When you think of crayons, one word likely comes to mind: Crayola. The colorful company has been inspiring creativity in kids ever since its first crayon box rolled off the assembly line, helped along by its increasingly huge product collection, from markers to modeling clay.
So it doesn’t take a genius to realize there’s a lot of masterpiece potential in one little crayon. That’s where The Crayola Experience comes in, a four-story building located in sleepy Easton, Pa., that’s dedicated to the childhood staples we all know and love.
The Crayola Experience is basically a themed children’s museum—and that theme is creativity. But you don’t have to be raising mini-artistes for your kids to find something to strike their fancy.
Start the day in the Crayon Factory, where a live show illustrates how crayons are made. Then take a good look at everything the building has to offer and pick-and-choose from there. Otherwise, you could easily spend all day and go home with some crabby kids.
If Water Works, an 85-foot water table, sounds like something the kids would enjoy, go early—and plan for a long line. On the rainy and very busy day we visited, we missed our opportunity and had to opt for some of the other attractions.
Everyone will love the opportunities to “create” their own unique crayon, mix a marker and sculpt with modeling clay. Among the artistic set, check out Meltdown, Art Alive and Drip Art. For kids who like to move, Color Playground and Doodle in the Dark are great bets.
If you’ve got little ones, you’ll want to stop by Toddler Town. Our experience showed that big kids have a tendency to invade, so carefully supervise and make sure your tot gets their chance to play.
For lunch, bring a picnic if you can. Easton itself doesn’t have many options and Crayola Café offers pretty standard cafeteria food, save for the multi-colored cupcakes that go right along with the whole theme (and make for a great treat). Although the building does have an elevator, the multiple staircases make it less than ideal for strollers, so go without if you can. And be aware that they try to make you exit through the huge Crayola Store, which sells some unique souvenirs, but might be a bit much on your wallet.
For a better souvenir, there are great photo ops all over the place—look for the world’s biggest crayon in the cafe or the markers-gone-rogue in the outdoor courtyard. They’ll be a great reminder of what happens when you let your creativity go a little wild.
The Crayola Experience
Elizabeth Diffin is the associate editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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