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Fresh Ideas for Families

  • With the COVID pandemic still changing the way we live every day, we're all sad that we can't have a *real* Festival of Ideas in 2021.

    We're here to provide Brighton families with a collection of resources that you can use at home to "Brighton Your Mind" and have some fun. These resources were provided by some of our Festival presenters, who are as anxious as you are to be back in person for Festival of Ideas 2022!

    Bavarian Pretzels

    Each year, home baker Roseann Kraus teaches us about pretzels, helping us make the dough, shape pretzels and customize them with sweet or spicy flavors.  Here is her recipe for soft pretzels that you can make at home, and a little pretzel history, too:
    Pretzel Recipe
    Pretzel History

    Radio Control Model Airplanes... and more!

    Members of the Radio Control Club of Rochester have been GREAT supporters of Festival of Ideas, bringing a gym-full of gear every year to introduce to us the hobby they love. They've gathered a great collection of resources for us -- videos from the flying field, a video that features R/C rock crawlers (monster trucks), R/C helicopters, and more.  You'll even find a link to a collection of STEAM projects provided by the Academy of Model Aeronautics that includes paper airplanes, kites, balloon rockets, and many more:
    Model Airplane Resource Collection

    Balloon Creations

    Larry Moss and Kelly Cheatle, the Creative and Artistic Directors of Airigami, have taught hundreds of Festival-goers how to make balloon animals and WAY more. During the pandemic, they've been broadcasting lessons from home. If you don't have balloons, don't worry -- the artists make the experience fun by showing examples of how the basics can be applied to make more elaborate sculptures:
    Airigami Online: Lesson 1
    Lesson 2: Rainbows
    Lesson 3: Flowers
    Lesson 4: Sea creatures
    Lesson 5


    The folks from Rochester Parkour built an obstacle course at BHS to introduce kids to parkour at Festival 2020. Even during COVID, they have opportunities (for kids AND adults!) to learn parkour skills at their facility at 1344 University Avenue.  You'll find all the details on their website: https://rochesterparkour.com/
    Here's a video teaser:
    Parkour for Kids: Fun Fitness!

    Rube Goldberg Machines

    For many years, Larry Moss came to Festival to help kids build Rube Goldberg machines from a vast collection of materials that some people might see as junk!  Over the years, Larry has collected links to the most amazing Rube Goldberg machine videos on YouTube.  Here's his playlist:
    Amazing Rube Goldberg Machine Playlist

    Crime Scene Investigation

    Each year, an officer from the Brighton Police Department teaches Festival-goers the basics of crime scene investigation.  Investigator Ryan Lehigh provided this kid-friendly collection of YouTube videos, produced by SciShow, on forensic science and crime scene investigation:
    The Real Science of Forensics
    Six Forensic Technologies of the Future
    CSI Special Insects Unit: Forensic Entomology
    How Do My Fingerprints Form
    How DNA Analysis Led Police to the Golden State Killer


    Caitlin Pulli, a member of the US National Champion team, began leading a Festival workshop in 2019.  She provided this collection of resources to introduce kids and families to the game of curling:
    Curling: A 2-Minute Video Guide
    Curling: The Basics
    Play Curling Online

    Firefighting and Fire Prevention

    Each year, members of the Brighton Fire Department bring all their gear -- and the Jaws of Life -- to Festival, to give kids a hands-on experience. They provided this link to resources from the National Fire Protection Association, with videos, games, activities, and more:


    Allison Picciano of Butterfly Kids Yoga has taught countless kids how to use yoga to change their lives.  She provided two links -- one for kids, one for adults:
    Butterfly Kids YOGA ...offering kids and teen classes via livestream, on demand, and (limited) in person.
    YOGA 170 ...offering a wide variety of adult yoga classes, offered in person, livestream and on demand.