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The Fun, It Hath No Bounds

Today, Day 4 of Hell Week Spring Break Week, my husband took the day off from work and we took the kids to the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA.

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I’d heard mixed reviews, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.   These sorts of adventures aren’t exactly my cuppa tea, but my husband plans them and all I have to do is show up and look purty, so I really can’t complain.  Because we were anticipating large crowds this week, our goal was to get up and out of the house by 8am so we could arrive when it opens at 9:30.  But of course, it we all know what happens to best laid plans of mice and men (and men with wives and children).

So around 8:30 we finally got ourselves out the door, and two potty stops (and six Dunkin Donuts, but who’s counting) later we arrived at the Crayola Factory at 10:00.  We knew we were in for a crowded adventure when we had to drive to the tippy-tip-top of the parking garage amidst scores of minivans and SUVs to find a spot in which to deposit our automobile.

The Crayola Factory is basically one humongous Crayola play land.  Every room focused on a different Crayola product, and the kids get to make a craft or ten at each exhibit.  Our bag of goodies grew with each room we visited.

There is literally something for all ages.  My 9-year-old had as much fun as our 3-year-old.  We had to drag them away from each room to try the next one, and each activity was more exciting than the last.  It is laid out well and easy to navigate although it seems overwhelming at first.  If you keep moving clockwise, you eventually get to every exhibit.  Even though it’s crowded, it flows well, and there are many staff people on hand to assist your kids.

Most activities are free, but there were a few that you have to pay extra for.  We did the frisbees, and if our kids had been slightly older we may have allowed them to make their own t-shirts but we decided against that this trip.

Of course we took a slew of pictures, although my camera is acting up and it doesn’t work too well when the flash is necessary.  I need to find time to take it to the camera doctor because it’s really frustrating when only half of my photos turn out.  Blergh.

The first room had tons of markers and crayons:

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The Model Magic Room was a hit:

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Then we bought frisbees for $4 and they decorated them with spin art:

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As if that’s not enough, on the third floor is the National Canal Museum that is also included in the cost of admission.  There is a “90-foot water-filled model canal system” where the kids each get a toy boat to navigate through the locks, and next to that is a room full of fun interactive exhibits based on the canal system where the kids can experiment with pulleys and levers and harness a life-sized mule.  Honestly, my kids loved the Canal Museum as much as the Crayola Factory, and by 2pm I was literally dragging everyone outta there.  In most families, the kids melt down at the end of a long day of activity.  In our home, I do.

Here are a couple of tips if you plan to make the trek:

1. Pre-purchase your admission tickets online at the Crayola Factory website. It gets crowded, and there is a limit to how many people they will admit.  The other bonus is, you get to go in a different line than those who are purchasing their tickets on the spot, and it’s much quicker to get in.

2. Don’t plan to eat at the McDonalds in the building. It’s mobbed.  We had been warned, so we drove a ways to a Pizza Hut we had passed on the way up.

3. Leave your stroller in the car if at all possible. It’s cumbersome and makes navigating the tight quarters more frustrating (or I imagine it would; we are past the stroller stage, thankfully.)

4. Avoid the elevators and take the stairs. There are only 3 floors, and the elevators are backed up with families that need them.  (See #3.)

5. Bring a bag to collect your kids’ projects. They give you clear plastic bags in which to collect your loot, but it would have been helpful to bring a nice canvas bag from home for this purpose.

6. Bring some extra cash in case you want to do the activities that cost extra. But honestly, there is so much to do for the price of admission, it’s really not necessary.

7. Leave time to enjoy the Canal Museum. It really is a blast, and educational to boot.

After we got into the car, it was all of 10 minutes before R looked like this:

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And I wasn’t much behind her.  No, there’s no picture of that.  You’re very welcome.

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31 thoughts on “The Fun, It Hath No Bounds

  1. What fun! The Crayola Factory and Legoland are two places I want to take my kiddos (ok, I want to go too). I wonder how far the Crayola Factory is from me. I’ll have to MapQuest it. thanks for the tips. Sounds like a really fun day!

  2. It sounds like a lot of fun! I went to the Crayola Factory when I was a kid, and it was nothing like what you described. It was mainly a factory tour a la Mr. Rogers, with a small craft area. But my brother and I loved it.

    We took our kids to the Franklin Institute today, which was also fun. But I must admit, as soon as I got in the car, I felt just like your R! Why does that kind of thing totally wear me out? My 2-year-old was exhausted, but the older two were fine!

    I will have to try out the Crayola Factory this summer with my girls. I think they would just love it.

  3. Amy, they said they had to close down the factory tour for safety reasons. I would highly recommend NOT going on a school holiday. 😉

  4. My girls would LOVE that place. I don’t think I could get them back in the car! Too bad we live a bit far away!

    PS – if you can stand a stagnant location (like lower right corner) I think elements will let you put your watermark in batch..

  5. Love the last picture! A passed out kid is a sure sign of a fun day. 🙂 I saw that spot on an episode of Jon & Kate…

  6. Wow, that sounds like so much fun! My kids would love it. Even Ella, though she would probably try to eat everything. She’s still at the crayon chewing, playdoh eating stage.

    One of these years…

  7. We have yet to take our kids there but maybe this summer so I appreciate your tips. Thank you! Great pics, especially R sleeping. I love it! Also, I love the shirt you had on. Where did you get it?

  8. That sounds like a blast! I think I would like the Canal museum just as much 🙂 Glad you guys had so much fun!

  9. Looks like so much fun! What do you think is the minimum age? A will be too young this summer but maybe next… Don’t worry, I won’t ask who had the extra donut 🙂

  10. Megan – HAH! I’ll never tell.

    I think R was on the young end of the spectrum. I wouldn’t go until my oldest is 3 or 4.

  11. The Crayola Factory is on my top 10 places to take the kids. I have stalked the website so much over the past few years, and I wish we could go NOW. Even Hunter, my no-coloring child would love it.

  12. Am I the only one or do other people have to retype their info each time to leave a comment? Is there a way to add a Remember Me box? Haven’t had this problem on other blogs, I don’t think.

  13. I was just talking about the Crayola factory with a teacher the other day and wondered what it was like. After reading your review I am definitely adding it to my summer day trip list. Zoe is all about coloring lately and I know she would have a ball! Thanks for sharing. Mel

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