Saturday's sun-tastic weather lured me and the boys to Druid Hill Park for Baltimore Green Works' EcoFest, which seemed like a good way to celebrate Earth Day (coming up on Wednesday).
We had a blast, cruising the booths with information about everything from solar power and geo-thermal energy to earth-friendly instruments. Luckily for us, many booths were kid friendly: There was a demonstration of an all-natural children's play area (using tree stumps and natural ropes and such); Baltimore Yoga Village had mini yoga classes for kids and a table where they could make masks out of feathers and felt; There were also belly dancers and drum circles.
As usual, the highlight for Jack (my 2.5-year-old toddler) was the music. We sat in front of the stage and watched sets by the folky Swing States Road Show (above) and country-bluegrass the Frontier Dentists for long stretches. It was during a set by the former that we first saw Mayor Sheila Dixon stroll by with a suprisingly small posse of staffers and media.
Later, we were sitting in the drum circle led by Dehconte Gibson, a teacher at Great Soul Wellness Studio and in the Baltimore City Public Schools. Jack was having a blast and repeatedly pointed to the dreadlocked Gibson shouting "It's Bob Marley!"—Jack's first musical hero, featured on two T-shirts and a poster in his room—and waving. Luckily, the drums drowned him out. At one point, we looked to our left and who should be sitting, timidly tapping a conga but Mayor Dixon, who glanced at baby Ben, who miraculously managed to sleep in his stroller amid all the racket, and said "I wish I was him."
It was perfect weather and a perfect day and I'm looking forward to many more sunny saturdays in the park(s). If you feel like leaving a comment, let me know your favorite area park for kids. We're still exploring...
[photo courtesy Swing States Road Show]