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7:53 AM EDT, July 18, 2014
Our youngest son loves video games....and it drives me crazy.
He's an active, imaginative, smart, well-rounded kid. We have limits. Maybe it shouldn't bother me.
But, it does.
At any rate, while choosing summer activities, I racked my brain, trying to come-up with something that would respect his interests while channeling his obsession with technology in a productive direction.
I remembered a friend brought her son to the Apple Store. I checked out the web site and found a bunch of youth programs.
We settled on Apple Camp, a 3-day session for 8 to 12 year olds. Kids storyboard, create a musical soundtrack, shoot video and make an iMovie themselves, from start to finish.
We signed-up for a session in New Haven. Corresponding programs also exist in Danbury, Stamford and West Hartford (although this store appears to be closed until August 5th).
The hour and a half program is FREE. Parents are asked to hang-out in the store for the duration. I enjoyed my time, getting some work done on my laptop, while occasionally glancing over at the boys' smiling faces. Frankly, the Apple Store has a very eclectic vibe and I enjoyed experiencing the atmosphere there.
Well, it turned out to be a completely awesome experience. Both of our sons, ages 8 and 10, are so proud of their amazing mini-movies, made on top-of-the-line computers, which showcase a huge amount of imagination.
And, that's not all. Our time in the Elm City became kind of a cultural experience. We waited in-line at Pepe's and the boys ate their first famous, New Haven pizza. On a gorgeous, sunny day, we walked around Yale University, soaking in all that academia has to offer - the sight of gorgeous architecture, the sound of the chapel's bells. The guys enjoyed seeing all kinds of teens milling around, even eating in the cafeteria. We stumbled upon a group of tourists speaking Japanese and listened-in for a few minutes. Our 8 year old turned to me and whispered: "Cool!" We ended that outing with lunch at the Ivy Noodle, where delectable lo mein was whipped-up, right in front of us.
An amazing couple of days.
Finally, thanks to Apple, Ben and I found a happy place where technology, culture and creativity meet.