Mad Hatter Tea Party in Wilton is a hit with children

What better way to end the school year than with an elegant tea party, complete with lawn games?

That’s what awaited 14 girls and boys at the Wilton Historical Society’s Mad Hatter Tea Party last month. The group gathered in the Abbott Barn with museum educator Laurie Walker for an afternoon of fun and feasting.

As they arrived in the barn they were drawn to a table laden with sweets, but their first order of business was a roster of competitive games to whet their appetites.

First up was the sugar cube toss, in which the goal was to get as many sugar cubes in a teacup as possible. Walker kept careful score as each team member took multiple turns.

Then it was outdoors for a croquet relay race. The kids were split into two teams and each member was tasked with hitting a ball through several wickets, then hitting it against the post, picking up ball and mallet and running back to the next teammate, without whacking anyone with the mallet.

With no mishaps, the next race was more of a slow-motion event as each team completed a course with a teacup filled with water. The team to finish with the most water was the winner.

The ever-popular sack race drew an enthusiastic response, but with sacks almost as tall as some of the competitors, getting in and out proved more of a challenge than the actual hopping back and forth.

Finally, the competition was capped with the colonial relay race which drew cheers from both teams. In this race, the kids got to wear a vest and tricorne hat. They then had to run down the course, beat a drum, run some more, pick up a hula hoop and twirl a few times and then run back, handing the hat and vest to the next person. It was not clear how hula hoops correlate to colonial times.

Then it was back inside to make ice cream sandwiches to bring home and feasting on the cakes and tea. In the end, there were somewhat weary but well-fed children ready to go home and begin summer vacation.