Grown-Up Club: An activity group where adult can be a kids

Grown-Up Club hosts events and activities aimed at pushing adults past their comfort zone.

Tim Lovett plays Butt Who? with Gail Fridlund at the Grown-Up Club Tryorama on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 at Sisyphus Brewing. Fridlund said she was inspired because butts are funny.

Image by Carter Jones

Tim Lovett plays “Butt Who?” with Gail Fridlund at the Grown-Up Club Tryorama on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 at Sisyphus Brewing. Fridlund said she was inspired because “butts are funny.”

by Maddy Folstein

Ever wanted to recreate your middle school baking soda volcano? A schoolyard game of capture the flag at the Walker Sculpture Garden?

So did members of The Grown-Up Club, an activity group for adults co-founded by Taylor Baldry and Victoria Nohl.

“I think the best thing to understand is that it started as a joke,” said Grown-Up Club captain Tim Lovett. “They basically had this idea to put on these goofy [events] for their friends and strangers. It eventually morphed into a real, actual business.”

Lovett became involved with the club after participating in many of their events. “I was already friends with [Baldry and Nohl], and I would go to every event that they put on … but I’m not really a person who can just sit and watch,” he said.

On Sunday, the Grown Club hosted a contest for adults, “Tryorama: A Diorama Fair for Grown-Ups.”

“We had done a science fair last April, and we had people asking if we could do a diorama fair too,” Lovett said. “We’re always looking to push it past expectations … to make it even weirder.”

Participants were asked to create a diorama imagining what the United States will be like in 50 years.

“We wanted to acknowledge how crazy the world is right now,” Lovett said. “We’re judging [the dioramas] based on originality, creativity and then on presentation.”

Another stand-out event that the Grown-Up Club hosts is “The Singles Exchange.”

“People give PowerPoint presentations about their single friends [who are not in attendance]. It’s for an audience of people who are also there representing their single friends. Then you send them off on a blind date,” Lovett said. “It’s great because it gives you an opportunity to talk about why your friend is awesome, but also why your friend is not awesome.”

Besides playing matchmaker, the Grown-Up Club encourages participants to return to the games and activities they enjoyed as kids.

“Every year we play capture the flag in the Walker Sculpture Garden,” Lovett said. “When you have a bunch of people that are just a little too out of shape to be playing capture the flag it’s so much fun. We were actually in people’s wedding pictures [one year].”

The club provides a combination of escapism and inspiration for its members, the likes of which captains of the club acknowledge are not readily available for adults.

“[Adults] don’t have a lot of opportunities to get out of our comfort zone and do something that’s ridiculous,” Lovett said. “It’s not a real club. No one pays for membership, but it’s about being a part of a community that means a lot to people.”