Dance with animated crayons. Design a work of art with melted crayon wax. Take home a personalized crayon that you named and labeled. Turn your photo into a coloring page. Create a puzzle from your own artwork.
This (and more!) is what you’ll find at the The Crayola Experience, a one-of-a-kind attraction in downtown Easton, Pennsylvania. Once known as the Crayola Factory, the building was recently revamped to include two additional floors of creative, colorful fun.
With 18 attractions and art stations to experience, you need a plan of attack. My advice is to start on the top (4th) floor. This is where you are likely to encounter a short wait for activities, so head there first when the kids are fresh and won’t mind a few minutes on line. The Crayon Clinic lets you take your favorite crayon color and watch it melt into a molded keepsake such as a ring, car, or dinosaur. Drip Art is Crayola’s take on spin art. It’s very hands-on, allowing you to put your crayon in the machine, and push a lever to control the speed of the spinning. We found it hard to see inside and gauge the spin speed, but the results were gorgeous (see top photo)!
The 4th floor also has the Meltdown area – one of my favorite activities in which you get to paint with melted crayon wax. This area is vastly improved since the renovation. They now have more melted wax colors to choose from and plenty of space for kids to paint and move around.
Head to the 3rd floor next and let the kids get crazy and burn off some energy. The Color Playground includes a chalk floor to color and draw, a safari of animals to decorate with dry-erase markers, and a large climbing structure. There are benches where parents can sit and watch. My daughter emerged from the play structure a sweaty, smiling mess, and ready to sit down at the nearby Activity Studio. It features several different projects to choose from, but the make-your-own puzzle was the biggest hit. Your child can draw a picture, then crank it through the machine to cut it into a 6-piece or 12-piece puzzle.
Our next stop was Doodle in the Dark – a dim room where technology meets fun.
Step in front of the screen, wave your arms and watch the crayon pals mirror your moves. Run and jump on the interactive floor to pop balloons, play hockey, jump on piano and xylophone keys, and more. Hanging on the walls are back-lit doodle boards and special markers for your kids to create a masterpiece.
And if all this isn’t enough, the Waterworks attraction lets you maneuver and splash your crayon boat through an 85-foot long water table.
By now you might be hungry, so head to the first floor which houses Cafe Crayola (check out their colorful cupcakes and design-your-own pizzas) and the Crayola Store (pick your own pack of crayons or markers from the huge wall of color!).
Finally, you can wind your day down on the second floor, which offers more sit-down, hands-on opportunities for creativity. Don’t miss the live theater show so you can see how crayons are made.
Your kids can develop their own crayon name, print it on an authentic Crayola label, and wrap it around their very own crayon. Visit Art Alive and see your creation swim along the ocean scene projected on the wall. Then make your own marker and sculpt something fun with Model Magic. There’s a giant lite-brite board in Toddler Town, and I admit to wishing I still had a toddler so I could play with the big, colored pegs.
But my daughter was drawn immediately to the “Be a Star” attraction where you choose a background and have your photo turned into a coloring page.
The Crayola Experience is a great place to beat the heat or spend a rainy day this summer -or any season!