The Pet Expos are designed to educate and entertain the public about the wonderful world of pets.
They are family oriented events featuring educational and entertaining demonstrations, hands-on-petting opportunities, special attractions, pet adoptions and an outstanding shopping venue of products and services pertaining to pets and families.
Family Pet Shows is a family owned and operated company that for nearly 20 years have successfully hosted pet expos beginning in 1994 in Pennsylvania. The company now hosts seven different pet expos annually in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; the Long Island Pet Expo in the Park (2 days, outdoor in September); Long Island Pet Expo (3 day event held indoors in March); The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo (3 day event indoors in January); the Lehigh Valley Pet Expo ( 2 day indoor event in February), the Reading Family and Pet Show (3 day outdoor event in May) the Pittsburgh Family Pet Show (2 day indoor event in October) and the New Jersey Family Pet Show (2 day indoor event in Nov 2015)
Family Pet Shows, formerly known as The Horse and Pet Expo, is run by husband and wife team Karen and Dennis Garetano and their son Joe Garetano. In 1994, after years of publishing Horseworld USA magazine, they thought of the idea to host a horse expo in Pennsylvania and held their first show in 1994 Fort Washington, PA. After two years of successfully hosting the first horse expo, they expanded the show to include other pets and changed the name to Horse and Pet Expo and began adding new locations. Throughout the years and additional shows, Family Pet Shows has grown in size and popularity in each location.
Drawing in crowds of thousands of pet lovers to each of their shows, Karen & Dennis have always been dedicated to making the shows educational, fun, importance of responsible pet ownership, entertaining with talent of various pet and human acts and having many pet vendors and rescue groups. They graciously offer free booth space to 501 c 3 rescue and adoption groups to help save many animal lives. Unlike some pet shows, the majority of the floor space is devoted to entertainment and educational program presented by their various acts. They strive on making this truly a family and pet friendly pet show in every venue.
I went with my 4 children and my mother. We went on Friday night, the first night of the Oaks, PA event and arrived about 4:15 and left at 6:30pm. It really wasn’t too crowded, plenty of space to move, and the layout was easy to navigate- think of supermarket aisles.
Why we had a great time:
1) The children got to see animals we don’t see at the zoo or in pet stores. Alpacas! And the owners were selling items they make from shaving the animals. The girls learned a lot from seeing and touching and inquiring.
2) It’s like a gourmet shopping mall for pets! Every “boutique” style clothing item, grooming supply, organic food, home made treat, etc that you can imagine up is there! The girls picked out a peanut butter biscuit for our pug. He was one happy pet when we got home! (We would have toted him along for the experience but the restaurant we went to after wouldn’t have welcomed him the way the Expo does.)
3) I don’t do snakes. There isn’t much that gets me flustered, but snakes do. So of course, my girls are obsessed. They were in snake heaven with the Reptile Kingdom’s display of snakes in boxes for sale. Goodness, even taking this photo made me sweat with anxiousness! Needless to say, they got their fill of snakes…. every color, size, and breed you could imagine.
4) They got to pet animals. Turtles, ferrets, dogs, cats, a bird, pigs, and some lizards.
5) We saw dog shows! The agility one was our favorite. The dogs jumped hurdles and caught frisbees. Super cute!
1) There are many paid for activities inside. Be sure to have a plan and discuss it with your pack so there isn’t a meltdown in aisle 2. Moonbounces, carnival games, pony rides, and a traveling petting zoo. We did pay $2 for 15 ping pong balls to try to win a fish. Shucks, we didn’t score. But, each girl got 5 balls and the itch to pay for something was gone, thanks to my mom.
2) It’s very stroller friendly
3) The bathrooms are easily accessible with chairs even if you are looking for a quiet spot to feed a baby
4) There is food for sale
6) It’s super pet friendly, anything leashed is welcome!
7) Parking is free!
8) There are tons of area restaurants to enjoy, make a day trip out of the Expo!
Disclaimer: In exchange for this review, my family was given complimentary tickets to attend this event. All opinions are my own.