The Chicago Toy and Game Fair

The Chicago Toy and Game Fair ... even if you can't go, you will want to read the following (unless you firmly don't believe in having fun!)

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing,” said author George Bernard Shaw.

Indeed, even more so today than in Shaw’s lifetime back in the early 20th century, most adults don’t play enough. What’s worse, they don’t play well enough.

People today largely treat fun experiences as secondary in nature to “getting things done,” which often means things that grind down their spirit (and therefore their mind and body) versus nurturing it.

When people finally do squeeze in some time to immerse themselves in some form of play, there is this prevalent sense of guilt for doing so. Thoughts rattle through the head like, “I should really be doing something productive.” There really was a time, for example, when adults who went on vacation actually really knew how to vacation; checking emails, responding to cell phone calls and other forms of “getting things done” while on vacation has unfortunately become the norm today.

When you step back from the go-go, faster-faster lifestyle and ponder this reality, its ridiculousness glares. Is the point of your life really to work harder and harder still, and then watch the evening news or TV shows that make you paranoid and depressed about our world, and then to cram your weekends too with “getting things done” from what you likely know by now is an endless to-do list?

Or is it healthier to mind, body and spirit – and therefore your productivity, creativity, relationships, inner-peace and overall being – to immerse yourself in experiences that enrich and enliven you?

With that in mind, I’d like to announce that “America’s Largest Toy and Game Event” is coming up this November in Chicago. Appropriately enough, it is called the Chicago Toy and Game Fair. Aside from the fact that it is in my hometown (pretty close to my actual home, in fact), I have no connection to the event at all … except that I really enjoy it! (And I feel absolutely no guilt for admitting as much! ☺ )

Imagine giving yourself permission, maybe for the first time in years or decades, to spend an entire day or two playing hands-on with many of the coolest new toys and games out there. No matter what types of toys and games you loved as a child (and you may be surprised to discover you still love), you’ll find those types at this wonderful event.

And while indeed there will be a lot of kids playing there -- and if you have ‘em bring em! -- you need not be concerned that you (and I) will be the only adults playing… The Chicago Toy and Game Fair draws many adults who know that being grown-up doesn’t mean getting ground down by not playing and exploring new things!

The Chicago Toy and Game Fair is a large hands-on adventure in exploring, laughing, learning, and igniting the creativity, energy, wonder and joy in you; I encourage you to discover more about it for a visit this year or in future years.

But if you can’t make it, no worries: instead of answering ten more emails or cleaning out the garbage cans this weekend, shake off some of that internal rust and crust by heading to your local toy store, playground, or amusement park, or even simply heading down onto your living room floor to let yourself play once again with a puzzle, one of the best new board games, or my old favorite, Lincoln Logs.

And by the way, if you find your mind nagging you with thoughts like, “I should be doing something more important,” head straight to the nearest mirror, look yourself in the eye, stick your thumbs in your ears, wiggle your fingers, stick out your tongue, and tell yourself, “This IS important. So blah!”

- Brian Vaszily, Founder of, Editor of the FREE Intense Experiences Newsletter, Fan of the Chicago Toy and Game Fair.