Harry and Mr. Bibbs write: Dear Cosmos, I don’t know if we’re just seeing double, but it seems every time a photo of Balboa Park is posted on Facebook, there’s a giant electrical giraffe poking his head into the frame. What’s the scoop on that?
Cosmos: It must be impossible for an 11-foot giraffe to avoid photobombing almost every picture snapped in his direction, especially for someone like my friend Russell, who has taken up temporary residency in Balboa Park and is bird dogging everything there is to see and do here.
Like yours truly, Russell has become a minor celebrity of sorts, serving as unofficial mascot of Maker Faires all over the country. And since he’s a native San Diegan, it only seemed natural that he’d be on hand to greet visitors at the upcoming STEAM Family Day, on March 16, when about a dozen Maker exhibits will be on view throughout Balboa Park.
Everyone coming to the Family Day is invited to sniff out Russell, a giant and very personable work of animatronic art, at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, where he’ll be stationed the entire day. Russell is the product of the imagination of Maker-extraordinaire Lindsay Lawlor and is named after the British coder who brings the giraffe to life.
But that’s not all there is for curious pups to see and do at what promises to be one of the most eventful Balboa Park Family Days ever.
For example, several other Makers will be demonstrating their high-tech tinkering skills at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the San Diego Automotive Museum, the Natural History Museum, the Japanese Friendship Garden, and the Museum of Photographic Arts. And that’s on top of the usual assortment of hands-on science experiments and arts and crafts that will be free with admission at various other museums.
Packs who prefer to bring their leashed friends to the Family Day can still participate in over a dozen free booth activities on the Prado walkway, hosted by park cultural institutions and partnering organizations. They can also enjoy the free outdoor children’s concert at Spreckels Organ Pavilion at 2pm and a variety of art-making activities in the Spanish Village Art Center.