Saturday, August 23 2014 10:29

The Great American Road Trip: THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE...

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As a parent, there's certain objects that become a part of your daily life - accessories that are always close at-hand to help nurture the creativity of your little ones. Things like crayons. And, when it comes to crayons, there is no brand more iconic than Crayola, who in 1903 launched what would become an Empire of fun with the release of their original box of eight wax crayons, then-sold for just 5 cents! In Easton, Pennsylvania stands the birthplace of Crayola - and in 2013 the former Crayola Factory was rebirthed as THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE - a 60,000 square-foot home of colorful adventure where kids of all ages can immerse themselves in a vibrant world of imaginative play. As part of our first Great American Road Trip series, my wife and I packed up the girls and headed for Pennsylvania, where THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE was a must-visit location...

With four floors of fun, "where to start?" was a looming question. There's live entertainment like the "Silly Show" on the Cafe Stage, and roving "Crayonologists" to talk all-things crayons, but the big live presentation we had to check out is "The Crayon Factory" - a full-on, interactive display of how crayons are actually made. Starring digital versions of Scarlet and Turk (two of the anthropomorphic crayons) and an in-the-flesh Crayonologist, kids and grownups alike are captivated in a live theatre setting as they learn a lot, and get a little souvenir to take home.


We did Art Alive, Be A Star, visited Big Blue (the World's Largest Crayon), had lunch at Cafe Crayola, played in the Color Playground (an indoor park), did Doodle in the Dark and made some Drip Art, made our own markers at Marker Mania, made custom shaped crayons at the Melt and Mold, painted with wax at Meltdown, did crafts with clay at Modeling Madness, let Little Finley run free in Toddler Town, played in the 85-foot educational water table at the Water Works, and made our own custom crayons at Wrap It Up!


I heartily recommend making a day out of a trip to THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE as we opened and closed the place, getting there at 10am and leaving just before they locked the doors at 6pm.


Before we left, we put the cherry on top of the adventure with a stop at The Crayola Store for some exclusive goodies. We got a die-cast truck featuring Big Blue, a "vintage" style cap for me, stuffed Crayon Guys (both pink), some coloring pages and a bracelet for Finn. 

For more information or to plan your trip to THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE, check out the official site. And, in 2015, THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE comes to Orlando, Florida with a second location at The Florida Mall (a Simon Center).

Disclosure: While the folks at THE CRAYOLA EXPERIENCE knew that we were coming and were kind enough to hook me up with family passes for the day, we bought quite a few add-ons and souvenirs that enhanced an already-fantastic experience.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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