MidAtlantic fun: Peeps Fest 2009

This is an annual event – get information about the 2012 ArtsQuest PEEPs Fest.

Our three-day trip to Pennsylvania last week included a flying stop in Bethlehem, which after two visits has already become a family favorite. The primary reason we were there was to attend the first annual Peeps Fest, sponsored by the makers of those sticky marshmallow candies, Just Born.

The festival itself was fun with the kinds of activities you would normally find at this kind of event: a clown making balloon animals, live music, crafts, a moon bounce. But there were some unusual touches that reminded visitors who the main sponsor was including the Peep Mobile, Peep limbo, Peep-in-a-spoon races, and my kids’ favorite – Peeps s’mores.

The highlight for me was the dioramas created by local elementary and high school students using candies made by Just Born, which include not only Peeps but Hot Tamales and Mike & Ikes. Themes for the dioramas included children’s literature,

Peeps Fest 2009 Where the Wild Things Are diorama

movies (this one was titled “Indiana Peep in Raiders of the Lost Ike”),

Peeps Fest 2009 Raiders of the Lost Ark diorama

television programs,

Peeps Fest 2009 Dancing With the Stars diorama

Peeps Fest 2009 Jon and Kate Plus 8 diorama

and current events (including a recent transit strike).

Peeps Fest 2009 Transit Strike diorama

Peeps Fest 2009 Inauguration diorama

The winner was a real knockout called The Museum of Modern Peeps:

Peeps Fest 2009 Museum of Modern Peeps diorama

The twelve students who won got to drop the giant fiberglass Peep just before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Peeps Fest ran for two days, December 30th and the 31st. We attended on the 30th and found it a little pricey ($6 for adults, $4 for kids 6-12). To get in on the 31st, you had to buy a button for Bethlehem’s First Night celebration. If they hold it again next year, we may be back just to see the dioramas. What I’d really like to do is visit their factory, but unfortunately it’s not open to the public. Guess I’ll just have to make do with this virtual tour.

There’s a surprising amount to do in Bethlehem and there are still things we haven’t seen. I have a feeling we’ll be back in the spring.

Reader Responses

9 fellow travelers had this to say

  1. LONG LIVE THE PEEP!

  2. That’s so cool! The works of the students are amazing!
    .-= Amy @ The Q Family´s last blog ..Our Family Travel in 2009 =-.

  3. ooooh! I have been waiting for this post since you wrote about going to this. I love peeps…it is one of my horrible addictions. I have managed not to touch them any holiday other than Easter, but when those spring peeps start hatching, my shopping cart better watch out! What a fun adventure and, as silly as this sounds, something to add to my “bucket list”!
    .-= Jen@TwoKidsandaMap´s last blog ..Travel Blogger Tuesday is Back with Double the Adventure! =-.

  4. When I first met my husband and developed a huge crush on him I heard him say he loved peeps so I went out and bought him like 20 packs of them. He must have thought I was crazy but hey, it worked! Peeps will always hold a special place in my heart, nasty little marshmellow-like things that they are. :)
    .-= Sharlene´s last blog ..Shark’s Cove =-.

  5. Excellent coverage! We love Just Born and their products — agree, however, the Peeps Fest, especially that first day was pricey for what was basically a big commercial. And $40 sweatshirts? Eek!

    Dioramas, “Olympics” on the hour and crafts were fun (Dave Fry, juggler, balloon artists were amazing), but there should be more stuff for the adults and older kids. Either they need to add a lot more activities or hand out more freebies :o) (ummm…s’mores…).

    Thought you’d enjoy this short vid on the Peep Drop. It was pretty windy out there!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUJjGZadpoM

    Happy New Year!

  6. That Peep art is AMAZING. I love the Gosslein’s one, how clever–and the modern art museum? Wow!

  7. Like everyone else here it seems I have a fascination with peeps that I think is primarily aesthetic (since I don’t particularly like marshmallow). Apparently they make really good S’mores though because the sugar kind of caramelizes. One thing I didn’t mention was that many of the restaurants in Bethlehem offered desserts made with Peeps as part of the festival for those who can’t resist them.

    Jen, I think that there’s enough to do in that area that it could reasonably make a nice family trip – AND satisfy your Peep mania.

    Sharlene, I’ve never heard of anyone using peeps to woo. You should contact the company and see if they would give you something – like a life-time supply.

    Mooms – thanks so much for sharing the link! I agree that it would be nice to have more activities for older kids. Perhaps the opportunity to make things with Peeps onsite – seeing all those dioramas certainly could serve as inspiration.

    Meagan – it really was incredible to see the creativity in those displays. Just Born was smart because it was the coolest part of the whole thing and didn’t cost them a dime.

  8. Wow! Amazing dioramas. One year I stashed some extra Peeps for our Spring Break trip to Zion National Park and pulled them out at the campfire. You’re right, Mara. The sugar carmelizes, but my older boys loved to see the little chicks and bunnies melt into a treat :)

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