The Gigantic Bay Area Maker Faire is May 17-19 in San Mateo!
Each year, our family makes the trek to San Mateo to check out all the incredible inventions, art projects, and unbridled creativity that is the Maker Faire. If you haven’t been, it’s worth a trip. The Maker Faire brings together “people who make things” – this includes everything from scientists experimenting in the kitchen to welders building fire-breathing octopus vehicles to a middle schooler who built a Rubik’s-cube solving robot out of Legos. Save 20% when you buy tickets now >
Maker Faire is a particularly family-friendly affair because almost everything is hands-on, perfect for a curious (or impulsive) child. There is something for everyone at Maker Faire, and if you love the quirky Bay Area — and can stand some crowds — it is well worth your time.
In no particular order, here are a few of the things I’m looking forward to seeing this year at Maker Faire:
- Shake and make butter — easy project for the littlest kids.
- TAPIGAMI is a new annual favorite! Maker, Danny, displays his amazing sculptures and teaches everyone how to do it.
- Talks: There are always a ton of really incredible lectures and demonstrations. Some of the talks are really aimed at grownups where people talk about their work, their maker philosophy, success in classrooms, and more. The more kid-friendly talks are usually amazing demonstrations of cool inventions.
- Drones. Watch them, race them.
- Crazy bike things There are always an amazing collection of strange and wonderful bike inventions like a carousel and rodeo plus backwards-riding tricycles and ebikes and eboards. Make your own cool bike light. What?
- LEGO. So much LEGO means that your child will be delighted with the cities, buildings, and vehicles along with the piles of imagination just waiting to be explored.
- Admire geysers of soda with the Coke Zero and Mentos reaction. Better here than my backyard!
- We always love the giant soap bubbles! They are usually near the main entrance/exit so we can hit them twice.
There’s so much more to see, I can’t wait to discover the unexpected surprises! Save 20% when you buy tickets now >
Wondering what to expect? Alec reported his adventures at a recent Maker Faire accompanied by a five year-old. Wendy also shared her stories and pictures of her pilgrimage with the whole family. If you're on the fence, please read about their experiences. This year, we'll go with five- and ten-year old kids and probably bring the walkie talkies.
Pro Tip: Be early, early, early. The place starts getting crowded around noon – the magic hours from 10am to noon give you the most opportunity to do stuff. Avoid long entry lines by buying your ticket online and getting to an fairground entry by 9:45 am. All the parking lots are off-site, and involve a 15 minute walk, so plan accordingly! We try to leave Berkeley by 8:30 so we aren’t in a rush once we arrive.
Here are some highlights of the Bay Area Maker Faire of my family from years' past.
[Photo credits: Maker Faire logo is from MakerFaire.com; all others are from the Flett family; all rights reserved]
Disclosure: We received media passes to the 2019 Maker Faire to report to you. All opinions are ours.