L ehman College’s Peace Grove was bustling with children and their families Saturday and Sunday afternoon taking advantage of the seasonal climate and the carnival atmosphere at the college’s seventh Annual Kids Rule Weekend.
The festivities were part of the summer-long performing arts initiative known as SUMMERWORX organized by the CUNY art advocacy group Lehman Stages.
Whether it was a chance to ride a pony, jump around in an inflatable castle, glide down a waterslide or toss a ball at the lever of a dunk-tank, the event had something for all kids to enjoy.
Though the inflatable castles attracted the most attention, the lines for the two waterslides drew the most active participants.
Derrick Williams and Granit Pukaj spent the bulk of their time at the carnival zooming along a flat waterslide requiring a running start. After reaching the end of the slide, the boys eagerly filed back in line for another turn. The two agreed the water slide was the most fun and the variety of entertainment offered was impressive.
“It’s great because they let us have free time to do what we want to do,” said Granit, as he gestured to the booths set up around him. Derrick said he planned to go through the waterslide as many times as possible.
For those who strived for a steeper and more intense decent, a second inflatable waterslide was erected: this one involved scaling a ladder and then gliding down a slippery ramp.
As he stood drenched in his bathing suit, 7-year-old Randol Cespedes exclaimed, “I’ve been 19 times!” He further explained, “This one, I like. The other one you have to run onto.”
The scene reverberated with the laughter of children. Wide-eyed kids of all ages wandered through the spectacle gazing in wonder unable at times to decide what direction to pursue. And families gathered together and reclined beneath umbrellas of leafy shade to escape the sun.
An audience of more than 30 viewed a modern interpretation of Jack and the Beanstalk complete with singing and music by members of the Lehman College Children’s Theater Company.
“It’s a very nice activity, for both kids and family, and it’s for free” said Janet Sanchez, operations manager for the Lehman’s Center of Performing Arts. “I’m 100 percent for it.”