Adults can get in on the fun in more ways than one at the Peoria Playhouse Children's Museum
The Peoria Playhouse Children Museum’s annual fundraiser event is back with a new theme.
This adults only event is named Hopscotch, derived from hops as in beer, and scotch as in whiskey. The event features whiskey based cocktails from local breweries, local food, and a variety of games and prizes all hosted at the Playhouse’s location in Glen Oak Park.
Rebecca Shulman is the director of the Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum.
“It’s adults' turn to play in the playhouse…this year the theme is lucky seven because we are turning 7…and so there’s also a casino theme so we’re going to have lots of games that are sort of casino related and lots of great prizes too,” said Shulman.
Traditionally an indoor event hosted in the winter season, this year's event is also bringing a change of scenery.
“We wanted to make sure that everybody feels comfortable and safe in this lingering COVID era…so it is on June 11 and it is indoor/outdoor, so there’s games in both places, there’s drinks and food in both places. If people feel more comfortable being masked indoors and then bringing food and drink outside, that’s wonderful,” said Shulman.
The proceeds from Hopscotch go directly towards supporting the 3 different Playhouse maker programs, which include family workshops and maker workshops held at the Nobel center, in addition to their adult maker night held at the Playhouse. Education Coordinator Tessa Lee Martinez says adult maker nights are the perfect time to get together with your family, bond with your co-workers, or have a girls' night out all while completing a challenge.
“They work together as a team to create something. So, a while back it was our Met Gala mania, and we had so much fun creating outfits out of random materials and using a variety of tools,” said Martinez.
Each adult maker night is a different themed maker experience complete with snacks and booze. For many adults, this could be seen as an intimidating venture. As people get older, they play less and less, often consumed with our own daily grind and an overwhelming amount of items on our to do lists. These days, it can be especially hard to let loose and play.
“What I’m hoping is they’re expecting to have fun and to have a good time…but sometimes I feel that adults to adults, we fear judgment…when really I think all of us just want to have fun, so that is the kind of environment that we're trying to create,” said Martinez.
Martinez recalled that during their Met Gala mania workshop, adults were a little apprehensive as they filed in. But as the night went on, the energy in the room skyrocketed.
“People were really getting into it. People were being competitive…we really saw some ideas develop, people working together, and people trying to really push our materials to the limit,” Martinez said.
Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich and Peoria County Administrator Scott Sorrel were among those in attendance at the Met Gala mania.
“Their piece was like an ode to Peoria; it was phenomenal…they’re great spaces for adults to come and make as a team…and really learn what the Playhouse can do for kids…but really, this is something that we want to encourage people to engage in through their entire lives,” Shulman said.
Compared to children, adults have a lot on their plates, and it's understandable why some of us have a really hard time engaging in tasks that we don’t immediately determine to be productive in the moment. However, while these adult maker workshops are a space for adults to unlock their inner child and engage in some real fun, the impacts the fun can have are profound.
“That is a chance for us to almost be vulnerable and comfortable with ourselves…it is a chance to let our guard down…I feel like as adults we’re often worried about the environment around us…or we’re busy finishing some task, and at that point it is time to just let those things go and concentrate on what’s in front of you right then and right there,” Martinez explains.
In a time where many are plagued by distractions, are constantly plugged in, and tend to be judgmental of our own productivity on a day to day basis, these maker workshops go well beyond engaging its participants in some level of fun. They also help us tap into a part of ourselves that is often forgotten, and force us to indulge ourselves into things that used to come naturally or easily. Being truly present in a moment, listening to our peers without judgment, trying new things without fear of failure, laughing so hard your stomach hurts, and appreciating the people around you are all key components of these workshops.
And Shulman says there might actually be a word to describe all that.
“There’s this idea called flow where you’re really engaged in something when it's the right level of challenge, and you're immersed in it, and you see that in adult maker nights. You see that adults are engaging in a challenge where they’re all in, and it's funny because it’s a challenge that’s outside of your normal life or your normal work. It’s in a way an artificial challenge, but it is so fun and so good that you sort of just forget that time is passing…and the things that people create are so phenomenal,” said Shulman.
While the experiences had in adult maker night can be incredibly nourishing for adults, it can also serve as a reminder to how children feel about all these things, according to Martinez.
“If adults are having fun making these things and are having fun doing these challenges…they are reminded that children are also experiencing these things as well…and are having fun. Creativity is something that doesn't stop at a certain age, it’s something that we have to continue to promote,” Martinez explains.
For those interested in promoting their creativity at Hopscotch, there are still tickets available for purchase here. The event is on Saturday, June 11th from 7-10pm. For more information on the Playhouse, Hopscotch, adult maker nights, and all the other programs they offer, visit their website.