For a family fair, this one sure had a lot of learning, learning through playing, that is.
The Children’s Museum of the East End held their fifth annual family fair on Saturday, July 20, celebrating cultures from Japan to Kenya to Ireland while participating in the Museum’s largest fundraisers of the year. The star-studded event featured international activities and maintained true to the museum’s mission to educate through experimental play. Honorary Co-Chairs Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann, Tiffani Thiessen, Ali Wentworth, Christa Miller, Jane Krakowski and Kelly Klein also brought their kids to join in the fun.
“What I love about CMEE is how it is like a communal living room,” said Steve Long, the executive director of the museum. He considers playing to be the best form of learning and proceeds from the fair will go toward educational programming.
Amy Tarr, the president of the board, discovered CMEE when she needed to get her twins out of her own living room on a rainy day and another one of her mom-friends told her about the museum. Part of her goal when starting the fair was working to make sure that children were involved and to show off the museum’s compelling activities.
As the young explorers got to the sunny, sunny check-in manned by CMEE volunteers, they received “passports” to get stamped with activities. Some of the volunteers at the check-in tent and activity tents were returning 9 year old and 10 year old tour guides while others were international camp counselors and nannies. In “Kenya,” explorers made sushi. In “Ireland,” explorers made rain sticks and in “Japan,” explorers made sushi, a delicacy that passersby could catch whiffs when going outside to the water park.
The water park had jungle gyms that stood atop a grassy backyard-type setting. A sign warned guests that here, on this sweat-dripping day, they were going to get wet. While children ran through mazes and obstacle courses, parents sprayed them with water guns.
“I think its elusiveness [is the best part of the fair,]” said Tim Daileader, who was there with his daughter Madelein. “It’s got a little something for everyone.”
Madelein liked the magic show the best. Adults also seemed to bask in the glory that was the food trucks with choices of dumplings, gyros and pizza.
Roaming throughout the fair, one could easily find celebrity moms and dads with their children to celebrate CMEE.
“What’s great for here is that it’s here for all of the families who come out for the summer,” Thiessen said. The former “Saved By The Bell” and “Beverly Hills, 90210” star was there with her 3-year-old daughter, Harper.
“All my kids love it there,” Hargitay, who was there with her three children- August, Andrew and Amaya (also known as “Maymay”) and husband Peter, said. “It caters to a lot of people and fits a lot of needs and I admire that.”
For more information about The Children’s Museum of the East End visit www.cmee.org.