I’m a big fan of The Henry Ford. I’ve been going since I was a child and now as an adult I bring my own children. It was my hope that they would grow to love it as I have… but there was no “growing” about it because they think the place is as awesome as I do. We’ve gone there for many events over the years but never to the Maker Faire. So when I was asked by The Henry Ford to attend for my blog, with giddy delight I most happily accepted!
For those who don’t know, the Maker Faire is a place where nerds can be cool. A total “Nerdvana” where inventors, techies, sci-fi geeks, weirdo’s, and well…. basically anyone who can make something can come and show off their wares. Some vendors were selling their products, some were science-related clubs, and still others just wanted to show off that crazy thing they made. As soon as I walked in there I knew I was “home” with my people lol. The event is VERY kid-friendly with plenty of events and activities to keep little minds entertained.
I whipped up a short video of some of the highlights from the day for my YouTube channel…
…But that video doesn’t come close to covering everything. There was so much going on I hardly know where to start… I mean, there was stuff everywhere! All around you whizzing by, fire, explosions, music, robots… I’m going to try to break some of it down into sections to organize my thoughts:
Kid Friendly Activities: I have to admit, I had no idea what to expect when I got to the event. Sure I’ve seen a few pictures online but I wasn’t sure exactly how much of the event was geared towards children. The truth is that there are activities EVERYWHERE! From oddly-sized bikes, to balloon shaping, even a life sized game of “Operation” where there for children to interact with. There were plenty of crafts to make… some charged a small fee (a couple bucks) to cover the cost of materials. (I wasn’t aware of this and didn’t bring any cash so we missed out on some pretty cool activities). However there was plenty of free activities to go around.
My oldest son was fascinated with the 3D printers. We had to stop at every booth with a 3D printer so he could watch it operate while inspecting the various finished pieces. At one booth in particular, you got to design a propeller that got programmed, made, and tested right before your eyes. When D’s didn’t spin very fast he began inspecting other props to see which design was better and why. I have no doubt he will be working in a science field when he gets older.
Star Wars: Yes!! There was, in fact a TON of cool Star Wars stuff at the Faire. Storm Troopers, Jedi Knights, R2 D2, and even the Muppets got into the Star Wars spirit! I am a Star Wars junkie… I must have snapped a few hundred photos of everything. I kept my camera ready because I never knew what something new and unexpected would happen… I mean Muppet Storm Troopers ?!?! That is so completely cool! I had to chase them down to get a few quick photos lol.
All the characters were nice enough to stand around and have their pictures taken with an onslaught of people non-stop for hours on end. There was a table set up with props and other cool related-items for sale and it took every bit of my will power to keep from buying stuff.
Contraptions: Yes giant stuff of all shapes and sizes. A life sized Mouse Trap, Flaming Skee Ball, Battle Bots Arena, and even a sideshow carnival attraction. There was always something huge and eye-catching everywhere you looked. And vehicles too! I saw a Hostess cupcake speeding around, a time machine, and a crazy musical …uhh …thing zipping through the crowds.
Costumes: Some were part of the Faire, some people just showed up in costume. I never thought to dress up but that might be fun sometime. Once I made a StarScream transformer costume using only cardboard and tape and my oldest, “D”, made himself a Shockwave costume just last year… it would completely fit in with the Maker Faire spirit that’s for sure!
I’m not positive but I think these 2 girls just came to the event like everyone else …except with giant creatures on their shoulders lol. Their creations are too cool I had to give them a shout-out
The Power Racing Series: HOLY CRAP this was awesome!! Toy cars modified into electric racing machines whizzing around a track for well over an hour. It was great fun to watch all the exciting action as drivers crashed, wheels blew out, or the car ran until it wouldn’t run no more.
We could have watched this all day! Our favorite was the van (shown both above and below) made by the “MIT Department of Silly Go-Karts”. However there were a few others that got us cheering as well.
I really could go on writing about this all day. In fact, I could write an entire blog post about each every Maker we visited but I’m afraid I would have to quit my job because there were hundreds. It was a lot to take in, I only wish I could have made it to the event both days. I will tell you one thing… I will definitely be back again next year!
This post was made possible by The Henry Ford who gave me 4 tickets to attend the Maker Faire in exchange for a review on my blog. All opinions are my own.