Explora’s Adult Night on Friday, Nov. 17 once again provided a venue for adults of all ages to just be a kid again.
The event has become a staple for many Albuquerque community members since its inception in November of 2004. The event featured many exhibits that are well-known and loved by both children and adults, such as Curious Bubbles and Shapes of Sounds.
Apart from the usual exhibits, music from Entourage Jazz echoed through the crowded halls, providing a different ambience to the busy night. Additionally booths were set up at the front and in rooms within Explora, introducing a variety of information ranging from New Mexico EPSCoR to the University of New Mexico's Cariño Early Childhood Toy Lending & Resource Library.
The exhibit funded by New Mexico EPSCoR examined the difference between traditional silicon solar panels and palmer solar panels.
“So we have this exhibit, and we also have an exhibit at the National History Museum, and we’re having another one at the National Atomic Museum as well, so we’re the ones who brought up the funding, and we’re the ones who created the partnership between the UNM and New Mexico Tech faculty members and Explora,” said Natalie Rogers with New Mexico EPSCoR.
Paloma Gonzalez with the UNM Cariño Early Childhood Toy Lending & Resource Library said the reception she received positive reception at Adult Night.
“We have a lot of people who are not parents, but they’re interested to learn more,” Gonzalez said.
As the night continued, more adults of different ages seemed to continue flooding into Explora, bringing in not just usual patrons but new ones as well.
One adult event-goer was Kathy Kaye who experienced Explora for the first time.
“I think it’s absolutely amazing,” Kaye said. “It’s a bunch of people that are not out doing something bad; there doing something decent, and they’re having a great time and they’re laughing with each other over all of these little displays. Everyone’s just having a great time.”
While that sentiment seemed to be enjoyed by the majority of adults experiencing adult night, there were some that found that the event was not quite what they expected.
Three adults, Kaylee Nauer, Charlie Sudlow and Cassie Nauer found that while they enjoyed Exlpora’s Adult Night and the new experiences, they anticipated more adult science experiments.
“I thought there would be adult things, but I come here with my kid all the time, and it’s weird to see the adults doing kid things,” Central New Mexico Community College student Sudlow said. “It makes me feel kind of weird.”
While all three enjoyed the event, Nauer still thought more should be added.
“I think they should definitely be serving alcohol, that would be good,” Nauer, a UNM student, said. “I think (Adult Night is) cool, because I think this place is cool, but then (normally) a bunch of kids are always putting their sticky hands on everything, and it ruins it. You’re not allowed to do anything, because children have to be there.”
Explora’s Adult Night lasted from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and from beginning to end, the halls were filled with the sound of adult voices, as attendees continued to remain the event for as long as they could.
Nichole Harwood is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She primarily covers alumni and art features. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Nolidoli1.