It should have come as no surprise to anyone waiting in the long line in front of the Boston Children’s Museum on August 22nd that the promise of free reign and a cash bar, in a museum normally reserved for people under three feet tall, would be a sold out event.
But looking down the long line of restless hopefuls, nervously speculating about their chance to be one of the additional 100 to get into the Grown Up Night at the Children’s Museum, all evidence pointed to the contrary.
There was a little confusion at the start about how many people would be able to get in, but the staff was warm and patient, as you would imagine they would be working at a children’s museum, and when the doors finally opened at 6pm the air was filled with the kind of gleeful abandon that made the long wait all worth while.
Event patrons ranged in age from early 20’s to mid 30’s. They streamed in en masse and stowed their belonging in lockers before they set off to explore the three floors of interactive and educational exhibits in the museum.
There was music, food, and laughter everywhere. With their hands free for climbing, building and holding cups of wine or beer people were delighted by the rediscovery of joy in the little things, like blowing bubbles, finger painting and sifting sand. Although a few people seemed little nervous about the idea of acting “childish” they were quick to join in and in the end it just might have been the best idea for a mixer ever.
By the time 7:30 rolled around the place was packed and the people in attendance seemed breathless with the excitement of overstimulated five year olds. They were on the dance floor, crawling through tunnels and arguing over the structural integrity of foam forts before pretending to be Godzilla and knocking them down.
…and i’ll be honest, it was totally awesome.
But really, the huge smiles on peoples faces said it all. Everyone’s overwhelming happiness seemed fueled not just by boozed induced enthusiasm for the nuance of playtime but by the nostalgia of being in the Children’s Museum and the reminder that in the end we’re all just big kids in “work clothes.”
(The gallery below includes images from the first “Grown up Night at the Boston Children’s Museum” and from the event on June 11, 2015)