PAMOM member Erin Frampton was invited to preview the new Crayola Experience just before its grand opening at the Willow Bend Mall in Plano. Crayola covered the cost of her admission in exchange for an honest review. Here’s what she and her 3-year-old twin boys thought about the new attraction.
What is the Crayola Experience?
This is one amazing place to explore, and you will find many hands-on activities, machines, and play areas for various ages. The boys loved putting their token (.50) in to watch the crayons being made with personalized wrappers and retrieve colored Model Magic. There are many added computer screens for the kids to touch and explore, and most of the instructions were very user friendly. A few of these areas are definitely designed for children in the 6 years old and up age range.
There are two playground structures in the middle of the building complete with tunnels and slides. On a busy day this would make little nervous to let my little one run off into this infrastructure with lots of older, screaming kids, but they do have one for children under 3 as well but much smaller in size. There is some many great adventures here even some that I enjoyed as mom.
They have a show that is included with your admission. It goes through how crayons are made. This was something that they boys really enjoyed. They also have addition crafts that you can do as well for an addition fee depending on what they are offering that day.
Parents Night Out! – Crayola Experience will also be offering what they Call Crayola After Dark. This will be offered to adults only (no kiddos). There will be wine tastings, adult crafts and more. Can’t Wait!
What Age Group is the Crayola Experience For?
Somewhere along the way, I stopped and asked a grandmother that was there with their granddaughter how old she was? She was having so much fun with some of the animation things that really required you to stay in the lines while coloring. She was almost 7 and was really having a great time. I would say that it really depends on the child- some kids love art and can remain pretty focused when it comes to coloring and exploring with different mediums. There is a small toddler area for little ones to play with light pegs, ball, and chalk. There were many things that were great for the 6 and up I would say and a few less things for my twins that are 3. While they had a blast and we will definitely come back again but the other kids definitely get to interact with a few more things unless your little ones will sit with you while you color some of the things for them (mine will not, have to be super independent).
But are the play areas alone worth the entry fee for toddlers? You’d have to decide based on what your child likes. If I knew my little one didn’t like to sit and “create” just yet, I might try waiting another year or two before making the trip. Although children 3 and under are Free! Also, and I will be totally honest here, this is a busy place and lots of kids visit. So it can be kind of germy. Just bring your hand sanitizer or have your kids wash hands frequently between stations if you’re worried about that kind of thing (hey, some of us are germaphobes, don’t judge!)
The Crayola Store
I hate to admit it, but my favorite part of the visit was The Crayola Store. There was so much to look at and buy, so many cute things that I wanted to take home, I had to control myself. I also vowed to return for Christmas gifts this year, since the store is accessible without having to pay for admission to the Experience.
Restaurants and Food
The Crayola Café features sandwiches, salads, pizza, hot dogs and pretzels and more. We had pizza that day it was good but nothing special. They do not allow outside food at this location. They do have family meal deals as well as individual things as well. If you wanted to save money on food you could bring your own lunch and eat it outside of the attraction or go to the food court just make sure to get your hand stamped so that you can go back in.
Single Day Admission – $20.99
Year Season Pass – $30.99
Family 4 Pack – $104
Children 3 and under – Free
They also offer sleepovers and birthday parties!
You can visit www.crayolaexperience.com to help plan your trip or to see in more detail what it has in store for you.