.FamilyPetShows.com or on their Facebook page. You can even follow them on Twitter.


*Disclaimer: I was given press passes to attend this fabulous event, but all of the opinions are my own and I would never recommend something to you that I don't love myself! 





1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness. My boys would love this! That miniature cow was adorable. I also loved the llama picture. I think the cats would be my favorite to see.

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