HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ --Take a Journey Through STEAMpunk Land is the Free Public Library of Hasbrouck Heights’ yearly blowout of events for the whole family, after hours on Friday, August 4 from 6:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, August 5. Take a Journey Through STEAMpunk Land will feature guest appearances of costume characters, DIY craft projects, a karaoke sing-off, entertainment, and science experiments geared for families in a Steampunk setting, transporting them to a world of magic, technology, and science.

The Library’s 11th annual summer bash, which draws up to 200 people annually,  is a time-honored tradition of fun, learning and engagement, where families can spend quality time together in a relaxed and informal setting. This year’s theme, building upon the summer reading tagline “Build a Better World,” is meant to inspire the next generation of inventors, innovators and leaders. STEAMpunk Land, which focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math, fits in with the Library’s centennial anniversary, blending the old and new in imaginative ways.

"We want to promote creativity and imagination," Mimi Hui, Library Director, said. "Part of the Library's mission is lifelong learning and that starts at the library."

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The Library will be transformed and decorated like the Belle Époque era in France – the late 1800s, a period of scientific, artistic and literary innovation, full of optimism, creativity, and excitement.

Events and exhibits include:

  • The Magic of Light Painting: a photographer will demonstrate how to make long exposure photos, illuminating bright light so it appears as a neon painting
  • Josh Urban, a musician who specializes in humor and a bluesy, rock-and-roll one-man show, will perform a 45-minute concert
  • A workshop on making musical instruments using found materials
  • Makerspace Alley, where children will have the opportunity to make slime, paper flowers, build bristle bots – an introductory robot that’s powered by toothbrush-style bristles and a tiny motor, and paper fidget spinners – along with other DIY crafts
  • Scott Calvin, the “Steampunk Professor,” will tell stories and use gadgets to showcase the magic of physics, the scientific process, and some of the inventors and inventions that have formed the modern world
  • A demonstration of aerodynamics from the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey in Teterboro
  • Outraghisss…Pets, Inc. will be bringing a few special guests with them to explain how we can make the world a much friendlier place for animals. 
  • Lego lovers can create a better Lego world with specially-made Lego mats posted on the walls.

There will be a late-night movie screening of "Boss Baby" animated feature, rated PG, from approximately 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. There is no extra cost for the movie, registration is separate for the screening, as seating is limited.

Food will be provided, featuring finger sandwiches of cheese, ham, turkey and roast beef, a caprese-style pasta salad, cupcakes, and French pastries and coffee and tea for adults, served in a bistro style.  

Planning for the bash started in February. It takes more than 50 people to plan and host the annual event, including staff, volunteers, Board members, Friends of the Library and community service students. 

"It takes a team of very talented staff and volunteers to have an event and to bring the community together, and we're glad to have it at the Library," Hui said. "It's a gift to give back to the community."

The suggested donation is $5 for children under 12 years old and $10 for those 12 and above. The last day to RSVP is Aug. 2. Registration must be in-person at the library; no tickets will be sold at the door. Children under 12 are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Deadline to purchase tickets is Wednesday, August 2.

Take a Journey Through STEAMpunk Land is made possible with the generous support from the Friends of the Library, ShopRite and Fisher’s Café in Hasbrouck Heights.

The Free Public Library of Hasbrouck Heights is located at 320 Boulevard in Hasbrouck Heights, on the second floor of the municipal building.