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Friday 27 May 2016

Maker Faire 2016

This past weekend we took the girls to our favorite event of the year... Maker Faire!

This was our fourth time going to Maker Faire (third time for Mathilde) so the girls felt like pros knowing the ins and outs of the event. They knew everything they wanted to see and do before we even made it to Maker Faire - without ever looking at the program! Just like previous years, the girls were keen to check out the crazy bikes and vehicles, watch crazy mechanical sculptures shoot flames in the air, hug the air filled sculptures in the glowing forest, catch huge bubbles, dance with a robot, and make their own crazy inventions. We managed to squeeze all of this, plus more, into one very busy day.

We started our day at Maker Faire checking out the bikes, vehicles and flame shooting creations. Crazy bikes and cars are fun to look at, but they're even more fun to ride so the girls were pretty excited to take a ride in an electric assist cargo bike pedaled by Daddy. It sure was pretty fun to zoom around in. I joined the girls in the front basket but forget to have a photo taken. (As usual, I realized on our way home that, once again, I'm not in a single photo from the day - I must fix this!).

We then moved onto bikes that the girls could pedal themselves - or attempt to pedal themselves as was often the case! The crazy bikes are always a favorite with Ava and Lola but there are only ever a few that are small enough for them to ride. Lola and Mathilde were able to ride the bike carousel (Mathilde with a little help from Daddy) and Ava rode a few of the mixed up bikes made from recycled parts.

There were a few fun bike rides that Ava was keen to try out so while she lined up with Kim, I took Lola and Mathilde (who were too small for the rides) to check out the CarCroach, a car converted to look like a giant cockroach!

Then it was time to watch Ava on the scary looking bike ferris wheel. She climbed to the very top, hopped into the seat, and pedaled herself and another girl around and around. Honestly, I thought she'd chicken out before it was her turn but she didn't and she had an absolute blast.

Speaking of chickens, there was a giant chicken vehicle that Lola and Mathilde thought was hilarious. They were keen to climb up it but Lola backed out after another kid mistakenly told her she wasn't allowed to.

We then made our way to the bubbles and the dancing robot, stopping to see all sorts of crazy things on the way.

After catching a ton of bubbles (imagine what an actual ton of bubbles would look like!) and dancing with the robot for quite some time, we headed indoors to the dark room filled with amazing light displays. The girls headed straight to the glowing forest which is always their favorite. In fact, it seems to be a favorite with everyone at Maker Faire! The first time we visited Maker Faire we could just walk straight up to the "trees" without their being much of a crowd. Now (and last year) there's a fence around them and a line up. When it was their turn the girls happily ran around the trees, hugged them and found little spots to sit down and chill out. Well, not Mathilde - she just stuck to the running around part!

The dark room was pretty chaotic this year with huge numbers of people everywhere. Usually the girls want to check out every single display but this time they were content to just see a few and head onto the next building where they could do a little making of their own.

We headed to the craft area where Ava did a little weaving on a small loom and Lola attempted embroidery. I say attempted because she got frustrated and gave up pretty quickly. Needle work can be a little tricky when you're only five. So while Ava finished her weaving, I took Lola and Mathilde to look at what else was nearby. They took turns controlling remote control vehicles, which Mathilde loved, but then we got distracted by the Vortex Smoke Ring Blaster and didn't make it any further!

The Vortex Smoke Ring Blaster was loads of fun. It didn't always shoot out smoke rings. Most of the time it was just a blast of air - often directed at people wearing hats (which flew off) or people with long hair (like me!). Lola and Mathilde lined up to have the air and smoke rings blasted at them. When Ava and Kim joined us a little later Ava and Lola took turns using the blasting their sisters themselves.

We then found a booth where the girls could make their own robots from recycled materials. They got creative with egg carts, plastic lids, Altoids tins, paper doilies, straws and sticks to create three very different creations.

We then checked out a few of the vendors with 3D printer and lighting displays before heading to the Homegrown Village building where we tasted lots of yummy treats (who would've ever thought that shitake mushroom jerky tastes so good), and checked out honey bees. Oh, and posed for bee selfies!

We then headed back outside to an area filled with creative, hands on fun for kids. The girls made more crazy creatures out of recycled materials. I love Ava's creature with the tongue and googly eyes.

By now the end of the day (and the end of Maker Faire) was fast approaching and there was a lot of packing up being done. We started making our way back to the entrance/exit closest to where we parked but stopped by the hula hoops for a quick spin.

Our day at Maker Faire was a ton of fun, but as usual, the time just flew by so fast. To see everything on offer at Maker Faire you really need to go for the full weekend. There's just so much to see and do. It is a huge event and we really only scratched the surface of the fun available. We did manage to do pretty much everything on the girls' list though. We missed out on playing with the cardboard robot arms (which they always love), but that was pretty much it.

Just like every other post I've shared about our visits to Maker Faire I'll end this one the same. We had a lot of fun at Maker Faire and can't wait to go again next year! It sounds like a cliche, but it's sp true!

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