Entertainment

Hands On Museum to host two evening events that will appeal to grown-up fun-seekers

The Hands On Children’s Museum hosted an Adult Swim in 2015 with the theme Glow, and the Space Prom Nov. 15 will have some similar activities, such as creating a blacklight print or silkscreen.
The Hands On Children’s Museum hosted an Adult Swim in 2015 with the theme Glow, and the Space Prom Nov. 15 will have some similar activities, such as creating a blacklight print or silkscreen. Courtesy of the Hands On Children's Museum

Grownup fun is nothing new at the Hands On Children’s Museum, whose Adult Swim evenings include signature cocktails and explorations of such topics as beer and aphrodisiacs.

Things will get a little bit more adventurous Saturday night, when Stonewall Youth takes over the museum for Masquerade of the Mystique, a fundraiser that will include a performance by Olympia’s Free Range Drag.

“A drag show at the children’s museum? Yes!” the Facebook event page announces. Free Range Drag, which has performed at Capital City Pride and has regular shows at Cryptatropa Bar, is an alternative drag troupe that celebrates all gender identities and body types.

But though the museum’s Adult Swim evenings — including the Space Prom set for Nov. 15 — are open only to ages 21 and up, the masquerade is family friendly, with child care and craft projects for younger attendees.

Highlights of the masquerade, meant to appeal to adults as well as to the youths the nonprofit serves, will include a performance by Olympia world-music duo Tsunami Piñata, a roaming juggler, tarot readings, dancing, an apothecary with herbal remedies and, of course, the opportunity to explore the museum.

“We wanted to throw a really fun fancy party,” said Lyn Alder, Stonewall’s community fundraising director. “When we toured the museum, we fell in love with the space and with the idea of doing an event in the children’s museum after dark.”

The masquerade, which invites guests to “come as you are or how you’d like to be,” aims to raise money to make Stonewall’s downtown community center fully accessible to people with disabilities. (Currently, only the first floor is accessible.)

It’s a new event for Stonewall Youth, and Alder said it’s generated a lot of interest.

“People are intrigued,” she said. “They’re excited to have a fancy party in the children’s museum. A lot of people I talked to said things like, ‘I’ve always wanted to go, but I don’t have kids.’ ”

During its regular hours, Hands On allows adults in the museum only if they are accompanied by children, but the museum hosts Adult Swim nights three times a year, adding music, alcohol and art and science projects to the museum’s interactive exhibits and activities.

At the Space Prom, prom-goers can dance, make a print that glows under blacklight and an LED corsage, mingle with characters inspired by “Star Wars,” taste freeze-dried ice cream and sing karaoke.

The themed drinks for the evening are a Glowworm gin and tonic and a Nebula cocktail.

The suggested dress for the event is “cosmic prom couture.”

“People can come dressed as their favorite sci-fi character headed to the galactic prom, in normal prom gear or just dressed for a fun night out,” said Beth Garson, the museum’s communications manager. “We’ve heard over and over on social media that people didn’t get a chance to go to their prom.”

When choosing an outfit, the prom-bound might want to keep in mind that the event includes the chance to get your picture taken with a giant tardigrade figure.

Giant in this case is a relative term. Tardigrades, tiny animals known for their resilience, are nearly invisible without the aid of a microscope, but the museum’s mockup, which wears a glittery bowtie, is roughly the size of a human prom date.

Masquerade of the Mystique

  • What: Stonewall Youth, a nonprofit that works to support and empower LGBTQ+ youth, is hosting a family-friendly fancy-dress fundraiser with music, dance, performance — and the opportunity to play in the Hands On Children’s Museum.
  • When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9
  • Where: Hands On Children’s Museum, 414 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia
  • Tickets: $50, with a limited number of discounted tickets available for students and people with low incomes. For information on discounts, email lyn@stonewallyouth.org.
  • More information: stonewallyouth.brownpapertickets.com, lyn@stonewallyouth.org
  • Child care: The benefit welcomes all ages, and child care is available at no additional cost. Email lyn@stonewallyouth.org to make arrangements.

Adult Swim: Space Prom

  • What: The Hands On Children’s Museum’s Space Prom — for adults only — invites guests to dress in “cosmic prom couture,” make black-light prints, learn a “Jedi mind trick” and sip glowing cocktails.
  • When: 7-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15
  • Where: Hands On Children’s Museum, 414 Jefferson St. NE, Olympia
  • Tickets: $22 in advance, $28 at the door
  • More information: 360-956-0818, hocm.org
  Comments