Summertime. Vacationtime. Our ideas of the perfect vacation are different at different stages of our lives. For the parents of small children, pastel-coloured, umbrella-draped cocktails on a romantic beach at sunset give way to family oriented activities that make the kids happy. The goal shifts to creating lifelong memories for the kids.
That was exactly the goal for my sister, whose two little ones are eight and three. She asked if I would accompany her on a two day adventure to the Crayola Experience and Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. I’d never been to either place and it sounded like fun so off we went on our two day excursion.
The Crayola Experience is located in the quaint town of Easton, PA. Easton, founded by the son of William Penn, has extensive history including being one of only three sites where the original Declaration of Independence was read aloud in the public square. Many of the buildings are historic, having been constructed in the late 18th and early 19th century. For example, the home of George Taylor, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was built in 1757 and has been restored and is open to the public.
But wait, we were there for… crayons!!! And the repurposed building, painted Crayola Yellow was easy to spot with its bright box of giant crayons raining down on the entrance. Parking was handy and plentiful in the multi-level parking garage directly across the street.
Once inside, there are four floors of fun where kids can color, create, mold, jump, dance and paint. In one spot, they can name their own crayon color and place an original
label right on their very own crayon. In another, they select their colors of modeling clay and in a third, make their own colored markers. While the kids were just thrilled watching their own marker being made, I was fascinated by the process. You can watch how the cylinder drops down, the ink fills in, the point is affixed and finally the cap goes on! It was really cool!
Next was a fascinating interactive “dark” room. There was a 10 x 10 mat projected on the floor that responded to the kids’ movements, but the scene stealer was a special screen on which were projected the Crayola pal characters. When the kids – actually this was the one I enjoyed – stood in front of the screen, the pals “woke up” and mirrored every movement! Waving, jumping, spinning, dancing, the pal did it right back at you! Very cool!
In another computerized room, the kids sit down at a computer and select from a variety of sea creatures on the screen. Then they choose their computerized “crayon” or “marker” and decorate as much as they want. When it is finished, they click “finish” and in a few seconds, their very own creation appears in a giant undersea “fishtank” projected on the wall – swimming and floating amid all the other fishy creations.
On the first floor, there is a large cafeteria and a gift shop that had more things Crayola than I ever imagined existed! For $10 you can get a crayola tin and fill it with as many crayons as it will hold – it has been a while since I colored anything, but I was really tempted to get it anyway. Just because. Crayola Experience has an excellent website http://www.crayolaexperience.com/ where you can purchase tickets ahead of your visit. General admission (ages 2 – 64) is $15.99, children under 2 are free. There are also listings of special events and hours of operation on the calendar.
If you are looking to give your child one of those “remember when we went to the Crayola” place experiences; one that they will remember for their whole lives, take the trip to Easton, PA. It was really fun! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.