Remember when you were four years old and wanted to be a firefighter? There was something about that big red truck with the big black tires and piercing siren that just called to you. Or maybe you wanted to be a garbage truck driver, and experience the rush of hanging onto the outside of a moving vehicle. At some point, you probably grew out of that phase—we can’t all be truck drivers or firefighters. But what if, for one day, you could relive that childhood dream?
It turns out, you can, at The Children’s Museum at Saratoga‘s Big Truck Day on August 3. The museum’s annual summer fundraiser will bring more than 30 trucks to the Maple Avenue Middle School parking lot from 9am-1pm for guests of all ages (though the event’s really catered to children ages 0-10). Attendees can roam around the parking lot and check out big rigs and chat with their drivers, and if they’re lucky, may even get to honk a horn or two.
The Children’s Museum is always looking for ways to update and improve its annual event, so this year, in addition to the typical garbage, fire and delivery trucks you’d expect to see at Big Truck Day, monster trucks will also be added to the lineup. The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) always brings a bus to the event, too. “A lot of kids have never been on a city bus before, so this is an opportunity for them to get on and sit on there like they’re a passenger,” says Sarah Syden, executive director of The Children’s Museum at Saratoga. “It starts a conversation with their parent or caregiver about what you would do, where you would go, what is this for?”
While the children’s museum’s main focus is on early childhood development, it prides itself on being an open community for children and caregivers to interact inter-generationally. The museum strives to help children develop a variety of skills, ranging from interacting socially and picking up on social cues to sharing and taking turns. “We’re intentionally screen-free in the museum and for events like Big Truck Day, so that there is interaction, whether it’s inter-generational or peer-to-peer,” Syden says. “Kids have an opportunity to interact and explore the world around them together.”
Whereas kids are used to hearing “no” from adults—as in, no touching, no playing, no sticking your finger up your nose—at Big Truck Day, the only thing they’ll hear is “yes:” yes, you can honk the horn; yes, you can touch the inside of the truck; and yes, you can scream and shout. (Sticking their finger up their nose is probably still a no, though.) “We’re letting kids lead the way,” Syden says of the event.
Big Truck Day is the museum’s largest child-focused fundraiser of the year. All proceeds from the event go directly to the museum, and the money raised will help fund exhibits and events, the museum’s GivePlay program, which helps reduce the financial and economic barriers that prevent some children and families from utilizing the museum; and the Museums for All program, which allows families with benefit cards to enter the museum for $1 as opposed to the normal $8 entrance fee. Big Truck Day tickets are $5 for children and $2 for adults (who are channeling their inner child) and can be purchased here.