Maker Faire Highlights with Tips


This was maybe our fifth or sixth Maker Faire and as the event gets bigger each year, we wondered if it would be our last. Yet then once there, the magic struck again and we left excited for next year.

We’ve always advised to go early or late, but we’d only gone early. We’ve gone on both Saturdays and Sundays, getting to the main parking lot an hour before the event opened, then leaving before dinner. Due to Little League, this year we went late, arriving around 2:30 p.m. and staying until nearly close on Saturday night. This is the best way to do the Maker Faire.

With a late start, we didn’t try to park in the main lot ($25), though there were spots when we walked in. We parked at College of San Mateo (free!) and took the shuttle (also free!). We walked up to a waiting shuttle and were dropped off at the west side of the fairgrounds within minutes. We needed to check in at the East Gate, which meant a 15 minute walk around the perimeter and through the main parking lot, but that was fine.

Once inside, it was PACKED with 100% more Google Glass wearers than last year. The Expo Hall was nuts, the outside areas were crazy, and within minutes, my son was hungry, so we retreated to the food area, which wasn’t crowded because it was in between main meal times. While we ate our annual corndog, the crowd started slowly thinning out. By late afternoon, the crowd was manageable and toward the end, it was downright open (except the micro drone booth, which I really, really wanted to visit, because I really, really want a micro drone). We had time to talk to makers and try new things. We didn’t make it to all of the booths we would have liked to visit, but we saw a bit of everything – Young Makers, Astro Botanicals, Project Junktopia, Camp Couture‘s Trashion Show (that my son helped pedal power), sensory perception chairs, San Francisco Bazaar, 3D printing, Ford’s #unminivan pinewood derby, Mousetrap, and so much more.  Also, there was crazy unhealthy food to try, like deep fried Oreos and chocolate covered bacon. When asked for their highlights, my son said his was the deep fried Oreos. My daughter’s highlight was meeting Alexandria von Bromssen from Project Runway and Camp Couture.

Once deciding it was time to go, we slipped out the west gate right in line for our shuttle and 15 minutes later, we were in our car, half way home. From now on, we are always doing the Maker Faire this way. The ease of parking no doubt made the day better. The whole event was awesome and we can’t wait to go again next year.

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