Now in its 16th year, Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) 2018 will debut a beer garden for adults, featuring adult games, and a baby and toddler play space, featuring characters from classic games. 

This year, Santa Clause will also appear at ChiTAG inside a toy workshop at Navy Pier created from Magformers.

ChiTAG Week begins with with ChiTAG’s inventor conference on Nov. 15 and 16. Product acquisition executives from more than 50 attend, looking for new ideas. Professional and new inventors, product acquisition executives, retailers, and distributors gather to learn from each other and pitch their ideas. New this year is the Play in Education Track where attendees can earn education credits.

The Toy and Game Innovation Awards (TAGIEs) are in the evening on Friday, Nov. 16. Awards are given in several categories including Rising Star Innovator of the Year, Innovative Art and Visuals, Innovative Marketing Team, Young Inventor of the Year, Toy Innovator of the Year, and Game Innovator of the Year.

The Toy & Game fair itself will take place Nov. 17 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and 18 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for children, available now at chitag.com/fair

Additional highlights for this year’s fair include:

  • Test rides on Razor’s new Drift Rider
  • WTTW’s The Big Idea Tour’s Traveling Lab (Saturday, Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m.)
  • Princess Etch, who brings draws kids’ favorite characters on her Etch-a-Sketch
  • Stratego National Championship (Sunday Nov. 18)
  • Mommy’s TimeOut in the Beer Garden. (Saturday, Nov. 17 at 3 p.m.)
  • Sensory Power Hour sponsored by Playfoam and the National Parenting Network
  • Yoyo Championship
  • Ben’s Giant Bubble Show
  • Star Wars characters

For more details on 2018 special events, speakers, exhibitors, visit chitag.com.