Saturday, May 18, 2013

Crayola Experience Repens in Less Than a Week--Here's a Sneak Peek!

By Christina Georgiou

The newly expanded Crayola Experience interactive museum won't reopen until next Friday, May 24, and workers are busily putting the finishing touches on every aspect of the attraction, but The Easton Eccentric recently got a sneak peek this week of the 60,000 square-foot, four-story monument to creativity, fun, play, and of course, lots and lots of color.

Even those unfamiliar with the City of Easton won't be able to miss the Crayola building, which has been adorned with a bright crayon-themed mural on the Pine Street side, and  features many Crayola favorites, including giant crayon statues and marker pillars on the Centre Square quadrant.

Click on any image for a full size view!

The total of 21 unique attractions are sure to please kids--and their parents--for hours when they visit the interactive museum.

Some of the exhibits and activities will be familiar to those 

who've been to the Crayola Experience before, but they've all been "dialed up", in the words of marketing manager Kristin Luise, who said every aspect of the attraction was scrutinized to see how it could be made better.

More than a million crayons and markers grace
the "Pick Your Pack" wall.
"It's all about those elements that make the place special. We want kids to have a sense of wonder and excitement, no matter what room they go in," Luise said.

Creativity, play, and fun, with a dose of education thrown in for good measure, is front and center of the experiences Crayola has on offer, including the store and cafe.

Basics, like how Crayola crayons are made, and coloring stations are still there, but the digital age has greatly expanded the possibilities, and the Crayola Experience is taking full advantage.

"Scarlet" and "Turq(oise)", two digital Crayola crayon character mascots assist the human "Crayonologist" in demonstrating the process and show how crayons are made, inspected and packaged.

"Kids are having fun, but they're also learning about things like color blending too," Luise says.

Old favorites, like coloring stations, are still part of the Crayola Experience, but the real adventure lies in the other 19 colorful, creative exhibit stations. From bright, interactive digital displays to the opportunity to an entire floor dedicated to melted wax and what you can make with it, the museum is engaging and interesting in the non-stop kind of way kids are famous for loving.

One old-turned-new display is "Water Works", which locals that visited the National Canal Museum when it was still on Centre Square, may vaguely recognize. But the 85-foot-long waterway is now home to "Crayonopolis" and features colorful Crayola boats that kids can load, unload and drive, rather than mule barges, making it more fun than ever.

There's even a two-story play facility with a maze-like layout, that features a dizzyingly-fast spiral tube slide.

"One of the things we learned is that no matter how interesting and exciting, there's always that point where a kid needs to get it all out," Luise said of the Color Playground station. "And this is that spot."

Not only is every part of the experience interactive, but the result is lots of goodies for visitors to take home with them too, the vast majority of which come with the price of admission, though there are plenty of opportunities to purchase add-ons too, like the green screen photo booth, where visitors can pose with a giant "macaroni and cheese" colored crayon and choose the background their image will be printed on.

But the best of the take-home items, other than those found in the gift shop, come with the price of admission or the tokens that come with it.

Personalized crayons, melting crayons into shapes that can then be colored with later, coloring a picture that kids then cut themselves into a puzzle, are all part of what's sure to be a exhilarating visit.

"There's nowhere else in the world where you can make a personalized crayon," Luise said.

A public grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for this coming Friday, May 24 at 9:30 a.m. Crayola executives, along with Easton Mayor Sal Panto, will be on hand, and the ribbon will be cut by the 11-year-old winner of Crayola's recent contest to give nicknames to the basic colors in the company's original iconic 8-crayon pack.

Festivities continue throughout Memorial Day weekend for Crayola Experience visitors.

The admission price has risen from $12 to $15.99, but for all the experience has to offer, the cost seems reasonable. Three tokens come with the ticket, matching the three activities that require a token to participate. One can purchase additional tokens too.
An annual all-access pass is available for $29.99 too, which may be of more interest to those close by, since it offers a savings after only two visits.

A private room is now also available too, on the third floor, designed for birthday parties and other special events.

For more about what's new at the Crayola Experience museum, visit

A full list of the newly expanded Crayola Experience exhibits:

Art Alive! - Create digital works of art and project them onto the wall to become part of a bigger
scene. Walk up and touch your drawing to bring it to life!

Be a Star - Everyone is a star at this coloring page photo booth! Kids can appear in their very own coloring page along with some of Crayola's characters.

Café Crayola - Enjoy Crayola-inspired foods from colorful cupcakes to design-your-own pizzas.

Color Playground - This is sure to be a hit with kids who have energy to spare.

Colossal Caddy - Visit this popular classic— a giant caddy that holds thousands of crayons!

Crayola Store - Explore the largest selection of Crayola products and discover one-of-a-kind Crayolasouvenirs not found anywhere else in the world. This is the only place you’ll find a genuine 2-lb. crayon that you can customize with your very own name. You can also turn your creative masterpieces into wearable works of art (i.e. t-shirts) and puzzles, and you can even pick your very own color collection of Crayola crayons and markers.

Crayon Clinic - Load your favorite crayon color into the machine and watch your crayon melt into a Crayola Experience keepsake!

Crayon Factory - Join Scarlet & Turk (Turquoise), our animated crayon friends, as they show you how crayons are made—along with our resident Crayonologist in a live theatre show.

Doodle in the Dark - In this interactive dark room, you can make bright marks on backlit doodle boards. Choose from several games to play on the interactive floor that responds to your motions. Become one of Crayola's recognizable crayon pals when you step in front of a special screen that mirrors your every move.

Drip Art - Load a fresh crayon into the Drip Art machine. Watch it melt and drip crayon wax onto your paper as it spins to create a swirlywhirly masterpiece.

Marker Mania - Create a custom marker by injecting two ink colors into the marker's center. Then, watch the process of putting all the marker parts together. Finally, watch how your colors mix and flow down to the
marker tip and into your finished clear barrel marker.

Meltdown - Choose from a variety of melted crayon colors to create wax art on paper.

Modeling Madness - Sculpt colorful creations using Crayola Model Magic—you can roll it, mold it, and even blend and swirl your own colors. Take your molded creations to the next level with Model Magic accessories. Add bright and silly feet to create a stompin' monster or swirl and press into charms for a fashionable new accessory.

Paint Palette - No Crayola day would be complete without a painting project! A visit to our larger-than life drying oven ensures your masterpiece is ready to take home and display on the fridge. (additional fee)

Puzzle It! - In this kid-powered attraction, you can press your own hand-drawn design through rolling puzzle makers. Choose to cut your creation into 6 or 12 pieces to bring home and show your friends!

Say Crayola - Join Tip in Crayola's ultimate green screen photo booth. Customize your photo with a giant crayon prop and choice of background. Memorialize this colorful adventure with a high quality picture that prints in a flash. (additional fee)

Toddler Town - This area lets Crayola's youngest fans learn and play in colorful ways! Make silly faces in wacky mirrors and play with a multi-colored pegboard. Interact with a giant ball maze where you control the outcome.

Water Works - Be the captain of your own Crayola toy boat, splashing through a working lock and canal system. Work the levees, load your cargo, and take in the sights of Crayonopolis in this one-of-a-kind 85-foot water table attraction.

Workshop - Projects range from airbrush art to fabric art and much, much more! (additional fee)

Wrap It Up! - Personalize and print an authentic Crayola crayon label, wrap it around your crayon, and create your own unique crayon!

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