World Maker Faire: Where the Robots and Jet Ponies Run Free


This is one of those weekends where there are a million fairs and festivals jockeying for your attention: The Dumbo Arts Festival, the Atlantic Antic, two film festivals (one in the ‘Burg, one in Coney) and The Maker Faire.

It’s the Maker Faire that looks the most interesting (personally). And not just because they’re spelling Faire the same way as those magical Renn Faires with the mead and the flute playing. This is the first time this traveling festival for everyday inventors/makers has landed in NYC. They chose the New York Hall of Science for their two-day stint, which, if you haven’t been, is like the Exploratorim in San Francisco–awesome for kids, fun for anyone on mushrooms, and a great day trip, because it’s within the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, right next to the Queens Zoo.

The fact that this was also the site of the 1964 World’s Fair only makes this Maker Faire more special. Essentially, it’s a chance for “makers” to show off their weird, wacky basement and bedroom projects (and functional inventions, too). A few are staples of the fair, like a Coke Zero & Mentos fountain (above) that operates like the Bellagio’s, a life-size mousetrap, and strange things from the Madagascar Institute.

This “art combine” in Gowanus will have an entire carnival at Maker Faire filled with rides you probably don’t want to ride: DIY Chariot Races. Jet Ponies. An Electrocution Seesaw.

The Madagascar folks are one of roughly 60 Brooklyn-based presenters. A few other local projects/creations include:

Nelson’s Electric Chaircut: an interactive, electro-sonic, haircut performance (I need a trim but probably not going this route)

The Pegassist: a tricked-out pedicab by Larisa Fuchs of Gemini + Scorpio fame

The Moonisphere: like the World Fair Unisphere, only made of cardboard from Queens

A special pop-up restaurant that I’m not supposed to talk about

Space Kittys: Inflatable kitties who will hopefully ride the Jet Ponies, because that will look amazing.

BUST Craftacular: This is the first time Craftacular folks will be at the Maker Faire, with 100+ booths set up outside.

The fair runs this Saturday and Sunday. Day and weekend tickets are available here. And if you’re torn between coming to this and TradeUP!, I say, go to Maker on Sunday! That’s what I’m doing with my almost two-year-old, because under twos get in free and because it will be way more fun than any trip to Disney Land.–Nicole

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