Maker Faire Detroit 2012

I’ve heard about Maker Faire Detroit for the last couple of years and thought it might be a fun event to take the kids to.  But after spending a day there yesterday there is no might be … this event is a MUST DO!

If you haven’t heard about Maker Faire, here’s some info from the website:

Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.  It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors, and commercial exhibitors. They are of all ages and backgrounds. Maker Faire’s mission is to entertain, inform, connect and inspire these thousands of Makers and aspiring Makers.

The inaugural Maker Faire was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2011 celebrated its sixth annual Bay Area event with some 100,000 people in attendance. As Maker Faire has grown in popularity and relevance, additional flagship faires were launched in 2010 in Detroit and New York City. Community-driven, independently produced Mini Maker Faire events inspired by Maker Faire are now being produced around the United States and the world.

Maker Faire Detroit runs for only 2 days (this year July 28-29 from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm).  It is held at …

The Henry Ford, in Dearborn, Michigan, is the world’s premier history destination and a National Historic Landmark that celebrates American history and innovation. Its mission is to provide unique educational experiences based on authentic objects, stories and lives from America’s traditions of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation. Its purpose is to inspire people to learn from these traditions to help shape a better future. Five distinct attractions at The Henry Ford captivate more than 1.5 million visitors annually: Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, The Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Benson Ford Research Center and The Henry Ford IMAX Theatre. The Henry Ford is also home to Henry Ford Academy, a public charter high school which educates 485 students a year on the institution’s campus and was founded in partnership with The Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company and Wayne County Public Schools. For more information please visit our website

Parking was a nightmare … but once we were into the Faire the crowds weren’t too bad.  Tickets were $30 for adults (13-61), $20.50 for youth (5-12), $27 for seniors (62+), and children 0-4 were free.  Price included entrance into the Henry Ford Museum (and could not be purchased separately/without museum admission).  Different packages, including 2-day passes and other attractions at the Henry Ford, were also available.  There were plenty of port-a-potties outside and indoor restrooms in the museum.  Food was available outside by purchasing food tickets (5 for $10).  Various drinks, snacks, sandwiches, and pizza were available (for between 1 ticket for a soda to 3 tickets for a slice of local pizza).

It was perfect weather … warm and sunny.  We spent the day browsing intentions, watching demonstrations (like a MakerBot 3D printer and a Life Size Mouse Trap)… but most of the time the kids spent MAKING … thinking, tinkering, exploring.  That’s what really made this event worth it.  There were a ton of hands-on activities for the kids … some of them for additional cost for materials and donations, but many were free of charge.  Here’s a glimpse of our day (hover over the photos for more info!) …


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Laura Hutchison

Laura Hutchison (aka PlayDrMom) is a chubby kid turned competitive figure skater tween turned high school pom pon girl turned MSU Spartan turned grad student turned Mrs. HutcH turned Dr. turned Mom. She adores living in the Mitten, is addicted to Diet Coke, and firmly believes that ice cream is a main food group.

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  1. Joyce

    I went on Sunday. It was my first time. It was an awesome experience. I am getting ready to lead a Robot Camp at my preschool, Milford Cooperative. I received so much valuable information from excited robotics teams and coaches. I highly recommend this activity for ALL ages! After raising two engineers (Astronautical and Aeronautical) it is events like these in the early years that can excite and encourage future engineers.

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