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Subject: First time to Essen, with or without kid (8yo)? rss

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Martin Hassel
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Hi,

I'm hoping to be able to go to Essen this year, for the first time.
I'm wondering if I should bring my 8 year old kid (and a nanny/chaperone) or if that is advised against.
I wouldn't mind playing some games while there, but my initial research suggests opportunities to play games is hard to find and far between?
Are there sufficient activities for kids so that I could get a few hours on my own to search for games or less kid-friendly stuff?

M
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Yani
Switzerland
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Bring your kid, but get someone to supervise him/her. There are many kids activities in the gallery (between the halls), and at least the huge wonderful HABA booth with lots of tables and activities.

It will be tough to get into many games, you'll have to be vigilant and choosy. For me, Essen is the place to see new games, and to buy the chosen few that are hard to find (or too expensive to ship). Also, leave time after the event for hotel play sessions, through the night. Had some great sessions with total strangers.

Yani
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Sebastian
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There are also a lot of Children's games.

Last year I was able to do 2 days of Essen.
One day Children's and light Family games where I took my 6-year-old along (along with my wife and another family with two kids), another day for gamers games with my wife only and kids at grandparents.

Essen is definetly kid-friendly, but try to aim for Thursday/Friday as they are not as crowded as Saturday/Sunday.
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Martin Hassel
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I don't necessarily need to play at the convention, and playing in the evening at the hotel would be nice.
Are there any forums where people coordinate to join up for gaming at specific hotels?
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Yani
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There are threads in this forum a month or so before Essen discussing hotel gaming. If not, you won't have a problem anyway, likely to spontaneously find a group.
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Bart R.
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We took our kids in 2015, they were 5 and 8 back then and they had a blast. It can be good to have someone extra to stay with them though for those times when you want to check something out that's not necessarily interesting for them. For example, I had some pre-orders to pick up, so my wife sat down with them at the Queen booth while I spent half an hour running across the halls doing that. They'll be tired enough even without covering all that ground

Tip: make sure you know where the toilets are .
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Trond Åge Låstad
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Bringing an 8 year old should not be a problem, but make sure your go on his/her terms. There are loads of games and activities suited for that age, but kids get bored very quickly if you focus on activities not aimed at them. So if you are bringing some form of babysitter, go at least one day alone, and bring your kid for the other day(s). When bringing the kid, focus on activities for the kid and not you.

Loads of people from Norway going to Essen this year, so if language is an issue for after convention gaming with your kid you should be able to sort that. There is a facebook page for Norwegians going to spiel 17. Feel free to PM me for details.

Edit: just noticed you wrote hoping to go this year. If you are going, make sure to book hotel and transport ( I Assume flights) asap, it is selling out fast, so good locations are almost sold out, and getting very expensive..
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Lieven De Puysseleir
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Been to Essen only the last couple of years (3 or 4?) but won't be bringing my kids anytime soon. They youngest are 7 & 8 and the oldest 13 but she's just not interested (to be expected )

Why not? because the crowd is exhausting, even on the thursday (only day for me up until now) and there's a lot of running around pickup up games without much time / place to actually play a game.

But that's just Spiel for me. whistle
Whenever possible I choose to bring my kids to more play-oriented gaming fairs.

Guess it depends on what you think you're going to do there, if you're like me then I'd advise against.
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Bart R.
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It really depends on the kid, of course. If you know your child doesn't like big crowds and lots of noise, Spiel probably isn't the best place to go :-). It's definitely exhausting, but in my experience, not so much more compared to a day at an amusement park.

You are also right in saying that you shouldn't drag your kid around the halls the entire day. If you take them, make it their day - it's easy enough to find enough entertainment to fill 9 hours. If you really need to do stuff for you (and maybe even if you don't), it's probably a good idea bring someone else to keep the children company. Otherwise, it might become frustrating for both the kid and yourself.

BTW I think Sunday is still a good time to go with kids. Especially from 1pm onwards, it typically gets quieter in the areas where you will spend most of your time.

TLDR it can be an enjoyable experience, but there are things to take into account.
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Martina Frohme
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Lorthania wrote:
BTW I think Sunday is still a good time to go with kids. Especially from 1pm onwards, it typically gets quieter in the areas where you will spend most of your time.


Absolutely! Do take that advice! I see many happy kids at the SPIEL, but it is quite strenuous for everybody, not just kids. Eustress, agreed, but stress all the same. Thursday and Friday are packed, but humane. Avoid Saturday like hell. Not with kids! Saturdays are insanely busy. Sunday really has a nice and relaxed atmosphere, ane even if many games are long sold out - the last minute bargains you might get at booths where people want to lighten their return baggage could make up for that. On Sundays there is also a better chance to sit down for trial games/demos.
 
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Martin Hassel
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I have an early return flight on Sunday, so I guess I'll bring kiddo on Thursday and perhaps Friday, and then try to find something else for him to do on Saturday.
How does it work with tickets? Is it easy to get tickets for each day or are there long lines?
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Bart R.
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Lt_MH wrote:
I have an early return flight on Sunday, so I guess I'll bring kiddo on Thursday and perhaps Friday, and then try to find something else for him to do on Saturday.
How does it work with tickets? Is it easy to get tickets for each day or are there long lines?

I've never seen any really long queues - I don't think I've ever waited ine line for more than ten minutes. Two caveats to that: a. we've always arrived either very early or half an hour after the doors open and b. we avoid the West entrance, it is a lot busier than the other entrances (Süd or Mitte) because it's the first entrance most people see.

Pre-ordering is definitely easier and more relaxed (even if you don't consider calamities like the Great Ticket Sales System Crash from several years back), but there are ways to mitigate waiting times .
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Sebastian
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Lt_MH wrote:
I have an early return flight on Sunday, so I guess I'll bring kiddo on Thursday and perhaps Friday, and then try to find something else for him to do on Saturday.
How does it work with tickets? Is it easy to get tickets for each day or are there long lines?

You can buy your tickets online (stating in August) and print them out yourself.
http://www.merz-verlag-en.com/tickets_times_spiel.html

You can then just pass the queue on the caisse and just go to the entrance queue...

Also - if you don't take an all day ticket but single day tickets:
Just buy for the first day online and when you leave in the afternoon and are sure you will come back tomorrow you can easily buy tickets for the next day. No line usually then cool
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Bart R.
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I can't believe I forgot to mention that, I did that last year and found myself incredibly smart laugh
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Susie_Cat
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TermiGator wrote:

You can buy your tickets online (stating in August) and print them out yourself.
http://www.merz-verlag-en.com/tickets_times_spiel.html


This is what we do. Note that it is also possible to get tickets that include metro travel for something like a couple of extra Euros - well worth the money in both time and cost savings in our experience.

Susie_Cat.
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