Each year Panoply Arts Festival brings three days of fun and entertainment to downtown Huntsville, sparking the imaginations of kids and kids-at-heart. From STEAM-centric hands-on activities, art projects, children’s performances, magic shows and more, Huntsville’s Big Spring Park buzzes with creative energy that’s sure to inspire the whole family.
Here’s what’s in store at this year’s Panoply Arts Festival, April 27 – 29th!
Keep reading to learn how you can win a Family Weekend Pass…
Friday, April 27th
5-8pm: Doctor Osborn’s Balloons
Saturday, April 28th
12-4pm: Doctor Osborn’s Balloons
4:30-5pm: Fantasy Playhouse children’s Theatre’s Lab 87: An Actor’s Conservatory
Sunday, April 29th
12-12:30pm: FPCT Lab 87: An Actor’s Conservatory (STROLLING)
1-5pm: Doctor Osborn’s Balloons
Kid’s Interactive STEAM Activities
Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math come together at Panoply Arts Festival with a series of hands-on activities meant to inspire your child’s imagination. This year’s STEAM Interactives include:
- Defense Acquisition University’s Golden Gadget – Kids will learn about the golden ratio through art, architecture and nature after which they will make their own golden ratio divider.
- Urban Engine’s Gigantic Geometry – Using brightly colored yarn, kids will create large-scale geometric shapes in the park
Huntsville Ballet Company’s Rocket Dancers – Kids will learn the physics of a leap and then make a straw rocket.
- Huntsville STEAMworks’ Wonder Whirlers – Using a chipboard, festival goers will learn the science of optics by making a Thaumatrope and observe a zoetrope.
- Huntsville AL L5 Society’s Go-Go Lunar Rovers – Festivalgoers are off to the races to learn about different types of energy as they make and test a car made from household items.
Hands-On Creative Art Projects
- First Baptist Church’s Community Mosaic – You and your kids can contribute to a unique piece of public art using tiles from their Cosmic Jesus mural. FBC will lead the community in creating a new mural using pieces of tile from the mural that is currently undergoing renovation. The final mosaic piece of art, created by festivalgoers, will be placed on display somewhere in the city to live long after the festival weekend ends.
- Ferocious Fire Breathers – Create ferocious fire breathing dragons made from up-cycled materials
- Brilliant Birdies presented by Randolph School – Craft colorful watercolor birds
- Puck’s Portals – Build whimsical fairy doors made with popsicle sticks, buttons, and paint
- Instrument Petting Zoo – Huntsville Symphony Guild returns with this fun way kids can discover music!
- Face Painting – Festivalgoers can get their faces painted at one of the largest and most popular tents in the park
- Panoply Letters – Paint 6 foot letters spelling out P – A – N – O – P – L -Y
Bring your child to meet characters from local theatre productions (like Snow White, Cinderella, Raggedy Ann & Andy, and more) at the Arts Alive! Tent. Here they can also experience martial arts demos, magic shows, live music performances and more!
Music and Dance
All Panoply performances are “family friendly!” Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and set up to enjoy more than 50 performances across panoply’s three stages throughout the weekend. Friday and Saturday night’s final performances will close with a fireworks show! You can see a full lineup here, including Saturday night’s headlining performance by Steven Page, formerly of the Barenaked Ladies.
The Panoply Art Marketplace may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “family fun” at #Panoply2018, but we encourage families to explore the artists’ booths, chat with the artists, and even find a piece of art that speaks to them! Many artists offer prints and smaller pieces that can inspire your child’s imagination every day. Art isn’t just for adults!
Friday and Saturday night end the night with a stunning fireworks display!
What to Bring to Panoply
You can spend all weekend in Big Spring Park at Panoply, and with kids in tow you’ll need to come prepared.
DO: Strollers or small wagons are helpful for small children.
DO: Sunscreen is NOT optional at Panoply! Don’t forget sunglasses and a hat!
DO: Bring a light jacket for the breezy bits in the morning and evening.
DO: Your folding lawn chairs & blankets. The whole event has festival seating, which means there are limited chairs available and you should bring your own to be comfortable or be prepared to stand. The Panoply Stores will have special Panoply chairs for sale if you want to come home with a functional souvenir from the festival.
DO: Cash for parking.
Leave these things at home.
DON’T: Please note that no pets or animals are permitted at the festival, with the exception of service animals.
DON’T: Food and beverages are available throughout the festival, and coolers and outside food and beverages are not allowed. Panoply does permit parents to bring in baby food and formula for their little ones.
Panoply Safety Pro-Tips for Parents
Guest Services are located on the South side of the park near Williams Avenue. They include HEMSI/First Aid, the Info Booth where the Panoply Lost & Found is located. Panoply provides free wristbands to every child through the gate and encourage parents to write their cell phone number on the inside of the wristband before securing it on their child. If the child is found by a Lost Kids volunteer, the volunteer will simply call the number on the inside of the band to locate the parent. If you need to report a lost child, look for somebody in a bright blue Panoply shirt and they will assist you.
A festival map will be distributed at the entry gates of Big Spring Park.
– PANOPLY HOURS –
Friday, April 27 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 28 from 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 29 from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
– ADMISSION –
Kids 12 and under FREE!
All adults: $10 per day at the gate & in advance (skip the lines!)| $18 weekend pass available in advance only | Buy tickets online or at the gate