Last night the Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum hosted an adult maker space night to make all the kids jealous. It’s the first in a series of events at the Playhouse in a collaboration with River City Labs to get adults acting more like kids again by inventing, innovating and building. The task for this particular event was to form teams, use a bunch of creative, non-traditional boat making materials and build a powered flotation device that would meander down one of the museums cool exhibits which is a winding water feature.

I was chatting with Rebecca Shulman Herz, Director of the Playhouse, as she watched groups of grownups scampering back and forth with their works-in-progress they were testing out, she explained, “this was really born out of the Maker Space Committee that puts on events for kids. After a while, we all came to the conclusion that we should have something like this for adults. Let’s have fun making things and let’s also do it with beer and pizza.” The idea is similar to art parties where you gather a group of people, open a couple of bottles of wine, and let the creative juices spill over into a painting, drawing, or craft project.

However, by no means was this all just fun and games. The four teams competing had limited time to make their creations and they each had official time trials to see which went the furthest and the fastest. With a take home trophy and bragging rights on the line, this was serious business.

Eventually, a winner was crowned. Afterwards, the crowd talked about how many cool things they could do next month or once it gets warmer and they can go into the park. As just a picture-taking spectator in the room, I thought it was the fun kind of energy you remember as a kid, but have been missing for a while.

The next Adult Maker Space is going to be held on Thursday, February 11th at 6:30p.m. at the Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum. You can buy tickets for that event in advance at their web store. And if for some reason I haven’t sold you on the idea yet, I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story…