Last month I helped promote the I-X Center’s Christmas Connection shopping event. In exchange for my help I was given admission tickets – that’s how it usually works with the I-X Center. I think adult admission was $10.99 while kids were free. Our family of four made the trip up the north, about an hour drive and paid the $8 parking. You can read my first post here.
Though our tickets were provided I still have to claim the admission price on my taxes, as income – blogging is my job. So the trip essentially costs $10.99 x 2 adults (the boys were free) + parking for $8 – not including time and gas for travel… roughly $30 just to get inside the door so we could *cough – spend more money shopping.
Okay, so this review is sounding negative, but … hold that thought a minute.
To a frugal homeschooling momma this didn’t sound like a worthwhile trip, but there actually is a positive side to this – as I was informed by one of the vendors whom I was buying from.
When I inquired how much money it costs the vendors to rent a space in there, and I won’t share that information (it wasn’t cheap), I mentioned my wonderment that people would spend so much money to come inside to spend more money – and his answer made perfect sense. In my own words: the admission price helps filter out the serious consumers from those who would show up simply to steal. And yes, that made sense.
There was entertainment, free gift-wrap, tons of products to buy, food samples to try, and a low-cost area for children to buy gifts for parents among other things.
And the place was packed with potential consumers. Clearly this works, so I’d say – if you have the money to spend and this is your “thing” then it is worth visiting. Watch for the I-X Christmas Connection to roll around next November!
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We went, thank you. We did not end up buying a lot of stuff, and I will admit it wasn’t what we were expecting on many levels. We took a toddler with us and I am so glad we did! The best part of the whole thing for us was how much she enjoyed the balloon park area, the snowglobe, and the elves, who were spirited and so much fun with her. I would love to buy each of those kids a car, they were so great! (I do not have that kind of money, but if I did? They would be having a VERY Merry Christmas!) The two highlights of her two-year-old day were the Jazz Band and the cookie decorating area. I think we spent an hour with her decorating her single cookie. She also loved the ladies who worked in that area.
For buying? I found it to be sort of a mess. Very crowded and I felt like I was in an indoor flea market. The things we did buy are pretty cool, but still… it was an indoor flea market vibe. I’m glad I won the tickets, the five of us had a wonderful day, but I wouldn’t plan to get a lot of actual buying done. It just did not happen for any of us.
I’m with you: Gas and drive to I-X Center after picking up everyone at home, pay to park, pay to get in (thankfully, we did not have to pay admission) very expensive, very terrible food, pay for a photo in the snow globe, buy a couple things, have a wonderful day, hear a local high school jazz band play quite well, get stuck on 71 in an accident for about an hour, stop at Southpark Mall for gelato, deliver everyone home again. I’m so glad we went but I’m on the fence about whether I would do it all again plus pay admission, since we did not find much to buy.
Then again, in a few years I might want different things. In a few years vendors might have different things. Truth be told there were some things I wanted to see and did not get to go back to see because everyone was ready to go.