Family Activity

Pedal Punk Family Activity

Learn new tricks and play with 19th-century machine-making and costuming in this Family Activity! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. Bookmark to discover how you and your family can continue your theatergoing experiences at home.

You can also find all of our Family Activities (and more!) at


Let's Dish

Pedal Punk is full of incredible circus tricks. Watch this video and learn some plate tricks from New Victory Teaching Artist Christina Gelsone to impress family and friends!


Steampunk Dress-up Parade

The steampunk aesthetic is a vision of the future, seen through the eyes of a 19th-century H.G. Wells-reading industrialist! Steampunk fashion combines the details of Victorian-era fashion (ruffles, straps, buttons, hats) with mechanical or industrial accessories (buckles, watches, goggles, gears) and then turns them up to eleven. 


Steampunk example: Goggles, a corset, long gloves, a kerchief about the waste, short pants and old boots Steampunk example: Goggles, thick gloves, a brimmed hat, a bowtie, a long coat, levers and corrugated tubes Steampunk example: Goggles, long coat, mechanized boots and gloves, futuristic belt and chest buckles

You are a steampunk, time-traveling, bike-riding hero. So dress like one!

Materials: Metallic looking things from around the house (pots, pans, spoons), the most old-timey clothes in your closet (button-up shirts, long pants and skirts), any accessories (hats, glasses, watches, jewelry), strong tape

Step One: Gather your costume supplies from around the house. Look for metal things, old-looking clothes in your closets and any fun accessories. Decide upfront whether any items or areas should be off-limits.

Step Two: Figure out your parade route. Where will your parade start and finish? Where will it go in between? Perhaps down kitchen main street by way of living room alley?

Step Three: Get dressed! Be creative with your costume pieces—try a pot on your head or a watch around your ankle! Use strong tape to stick accessories in unexpected places, like sunglasses for epaulettes or teaspoons for beltloops. 

Step Four: Line up at the starting line of your parade and cue up your favorite music to play. It can be old music or new, in any genre, but make sure it's music that inspires you to march with flair!

Step Five: Time to march! Walk along to the music, and don't forget to take some photos or a video.

Step Six: When you've finished the parade, try wearing your costume during dinner or while watching a movie with your family. Does it change your interactions or affect your personality?


Zany Zoetrope

The zoetrope is an old-timey gadget that spins still pictures and drawings around a wheel to create the illusion of movement! It was a popular amusement in the Victorian era (steampunk, anyone?) and inspired new entertainment gadgets throughout the 20th century! Make your own zoetrope with odds and ends from around the house and a little imagination.


Materials: Zany Zoetrope template, a sturdy and circular cardboard container at least 4" in diameter (like an oatmeal, breadcrumb or coffee canister), ruler, marker, scissors or utility knife, tape, thumbtack, pencil eraser, drawing supplies (pencils, crayons, markers)

Step One: Using a ruler, measure 3" up from the bottom of your container and mark around it with the marker to create a dotted line cutting guide.

Step Two: Have an adult use the scissors or utility knife to cut along the dotted line.

Step 1: Mark the canister for cutting Step 2: Cut the canister Step 2 (cont.): The cut canister

Step Three: Print out the Zany Zoetrope template below and cut out the first blank filmstrip. Wrap it around the outside of the container as a guide for the next step—you may want to secure it with tape. HINT: Daisy-chain both blank filmstrips together with tape if one isn't long enough.

Printable Zany Zoetrope template
Step 3: Cut out the template filmstrip Step 3 (cont.): Daisy chain multiple filmstrips Step 3 (cont.): Wrap template filmstrip around canister as a marking guide

Step Four: Draw marks on the container that match up with the black lines on the template.

Step Five: Remove the template and have an adult cut 1"-long slits from the top of the container where each mark is. The slits should be wide enough to look through.

Step 4: Mark the canister according to the template's marks Step 5: Cut ample slits along the marks

Step Six: Have an adult push the thumbtack through the bottom of the canister in the center, and push a small piece of tape through the sharp end to hold it in place on the inside. Then, to avoid pinpricks, use a pencil eraser to cap the sharp end of the thumbtack.

Step 6: Poke the thumbtack through the bottom of the canister, dead center Step 6 (cont.): Secure the thumbtack on the inside of the canister with tape Step 6 (cont.): Cap the sharp end of the thumbtack with a pencil eraser

Step Seven: Now it's time to get artsy! Use the Zany Zoetrope template to create your own animation. Draw a picture between the two first lines on the left, then draw a slightly different picture between the next two lines. HINT: Draw something with a clear beginning and end. For example, a whole apple in the first picture and an apple core in the last. You could draw one bite taken out in each picture in between!

Step Eight: Once you've drawn your sequence, place your own art or the sample bouncing ball animation around the inside of the canister. Then hold your zoetrope by the thumbtack and give it a spin. Watch through the slits to see your pictures come to life!

Step 7: Design your animation on the template filmstrip Step 8: Insert your animation into the canister Step 8 (cont.): Hold your zoetrope by the thumbtack and spin it!

Ready for more activities? Come early and visit the lower lobby area before the show.

Twitter   How did your zoetrope turn out?
Share your animation with us on Instagram or Twitter, #NewVic.
Facebook   Did you pound the steampunk runway?
Like us on Facebook and message us with a recap!

Artwork by Katie Diamond and Emma Steinkellner