Today I’m starting a new feature in my Maker Faire coverage called Families at the Faire. When I attended Maker Faire last year, I wasn’t able to score tickets for my whole family, so I was on my own. As soon as I walked in the gates, I knew that was a mistake. There were so many amazing things to do – not just for kids or adults, but for entire families to do together. I’m looking forward to introducing my kids to Maker Faire this year, and until then, here are some other families sharing their experiences at last year’s Maker Faire Austin.
Misty’s husband, John, has a background in engineering, and their sons Ian and Eliot are drawn to anything robotic. Misty’s background in arts and creative work had her geared up to see what nifty things the crafty side of Maker Faire had to offer.
“We decided to attend Maker Faire last year because it seemed like a well-rounded family event that would be all about creativity through the arts and sciences,” says Misty.
The Adiars spent all day Saturday at the Faire and said they didn’t run out of things to do. They went home tired, but feeling like the day was worth the fatigue.
“My kids loved the Faire and have continued to refer to it all year,” Misty says. “They told all our family and friends about it, too.”
HIghlights of their experience included playing through the mini golf game, making art cars and spending loads of time playing at the giant Tinker Toy set up.
“I was so energized by the people and creations at Maker Faire,” says Misty. “It was amazing to see such a display of ingenuity and resourcefulness from computer programming to crazy bikes to felt softies. Everyone was so friendly and eager to share their ideas openly, too. I really appreciated the emphasis on shared creativity instead of on mass consumerism.”
Adair advises parents to go early, wear comfortable shoes and clothing and be sure to check the schedule of events for the day/weekend.
“For major displays,” she says, “you want to show up early enough to get a good viewing spot for the little guys”
Adair says her family already has this year’s Maker Faire on their calendar, and the boys are crossing their fingers that the mini golf will be back. And even if you don’t have kids, Adair says heading out to Maker Faire is worth the effort.
“Just GO, because there is something for everyone from your punk-ass nephew to your sweet-pea grandma.”
Left: Ian and Eliot dig in to the Tinker Toys
Top right: Eliot in front of an art car
Bottom right: Ian and John play mini golf
Families at the Faire: First-Hand Accounts of Maker Faire Fun