Get ready for a walk workout at the Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show
The area's largest home and garden show gets started March 2 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Home & Garden Show, covers more than 10 acres of space in the center.
"If you walk every aisle just once, you've walked 7 miles," says the show's executive director John DeSantis.
And besides the exhibitors in the four product categories (garden/outdoor, construction/remodeling, home interiors and kitchen/cooking), there are scads of special features.
Top 10 Life-Changing Products of 2018: "People want to know what's new every year," DeSantis says. "(This year's list) is a surprise, but I can say it's not just things that are cool, attractive or trendy. It's things that will actually change the way we use our homes.
"The criteria for the Top 10 are things that you can actually buy for your home right now," he says.
One hint: "Robots are a big thing this year."
Dream Home Innovation Center: Cutting edge technology and "the next big thing" are the focus of this special showcase of the latest ideas and products for the home.
Kitchen Idea Center: Popular local chefs provide tips and tastings, while putting all the latest kitchen equipment to the test.
Garden Resource Center: Help will be available from beginners to Master Gardeners. Also, find Everybody Gardens editor Doug Oster in the Garden Pavilion daily.
Ask-A-Designer: Bring your photos, sketches, or color swatches and have a seat for a free 15 minute consultation.
Antiques Home Show Stage: Dr. Lori of TV's "Auction Kings" and "Curse of Oak Island" will give daily presentations. Visitors can bring their treasured heirlooms, collectibles or antiques for Dr. Lori to discuss.
Crawford Grill: Go here to find live jazz with students from Pittsburgh's CAPA School, right next to the Convention Center, providing nightly entertainment.
Children's Village at the Show: Shady Lane School will host the area, which features the Train Collectors' Kids Club and Turtle Races for kids of all ages.
Navigating a home show
Visiting a home show can be overwhelming. There's so much to see and do that it's hard to take it all in.
How do you know you're seeing the right exhibits or talking to the right people about your project?
Here are 10 tips for successfully navigating a home show:
1. Check out the show website and decide beforehand what you need to see versus what you just want to see.
2. Research websites like those of the Better Business Bureau or Angie's List for reputable businesses to consult.
3. Make a plan to maximize your time. Prioritize the things you want to see.
4. Take photos and measurements. Specifics are helpful when talking to a contractor or other exhibitor about your project or needs.
5. Write down all the questions you can think of.
6. Take advantage of special features and free consultations.
7. It's OK to bring the kids — there are family friendly features and activities to keep them entertained.
8. Give yourself plenty of time.
9. Wear comfortable shoes.
10. A supply of address labels makes it easier to enter drawings for all the freebies.
Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, email@example.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.