This October 2015, our family headed to the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York for the Maker Faire! You can find Maker Faires throughout the year and around the world, with so much to explore.
So, what is the Maker Faire?
Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.
We were excited to get exploring at the Faire – there is really a lot of ground to cover and we had to start with a map and figure out where to begin. We went on Saturday, but the event spanned two full days, and we could have easily spent another day there.
After checking in, the tough part was figuring out where to start! You get a map to show you where to locate everything, and there is also a list of events. Fortunately there was a Nickelodeon “Game Shakers” show tent set up near the entrance, so the kids made a beeline for that while we checked our maps to see what we wanted to do next.
There are so many things to see, and the Faire is divided up into areas. You could spend the whole day wandering around browsing booths, or make it a goal to visit a bunch of specific ones.
There are plenty of kid-friendly projects and products. The kids found more than enough to keep themselves occupied, and in one full day, we definitely did not have enough time for each booth or demonstration. It is pretty cool that there is no shortage of stuff for kids to see and do.
As parents, we loved how many hands-on activities there are, and of course the kids loved having the chance to try out so many cool things.
Among stuff to try and buy, there are also non-profits, like Liter of Light. This organization creates light at a low cost for places that need it around the world. This is such a fascinating concept, and the kids even got to make their own light! They gathered a handful of parts and a small glass jar to create a light that turns on (and changes color) when you flip the jar upside down.
At another station, the kids created a circuit using play dough, lighting up two LED lights.
There is everything you can think of at the Maker Faire, from food to bathrooms, to vendors and entertainment. There was even a place for moms to stop if you are nursing – definitely family friendly!
We spent a full day at the Maker Faire, and we could have easily gone back for another full day. I recommend the Faire for families and people of all ages. We plan on going back in the Fall of 2016!
Visit MakerFaire at http://makerfaire.com/