If you thought the Crayola Experience was cool the last time you visited, just wait till you jump into 18 brand new exhibits spread across 4 fun-filled floors – opening Memorial Day weekend. Why a new experience? Because kids want way more INTERACTIVE creativity. The Crayola Experience is delivering, with a massive redesign of the entire facility… head to toe, inside out – even the exterior is getting a vibrant new facelift.The Crayola Experience will be much less of a ‘museum’ vibe and more of a kids’-focused attraction with loads of hands-on activities. The focus is to help children understand the world of color.Children and families will enjoy a much more tactile and physical color experience. Vicky Lozano, VP of Corporate Strategy and Development is excited to really bring the Crayola brand to life for kids. “Its not just about coloring – it’s about mixing and making your own colors; children will learn about color by discovery and hands-on chemistry.”
Children will unveil how colors happen, as they mix inks and create their own markers.The new Experience is completely active and children will be thrilled in cool cutting-edge exhibits that use science and technology to help kids understand color manufacturing.One room will host panels where children design things digitally and this shoots across walls as they move through the room and interact with their own art! Art will respond, by kids touching it.
There is also another interactive floor attraction, where kids’ steps make different effects happen. Plus another one where children choose a crayon avatar that interacts as they dance. Also in store is an exciting new 2-story Crayola Climber, where children can color on the floor, climb and dispense of some of any extra energy! See more, in the ‘exhibit lowdown’ below… Can you say staying power? Crayola Crayons celebrate their 110th birthday this year. A limited-edition anniversary pack of crayons is in the works and Crayola’s social media sites have info about special edition colors – facebook fans can help name them! And they may then get a free pack once they visit The Crayola Experience (TCE) during its Grand Opening, or get a special edition pack via purchase on facebook. The very original colors that Crayola created in 1903 are going to be temporarily renamed this year, to celebrate. The actual 110th birthday party takes place at TCE Grand Opening, Memorial Day Weekend! OR, get a sneak peek and beat the crowds when they first open on Friday, May 24th ;o) The Crayola Experience has historically attracted approximately 350,000 visitors per year. Once the downtown Easton new Crayola Experience is launched, Ms. Lozano expects this to rocket to more like 450,000 visitors. The core 90% of visitors come from a 200-mile radius. What separates the Crayola Experience from other more family-focused attractions like Lego Land and Sesame Place? Children are plugged into a creative process here; it’s about self-expression. The Crayola crayon brand and the interactive experiences are something only Crayola can make – there‘s a reason they are celebrating a 110th anniversary; it is just so unique. The groundwork is all being finished inside the building now, and the brand new exhibits will be arriving and installed all through April. Large crayon and marker sculptures will be just outside the Experience in the Crayola quadrant of center square, for family photo-ops.
Although the experience is closed during ‘funstruction’ until the May re-launch, families can still come enjoy some free childrens’ art projects at the Crayola store. There is also an ongoing community project – Approximately 1000 childrens’ hand-prints will adorn the lobby. Feel free to stop in with your little ones to add their handprint to this community mosaic. Crayola Store in Centre Square is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. / Saturday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm – more info here: www2.crayola.com/factory
Crayola created a brand new website for the new Crayola Experience which will be launched by May. The new site has consumer-friendly features such as an advance ticket purchase option which is already available. When you buy tix in advance you get in a faster line to get in – tickets are good for one year! Crayola is about giving children the tools to help unlock their creativity and self-expression. Now they will have the interactive Experience to match.
Here’s the lowdown on all the super-cool new exhibits & experiences:
Art Alive! Children create digital works of art, which are then projected on the wall to become part of a bigger scene (some samples here). Walk up and touch your drawing, and it comes to life! Create a butterfly and watch it take flight – or see your fish swim away…. the possibilities are almost as big as your imagination. Be a Star Photobooth where children can appear in their very own coloring page, along with your favorite Crayola characters. You can now take your image to the next level, if you want to have it printed onto a t-shirt, canvas, or a puzzle at the Crayola store.
Be a Star in Crayola’s coloring-page photobooth… kids appear in their very own coloring page, along with their favorite Crayola characters. You can take your image to the next level by printing it to a t-shirt, or canvas or a puzzle that you pick up at the store (extra charge).
The Paint Palette experience is one where children take a 2-D experience into a 3-D one… with Crayola Puffy Paint, children create and then put their art into large drying ovens to get their artwork to puff.
Crayon Clinic – create all kinds of cool molds of crayon that you can color with – make your crayon into heart, a critter, a car… get engaged, with your ‘crayon ring’ when you create your own cool crayola keepsake.
Crayon Factory is an interactive theatre experience, where Scarlet & Turq (turqoise) show you how crayons are made, along with a resident Crayonologist. Children interact and learn cool little-known facts about the crayons here.
Puzzle It! is a kid-powered attraction where they press their own hand-drawn designs through rolling puzzle-makers. Choose to cut it into 6 or 12-pieces to bring home and show your friends.
Say Crayo-laaaa – grab a pal and strike a pose, in the ultimate green screen photo booth. Memorialize your colorful adventure when you customize your photo with a giant crayon prop & choice of fun backgrounds. Your high-quality picture prints in a flash. Note, this one is an additional fee.
ToddlerTown is geared to the little ones, where they can control a large ‘pinball-esque’ crayon box on the wall and move levers & pulleys to manage the moving balls paths. Here Crayola’s youngest fans can also make silly faces in wacky mirrors, play with an 8’x5′ ‘lite brite’ board that has 90 pegs, and have a ball.
Cafe Crayola is a pit-stop where you can recharge after burning calories in all the interactive experiences. Here you can enjoy colorful cupcakes and the creativity doesn’t stop, with the chance for children to design their own pizzas. The world’s largest crayon is here in the seating area. If this doesn’t do the trick there are plenty of excellent restaurants here in town.
Color Playground (see climber rendition above) is a two story climber where children climb, squeeze, and dodge through obstacles… shoot down the slide onto the chalk surface where children draw on the ground.Doodle in the Dark is an interactive black room – children create art on 12 iPad-esque doodle board stations. Their art will be broadcast onto the walls and children can use the floor in order to interact with their art + Crayola’s crayon pals on the walls.
Drip Art is where children can drop crayons into the paper-stripper and deconstruct crayons with some heat, to get a new ‘spin’ on color… watch the wax melt and then drip your crayon onto a spinnig surface to create your whirly swirly masterpiece!
Marker Mania shows how color-mixing works, when children create their own custom markers by injecting two ink colors into the markers’ center. As the colors mix and flow through the clear barrel marker, a free color wheel lesson is accidentally learned.
Modeling Madness uses Crayola model magic clay – children roll it, mold it, blend & swirl the colors. Take it to the next level with new Model Magic accessories – make jewelry, add silly feet to a monster.model magic – now with accessories, to make critters & jewelry
Water Works is an interactive canal system, where kids are the captain of their own Crayola boat as it splashes thru a working lock and canals system. Children learn about how canals work as they work the levees, load cargo and take in the sights of Crayonopolis as they work their toy boat through the 85-foot water table attraction. Below are renderings of the cool Crayonopolis murals that will go on the walls here, designed by the creative talent @ Crayola.
Workshop is an area where there are some ‘advanced’ art projects for an extra fee – art-to-fabric design and airbrush art, plus more.
Wrap it Up! is one of my personal favorites… make up your own crayola name – Jazzberry jam, purple mountain’s majesty and here you can personalize your very own crayon with an authentic Crayola label… so cool!