Macaroni Kid Baby Bonanza offers family fun, treats & shopping

Photos courtesy of Enchanted Acres Photography Courtney Deiterich with her son, Chase Litchert, 1. Deiterich’s baby loved the sample of yogurt offered by his Aunt Stephanie Windis.
Photos courtesy of Enchanted Acres Photography Danielle Ford, Reading, Krista Freeman, Auburn, with her son, Holden, 18 months, Heather Watkins, Birdsboro, with her son, Hunter Warmkessel, came out to see the different products.

Parents found family fun, samples and shopping at the second annual Macaroni Kid Baby Bonanza.

More than 50 families and 33 vendors came together for the Macaroni Kid event held at Ozzy’s Family Fun Center in Leesport.

“It’s a free community event meant to get people out of their houses and let them have a little bit of fun and do some shopping,” said Kimberly Vees, Blandon. She and her partner, Jen Schorr, Oley, work out of their homes publishing the free online newsletter, Macaroni Kid, featuring family-friendly events and activities happening in their communities each week.

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Their work also takes them off-line and into the community hosting events. The Reading to Pottstown Chapter was one of 50 cities selected out of more than 500 Macaroni Kid communities from across the nation to host the annual event.

“This was a chance for parents to learn about new baby products, toddler items, new products on the market, and to have fun as a family,” said Vees.

“We’re very active with our kids and I’m already scouring the Internet and newspapers and libraries and trying to find things for my family to do,” said Schorr. “This saves people time. They don’t have to go to 20 different locations to try to find something. They can just come to Macaroni Kid.”

Attendees were able to sample organic treats, cookies, cheese cut in fun shapes, and even hand lotions. Goods brought by vendors included, but not limited to, handcrafted clothing, flavor scented soy candles, jewelry, body care products, home-baked treats and even Girl Scout Cookies sold by Kirsten Freymoyer, 12, Carlen Lazar, 12, Cassidy Vees, 13, and Megan Dunkle, 13, all from Blandon, of Cadet Troop 13.

“It’s a lot of fun. We get to talk to different people,” said Cassidy, Kim Vees’ daughter.

Parents expressed what they like about the Macaroni Kid event.

“I love it,” said Jennifer Ulrich. “I came here last year, it was over in Oley at the church, and I absolutely loved it. They had hands-on with the toys.”

Ulrich especially loved the Happy Family products because of being organic.

“Every single one I have bought, she loved it,” said Ulrich referring to her two-year old daughter, Emma Jean.

Carly Weyandt, Reading, said, “It’s awesome. There’s so many different vendors here, food, things to cut food up, lotions and things like that.”

Weyandt also came because of her mother, Diane Rothenberger, Leesport, who was set up for Good Shepherd Preschool and because of her friend who had set up a booth, The Celadon Road, with green products.

“It introduces me to new things and I’ve met a lot of new people as well by going to the Macaroni Kid events,” said Madelaina Fernandez.

Many of the vendors work out of their homes so they can be with their children and still earn an income. Events like this give them a chance to get out and socialize with other adults.

Tina Butterworth, Reading, is a stay-at-home mom and a Scentsy vendor.

“This is my way of making extra money to do extra things for my son like karate and pre-school and just the fun stuff,” said Butterworth.

Helping Butterworth with the Scentsy candles, Lauren Hess is also a stay-at-home mom with two boys.

“Honestly, it’s a way for me to be social, be out with other adults, and make a little bit of extra money,” said Hess.

Sherry Hayes, Fleetwood, is a consultant for Just Jewelry, and has her own products, Scentfully Soy and Scentfully Yours.

“I started up doing the Just Jewelry just to get out of the house as something to do and then, even though I love the product and I love the company, I always like to make things so I started doing the candles and I started doing the bath and body,” said Hayes.

It was because of loving candles and wanting something that didn’t bother her asthma that Hayes started making soy candles. She said they are much cleaner and burn longer. She had learned how to make her products just from reading online.

Macaroni Kid Reading-Pottstown has more than 2,100 online subscribers and is centrally located to Allentown, Lancaster, and Philadelphia.

For more information on the Macaroni Kid Reading-Pottstown, go to www.reading.macaronikid.com.