Fun in the Sun: Adventures in Outdoor Play

Before modern kids got focused on electronic games and organized sports leagues, there was a world of outdoor fun waiting for us in backyards and beyond. Bicycles took us exploring, Sleds turned every snowfall into an opportunity for excitement. Clamp-on roller skates made the sidewalk your racetrack. And a sandbox could fill hours with fun. Step back to the days when moms still said, “Go outside and play” and no one made you wear a helmet or carry a cell phone. This illustrated presentation is filled with outdoor activities and playthings that made summer fun – and still can make getting outside a destination for adventure.

Christopher Bensch became one of the curators at The Strong Museum in 1989. Since 2004, Chris has served as Vice President for Collections with oversight of the museum’s curatorial, conservation, and library functions and the more than 520,000 objects that make it the largest, most comprehensive collection of toys, games, dolls, and video games in the world. There was a bit of comedy joke from Stephen Colbert when he did his Colbert Report on Comedy Central in 2005 when the museum inducted the Cardboard Box into the Toy Hall of Fame and then again in 2008 when Stong inducted the Stick into the Toy Hall of Fame. At least the Cardboard box had memories that the folks at Toy Fair that take place at the Javits Convention Center in New York City shared with Christopher Bensch in 2006 when he attended the tradeshow. Toy Fair tradeshow is a once-a-year tradeshow and it is a trade-only event that is attended by retailers, distributors, importers, wholesalers, sales representatives, and trade guests as well as The Stong Museum because they have the National Toy Hall of Fame. For more information on what is Toy fair check out

Don Riley stopped by the program and gave a little bit of a speech about the Strong Museum because he is one of the 2022 Trustees for The Strong National Museum of Play. Don Riley has been a trustee of The Strong Museum since 1989. He said the Stong currently gets up to 90,000 visitors a year but with the expansion, they predict up to one million visitors will come to the museum. If you like to stay up on what the Strong Museum has going on you can visit the Strong Museum Website and for more information on the expansion campaign going on at the Strong Museum