From mind-blowing acrobatics to magical crystal balls and heavy metal magic, Musikfest’s buskers will line the streets of Bethlehem with mesmerizing and whimsical performances for kids of all ages when the festival celebrates its 35th anniversary. This year, the event welcomes Allez-Oops!, a comedy duo hailing from New York and Ukraine; Kiki-Totally Outrageous! from Canada; Nigel Blackstorm from London and many more.
Kiki – Totally Outrageous! is a master of amazing physical feats like acrobatics, contortion acts and hula-hooping performances, while Nigel Blackstorm: The Heavy Metal Magician combines spellbinding magic with some awesome tunes to jam to. For those who dream of magic and fairytales, be sure to check out Bella Magic, with her hypnotizing crystal balls, whimsical stories and magical music that are sure to enchant and delight. Also keep an eye out for The Living Vines, one of the hits of the festival in 2016, who camouflage themselves on stilts and cling to buildings only to shock guests as they walk by.
In addition to the thrilling buskers, children and families can catch even more entertainment at Familienplatz. For budding artists or creative novices, the ArtsQuest Glass Studio turns up the heat with hands-on hot glass workshops. Kids ages 6 and up can learn glass blowing techniques to create a colorful mushroom figure or paperweight, while ages 10 and older can learn glass flame working techniques to create a beautiful jewelry pendant. Guests can also view live glass blowing and flame working demonstrations by studio artists. Ensure your time slot for the Hot Glass Experiences by purchasing a ticket online at www.bananafactory.org.
Looking for free fun? Beat the heat at the Crayola Creativity Tent, which is open every day, offering a cool and shady place to relax with arts and crafts, artist demos and other interactive activities. This year’s crafting theme is the great outdoors, giving kids the opportunity to go on a nature-filled adventure by making paper tube animals, printmaking with leaves and flowers and participating in a nature scavenger hunt.
Zip and Bounce is also back this year with a dynamic lineup of rides at Familienplatz like the zip line and bungee rock climb. Rides are open all festival hours, but families looking for a great deal will want to take advantage of the special Weekday Ride Pass, which costs only $20 and includes unlimited ride access plus one zip line ride.
In the city’s Colonial Industrial Quarter, families can also explore Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites’ Luckenbach Mill. Each day at the mill, history comes alive with old trade demonstrations from local artisans including pottery, weaving and dying. Interactive activities for kids include learning how to make a pinch pot, weaving and tin punching.
Dates and times for children’s attractions are:
Aug.7, 12-8 p.m.
-Jason D’Vaude – One Man Circus Show (fire and physical stunts)
-Kiki Totally Outrageous! (acrobatics, hula-hooping and contortions)
-Allez-Oops! (comedy and stunts)
Aug. 8-12, 12-8 p.m.
-Nigel Blackstorm: The Heavy Metal Magician (music and magic)
-Bella Magic (magic and crystal balls)
-Major League Circus Show (baseball-themed stunts)
-Steve Goodtime (comedy and stunts)
The Living Vines at IBEW Local 375 Volksplatz
Aug. 11-12 at 3, 5 & 7 p.m.
Crayola Creativity Tent
Through Aug. 12, 12-9 p.m.
Historic Bethlehem’s Kids’ Activities at the Luckenbach Mill
Through Aug. 12
Monday-Thursday, 1-5 p.m., and Friday-Sunday, 12-6 p.m.
Hot Glass Experience: Mushroom or Gnarly Paperweight (ages 6+)
Through Aug. 12, 12-8 p.m. (requires ticket)
Flame Working Experience: Mushroom or Swirl Pendant (ages 10+)
Through Aug. 9, 4-8 p.m. (requires ticket)
One of the largest music festivals in the nation, Musikfest features more than 500 performances on 16 stages throughout Bethlehem over 10 days.