A Few of Our Favorite Things

We attended the first official day of the 2014 International Children’s Festival downtown today! Arriving early via the T (we parked at Allegheny Station), we spent about 3 hours venturing from booth to booth. There were tons of things to do and see but these were some of our favorites…

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Architect of Air: Miracoco in Pittsburgh

We were definitely excited to venture through Miracoco, a walk-in inflatable sculpture. Designed by the Architects of Air from the United Kingdom, the “luminarias” have visited 40 countries across 5 continents with over 2 million visitors. A luminaria, as defined by the Architects of Air, is “a sculpture people enter to be moved to a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and colour.”

We excitedly entered into the airlock entrance after we removed our shoes. The guide explained the rules: no running, no sliding on the walls, etc. She encouraged visitors to lay on floor, enjoy the smoothness of the structure and take time to enjoy the surroundings. We were given a small map of the sculpture and then we proceeded inside. The soft glow of colors illuminated the geometric patterns and dome designs.  The labyrinth of tunnels provided a myriad of sensory stimulation through light, design, texture and sound. Nonetheless, there was something very calming about being inside. It was like we were teleported to some distant planet in the future.  and there was an organic feeling about it; the light, shadows, and sounds.

pittsburgh children's festival
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pittsburgh children's festival
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pittsburgh children's festival
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LEGO Derby with the Steel City LEGO User Group

This was one of my son’s favorite exhibits. Visitors were welcomed with a set of wheels and encouraged to build any kind of vehicle they’d like to race down the track. There were thousands of LEGOS that filled the table tops and the children were allowed to use whatever pieces they fancied. My son, Ryan, must have built a dozen different vehicle designs that he raced down the track. The volunteers were super friendly and helpful and were great at encouraging creative designs.

Pittsburgh LEGO AUG
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Steel city LEGO AUG
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Steel City LEGO AUG
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Caricatures by Jeffrey Harris

For just $8, Jeffrey Harris drew an amazing caricature of my son, Ryan. What a great keepsake! It only took about 2 minutes and was absolutely amazing to watch Jeffrey draw.

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pittsburgh international children's festival
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Skippyjon Jones Activity with International Children’s Theater

If you’re a fan of the fun Skippyjon Jones books (or even if you’re not), you’ll love this exhibit. Visitors were welcome to make a mask (sans glue and tape) from a pre-cut template. There were fun materials such as pipe cleaners and hole punches of all different sizes. Next to the booth you’ll find an adorable little stage with Skippyjon Jones characters and inviting little seats.

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pittsburgh international children's festival
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Bob Rumba – Master Balloon Artist

With an amazing presence, Bob Rumba is not only a Master Balloon Artist, but amazing performer and entertainer. In fact, my son requested an autograph (which Bob pleasantly responded with an amazing drawing + signature). While we were waiting, we watched Bob handcraft balloon sculptures such as a dinosaur, dog, bug and alien. Very cool!

pittsburgh international children's festival
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pittsburgh international children's festival
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pittsburgh international children's festival
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Going Back for More

We’re hoping to make it back down to the Children’s Festival once more to see a show and/or visit more of the booths. There’s tons of things scheduled between now and Sunday, May 18th so we’re going to have to pick and choose!

 

Pittsburgh international children's festival
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Pittsburgh international children's festival
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Pittsburgh international children's festival
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Pittsburgh international children's festival
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Pittsburgh international children's festival
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I’d love to hear your feedback about your Children’s Festival experience!

What things did you and your children love most?