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KidsFest: The Kawarthas’ Free Family Fun Fair

August 25, 2023

KidsFest at Maryboro Lodge

On Labour Day Weekend, Maryboro Lodge Museum is hosting KidsFest, the Kawartha’s Free Family Fun Fair. Located in Garnet Graham Beach Park, the event takes place from Friday, September 1 to Sunday, September 3, from 10 am to 5 pm.

KidsFest is an event that got started by accident. Being a community history museum, the organization often tries to think of ways to make the community’s history engaging. On an ordinary summer Saturday afternoon in 2018, a volunteer at Maryboro Lodge came up with the idea that larger than life versions of many of the toys that used to be made in the village could be fashioned from pool noodles. Though it started out as silliness, by the end of the day, a lot of people were playing with the pool noodle toys. The museum saw a need for high quality programming for local kids, and the following summer, KidsFest became a major community event. In creating all the activities for KidsFest, the Museum has been able to offer constantly evolving daily programming for children. In a few short years, Maryboro Lodge has become a destination for families to come and spend the day.

KidsFest celebrates the Kawarthas’ unique contributions to childhood. For a generation, Fenelon Falls’ largest employer was Allen Wood Products, which manufactured the wooden toys that were marketed nationally through retailers like Eaton’s and Sears. Lindsay’s Crayola has similarly provided the craft supplies that practically every child grew up playing with. And who doesn’t enjoy Kawartha Dairy overlooking the Trent-Severn Waterway? KidsFest brings history to life through one-of-a-kind educational activities.

There is nothing else quite like visiting KidsFest. Where else can you go to Be a Rockstar!, hold a snake, launch a rocket, build a boat, ride a pony, make a car, have your caricature drawn, paint on a mural, enjoy carnival games, build a castle, be a fairy, stand in a bubble, enjoy a drumming circle, sit around a campfire, pet a bunny, bounce in a bouncy castle, dig for treasures, and see just how cool physics can be? And it’s not just for kids. Anyone who is creative and likes to learn will find something fun at KidsFest.

All weekend long, KidsFest features live performances including Washboard Hank, Mystic Drumz, the Paddling Puppeteers, Pint of Blarney, North Country Express and Dig the Moon. Guest exhibitors include Zoo to You, Browning Reptiles, Sciensational Snakes and the Turtle Guardians. Visitors can send a telegraph, learn about worms, see the metamorphosis of a butterfly and be part of a puppet show. It’s fun, it’s educational, it’s exciting and it’s an awesome end of summer party.

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