Last weekend, my friend Nancy, invited me to spend the afternoon with her at an annual event, Communiversity 2011, one of Princeton, New Jersey’s most beloved traditions. Presented by the Arts Council of Princeton and the students of Princeton University, the event originated as “The Art People’s Party” on the lawn of Nassau Hall in 1970. Later, it was renamed Communiversity to capture the Town-Gown spirit of the event. Every year, it is estimated that this popular arts festival attracts more than 35,000 visitors to Princeton, NJ.So, this city gal took NJ Transit out from Penn Station–a very relaxing 1 hour ride. It was a beautiful day, weatherwise, a perfect day to stroll and take in all of the fun at this town’s annual block party of sorts. The quantity and quality of activities were impressive, and were especially abundant in the kids’ area. Such activities, ranged from the traditional fare, such as not-so-great pirate-themed musical show
with both kids and adults; a handful of real fire trucks
that kids were lifted up into to explore and real fire workers to answer their questions; a classic put-your-face-in-the hole where kids could play house
; a fishing game (in a giant bucket) where kids use magnetic poles to capture toy fish,
and of course, face painting galore.
Good old-fashioned fun, without technology! Of the activities that were “new” to me, I liked the all-girls rock band who really rocked the house
; a Flower-power headband band-making station where kids made their own headbands from colored construction paper
and a variety of cut outs and embellishments; a paper hat-making station, which interestingly, both adults and kids enjoyed. These were large, floppy brimmed hats–the perfect accessory on that bright, sunny day, creatively fashioned from crumbled sheets of paper
and giant flowers on sticks.
One of the most clever art stations, was one called Nana’s Make a Mess. I mean, what mom and grandmother wouldn’t appreciate the opportunity for their kids to dive into creative fun with paints, markers, and glitter when they don’t have to clean up!
My sons would have enjoyed the tie dye-a-t-sheet station at which kids made a variety of color-splashed designs, perfect for summer.
At another area, young artists used sidewalk chalk to express themselves. There was more creativity pouring out onto the streets from local merchants. Paper Source, astationary shop had an inviting craft station outside of their door where kids could make simple takeaways out of specialty papers. Another that stuck out was Twist, a fabulous, do-it-yourself yogurt shop. I had to wait on a long line, but got to check out the action inside. Hoards of kids of all ages were hanging out around large round tables which had a lazy-Susan-like motion–perfect for playing rounds of Monopoly, Life and Apples-to-Apples which they have on hand.