Crayola Factory30 Centre Square, Easton, PA 18042 visit website
Maybe it is my issue but I went to the Crayola Factory with expectations, high expectations. For two main reasons. When I went as a kid I think I loved it and because Crayola crayons are clearly the gateway drug for any future artist. My pack of Crayola’s was where my love of color started. The graduated tones. The names…even the ones I could not pronounce…all seemed a bit magical. And the sharpener…don’t get me started. But about 20 minutes in…my hopes, my dreams all turned into a shoulder shrug and a “Meh.”
Now I am going to do this review differently from my other ones. This time I am going to include a review from my friend Angie Andrews…who btw liked it. As always I want to give you an accurate picture of what to expect so I hope this love / hate review will help you decide if the Crayola Factory should be on your list.
The Crayola Factory is about 90 minutes outside of Philadelphia. The “Factory” is basically four floors in an old but rehabbed building that lets you play with Crayola product. And that really is all it is. I couldn’t help but feel that if I took the money I spent on gas and admission, went to Target and bought a whole bunch of Crayola product, paper and spread it out in the yard the boys would have actually had the same experience. You can color with Crayola crayons, use the Crayola markers in a dark room, on the glass wall, on the floor, and on this weird little white car…that kind of thing. Oh and “Hey kids have you ever heard of sidewalk chalk?”…yes…well now you can do it in Easton, Pa at the Crayola Factory. Mmmmm not ground breaking. The one thing that I saw the kids gravitating to was one of those air tubes that sucks balls up onto a track above your head and then falls into a bin. Here is the thing…there were about 10 kids and only 6 balls. Really, Crayola you couldn’t have sprung for more balls?
There is also this token system. You get a bunch of token with your admission and on each floor there are these machines where you put the tokens in and get a marker. I think my kid’s actually yawned during this part. They want you to try and find all the machines and Oh the last one is located in the Crayola store. You know, so you can fight with your kid’s about not buying them all the weird stuff that is in the store that will most likely get tossed into the oblivion that is their playroom once you get home.
On the third floor college kids are there with chipper smiles and crafty ideas. This one the one thing I actually liked. The boys got to make astronaut backpacks out of paper bags and decorate them. This was actually funny. The fourth floor we skipped because it is a little museum of Crayola stuff.
The place is chaotic…I don’t think it is as bad as the Please Touch Museum on a Saturday hectic but it is in that “zone.” So that is something you need to mentally prepared for. Overall I eeked out one full hour. It is one of those places where there is a lot going on but nothing really holds their attention for more than a few minutes. If we lived down the street yes, we would check it out a few times a year but as for putting kid’s in the car and making it your day’s destination…you can just take scratch that off your list…in cornflower blue (my personal favorite). For more pictures check out HipsterHenry Flickr.
Food: There are tons of little pubby food places outside the “Factory.” The only food inside is McDonald’s which I was really disappointed to see. So far the boys don’t know what McDonald’s is and I would like to keep it that way for as long as I can. Plus I only eat there two times a year and I was already at my quota.
Parking: There are parking lots and the Crayola website tells you where they are. I found metered street parking that was affordable (up to 3 hours)
We are about 30-40 minutes away so the drive was not too bad and there is a parking garage across the street which was a major plus!
The line to get in was not too bad but once we walked upstairs the chaos began. It didn’t bother my 7 year old at all but my 5 year old has Aspergers ( a form of Autism) and it can definitley be sensory overload. I recommend if your child has issues with crowds or loud noises just be prepared with calming distractions.
With the exception of the chaos my kids absolutely love it here! They loved writing on the wall with markers, the cool moves exhibit, and turning themselves into coloring book pages! My daughter is my little artist so she enjoyed pretty much everything there and my sons favorite part was up on the fourth floor guiding little boats through the canals.
I believe that you will get the most out of going to The Crayola Factory with children older than four and I recommend that you skip the souvenir shop, save your money and go to Walmart or Target to buy your markers & crayons!