So in the last year or so, it seems that “pop-up” exhibits have been showing up everywhere. I’m sure the power of Instagram is somewhat responsible for this phenomenon, though I know they’ve always been a thing, they’ve just really seemed to have gained popularity in the last year or so.
Candytopia opened up in Houston recently and it’s a shout-out to candy of all times. I really can’t resist candy, and I’ve always wanted to check out one of the pop-up exhibits to fulfill my selfie dreams, so the second tickets went on sale, I bought some. So here is our day at Candytopia.
Candytopia is pretty well-organized. You can buy tickets in fifteen minute increments, so like one would be for 12:15 and the next would be for 12:30. Ours was for the 12:15. The Houston installation is in a pretty big-shopping center, there were tons of parking around it and it was right off of I-10. We got there almost right at 12:15 and didn’t wait more than five minutes, if that. There were only a few people in our group. Maybe twenty? The group as a mixture of families with kids, teenagers, and adults. They had staff members outside with the line asking trivia questions and rewarding correct answers with candy to entertain the younger kids in the line. Then we went into the waiting area for Candytopia.
The waiting area had a unicorn made out of candy, free samples of cotton candy salt water taffy, which Justin absolutely loved. They kept us there for maybe ten minutes. The guides inside were just as hyperactive and excited as the guides outside. We were kept there for about ten minutes or so. There was a dance contest for candy with the guides and little kids. And the usual cheesiness that comes with any guided tour [are you ready? Shout yes if you’re ready. That wasn’t loud enough, I don’t think you’re ready…] then we went into the first room.
The first room was the smallest room. It had a dragon in front of the map of Candytopia and a few other animals and sculptures made out of candy. We were in that room for about ten minutes with a guide, who explained the rules of Candytopia, and there was a guessing game, mainly intended for the little kids, to try to find the way out of the room, which had to do with all the clocks in the room, once the kiddos solved the riddle, a huge thing of Lindt truffles came down, and after that room, we were free to roam by ourselves and spend as much time in the rooms as we wanted.
The first room was a giant playground basically. The floor had “grass” and it looked like that first scene from the original Willy Wonka movie, where Charlie and co enter the factory, and Willy Wonka starts singing “Pure Imagination” as all his guests indulge themselves.
There were trees, giant lollipops, tootsie roll lollipops to take for yourself, and it was a huge playground. There was a giant Instagrammable swing that people could climb all over and take pictures on, as well as little swings that you could swing on. There was a huge playground like structure with sounds and colors for little children in the middle of the room.
Then it was down the rainbow hallway.
The next room was a room of “art” complete with candy necklaces and bracelets to take for yourself. It had candy renditions of real artwork and sculptures such as The State of Liberty, a can of campbell’s soup, the sphinx, the thinker, The Scream, Starry Night, and Mona Lisa to name a few. This room also had an AR bar code, as did some others, where you could install an app on your phone, activate the AR and take really interactive photos such as the candy in the “Dope” photo flying out at you. I didn’t really use that, but a lot of other people did. The staff in each room was really great too, they were more than happy to take pictures for you or show you how to use the app if you needed it.
After the art gallery, we went “Under the Sea.”
There were pixie stix in that room, from there it was into the rainforest.
The next room was an experience. It was very colorful, it had pigs in tutus and unicorns that farted confetti, and as you walked in the room, you were basically covered in confetti.
The next room was more of an Instagram photo opportunity room.
Then came the giant marshmallow pit.
Justin says swimming in the giant marshmallow pit was one of the greatest experiences of his life. Though it’s just foam that’s marshmallow shaped. It’s a lot harder to move through than you think. And since the marshmallows are made of foam, it gets pretty hot, and it was pretty hard to get out of, but they had a ladder to assist you with climbing out of the pit. You probably had about ten minutes in the pit before the next group came in.
Then it was through the final hallway, and Candytopia deposits you in a gift shop.
Justin and I had a really good time. We really enjoyed the pop-up experience and we both enjoyed all the candy samples we got:
I also really liked how each candy sample was CLEARLY marked with allergen warnings and ingredients. As somebody, who has a life-threatening nut allergy, I truly appreciate things like that.
It was a good experience, we had a really good time, and it’s totally worth checking out, if you’re in the Houston area [there are also ones in Atlanta, and Dallas]. It’s for all ages. There’s a lot for littler kids to do, there’s a lot to Instagram, and overall, it’s a really good time.
If you’re interested, you can buy tickets here.