Weekly festivals provide free entertainment for kids at Keystone
For four Saturdays each summer, the River Run Village in Keystone is a buzzing hive of activity as the local merchants host Kidtopia Kidzfest, featuring entertainment for families. Children have the opportunity to experience a village train ride, WOW Human bubbles, Zorbing Balls, caricatures, face painters, balloon artists, a photo booth, crafts, mascots, spin art, bounce houses, a DJ and street entertainers — all free of charge.
“We’ve been doing this event for 11 years, and the best part is, everything is free,” said Donna Nolz, commercial property manager for River Run Village.
Kidtopia Kidzfest has two more dates remaining, and each week has a different costume theme. The Saturday festival will bring out the inner cowboy in each child and the Aug. 17 event has a safari motif.
“There’s a Creation Station that we’ve set up, where you get some costume supplies,” Nolz said. “For Western week, you get Western hats — you decorate it with stickers — and bandannas. For safari (Saturday, Aug. 17), we’re doing visors and safari necklaces.”
The crafts at the Creation Station allow kids to explore the week’s theme, and at 2:30 p.m. each Saturday, there is a costume presentation where any child who dresses up gets a prize, Nolz said.
Nolz said the free activities at Kidzfest are a major benefit, especially for families with more than one child for whom multiple activities mean multiplied costs.
“It’s so nice because the Wild Bubbles at the Frisco BBQ are $15 per kid, so if you have two kids, you can blow through some money pretty quickly,” Nolz said. “Caricatures are $25 at Elitch Gardens; at Keystone, they’re free.”
Focusing on families
Nolz said it’s important to have things for kids to do, as most of the village festivals cater to adults and can be boring for the younger set.
“The programing is important because we want to be known as a family-friendly place to bring your kids,” Nolz said. “The family formula works at Keystone. As a parent, especially if you have more than one kid, you don’t have to pay $5 for three minutes in a bounce house. It’s nice not to get nickel and dimed to death.”
The family activities draw visitors and local residents who are appreciative of an inexpensive way to spend and afternoon. Some are repeat customers who have been coming to the Keystone events for years.
“We get parents who thank us all the time, all day long,” Nolz said.
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