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The Crayola Experience: a KidsOutAndAbout review

The Crayola Experience: a KidsOutAndAbout review

by Kathleen McCormack


My daughter, the little artist, is currently obsessed with all things art ‘n crafts. In fact, we have an art party planned for her fourth birthday (still six months away). So a visit to the Crayola Experience was the highlight of our recent family trip to Philadelphia, PA and surrounding areas.

Highlights for the Kids:

Checking in at the guest counter, you are handed a bag and several tokens for an experience similar to trick-or-treating! Four floors of art projects await, and you will need that bag to carry home all of your creations.

   What can I make?

  • ¨ Get sculpting with Model Magic; use a variety of tools to create shapes and textures.
  • ¨ Star in your own coloring page; pick the background, take your picture and out prints a black and white coloring page of you!
  • ¨ Animate your digital drawing and project it onto the wall.
  • ¨ Make your own puzzle; first design it, then stamp it into pieces.
  • ¨ Melt a crayon into a shape of your choice to create a new crayon.
  • ¨ Simply sit at the giant coloring table and just color.

    What’s with the tokens?

    You decide how to spend them!

  • ¨ Create a custom crayon wrapper.
  • ¨ Make a three-colored marker with colors of your choosing.
  • ¨ Choose additional colors of Model Magic.
  • ¨ Cash them in at the marker or crayon vending machines.

    Need a break from crafting? Enjoy the indoor playground and the giant water table. Catch a quick show in the Crayola Café about the science behind Crayola products. Or watch a live theatre show and learn how crayons are made. We stayed for four hours and only left because it was closing time; we could easily have done more!


Highlights for the Adults:

While my daughter was busily working on her art projects at each station, my husband and I found ourselves fascinated by the history of Crayola timeline and the old Crayola advertisements.

I was texting Crayola Trivia to friends throughout the day. Did you know that Binney & Smith originally made their mark by creating dustless school chalk for teachers? Do you know which three colors received name changes to adapt to social changes? Prussian Blue, Flesh, and Indian Red became Midnight Blue, Peach, and Chestnut respectively.

Ads were impressively progressive for the time, speaking of the need for children to engage in simple activities that allowed for unrestricted creativity. My favorite ad zoomed in on a large box dressed up for Christmas, suggesting that, due to its size, it must contain a superb present. The camera comes up and over the edge of the box to show a boy curled up inside, coloring. The message states that the best present you can give a child is a box of crayons. A message that still rings true!

But don’t worry, it’s not overly commercialized. Each area had one or two signs explaining how to take the experience home by suggesting a Crayola product related to the activity. For example, we created Spin Art using a big fancy machine, but you could also purchase the Crayola Color Twister to create similar projects at home. Rather than being obnoxious, these signs were actually quite helpful; I was thinking Christmas presents the whole time! 

And there’s no guilt about a stop to the Crayola Experience Gift Shop. The gift shop was populated mostly with Crayola products, and art supplies that encourage creativity and imagination are a no-guilt purchase any day.


About the area of Easton, PA:

The corporate headquarters for the Crayola Company were moved to Easton, PA, in 1976, a small town about 1 ½ hours north of Philadelphia. The Crayola Experience is located in the quaint town square, one of three original places where the Declaration of Independence was publicly read.

Accommodations are few: You’ll most likely stay in the Quality Inn, less than a ten-minute walk from the square. Food options are plentiful: We had some of the best Mexican food at Mesa, a few steps south of the square. Kids eat free at Rivals Sports Bar, also in the square.

The Crayola Experience is clearly the belle of the town. A stop here is best for one day at the beginning or at the very end of your visit to Philadelphia.

Won’t be near PA anytime soon? No worries, the Crayola Experience is coming to Orlando in the Summer of 2015!


Click here to see KidsOutAndAbout’s other suggestions for a vacation to the Philadelphia area with kids!


© 2014,

Kathleen McCormack is Managing Editor of and lives in the Rochester, NY area.