[optinlocker] I’m generally not one to jump on bandwagons and do the “expected” Mom stuff. You know, themed rooms, Disneyland trips, or the big deal attractions close to wherever you happen to live.
I would sooner buy a kiddie pool and throw some bubble bath in the water then brave those crowds. Or have a root canal. No, I’m serious, I find root canals relaxing. I HAVE to lay down and I’m numb and can’t bring the kids. Pfft, ok!
Take the largest mall in the country and add more riled up kids then a grade school recess, you can be sure that’s the last place I’d be. But alas, one of my darling kids got wind of the Crayola Experience, and I’m sure you know what happened next
“It’s art! It’s educational can we please go?”
“We’ll clean up our room and everything, please Mom!”
And of course, the always expected,
“We’ll listen to everything you say we promise!”
I must have been in a better than usual mood that day because it sounded a little fun, so I gave in. And to be honest, it seemed better than my plans to hit up the splash pad on that particular hot day. We also got a stellar deal on tickets (shout out to twin city kids club), so if it was a total bust, at least I didn’t blow a million dollars and the blood of my first born (seriously, prices these days for stuff are near criminal). I guess you could say the stars aligned and magic happened.
So we all hopped in my Mom van and headed on over to new Crayola Experience in the Mall of America. Yeah, go big or go home right? My littlest kiddo LOVES anything to do with art and crafts. The mere sight of the Crayola logo and colors gets him in a fuss and before I can even say, “no Jackson you don’t need more markers” he’s already planned out his next work of art. I have to admit I was pretty dang excited to see how he would react to Crayola everything, everywhere. That’s the stuff dreams are made of, you know?
The Crayola Experience did not, at all, disappoint. There’s no mistaking that you’ve landed in art and creativity heaven. Before I could even lay out the rules, the older kids were off, and the youngest went to play with some excellent drip crayon art station.
I, surprisingly, found myself alone with nothing to do so I took a seat, exhaled, and thanked the Crayola gods. I also might have patted myself on the back for letting my kids bully me into going. Not saying I did pat myself on the back, just saying it could have happened. So here’s the thing though- I’m seriously impressed with this attraction, and that’s saying something. I decided you needed a list of why I enjoyed it so much, to see if it’s something you too would enjoy (even with kids in tow).
Without further ado, or further rambling about my lazy parenting style, here are a few reasons you should go to the Crayola Experience (tip: make sure you get tickets via our special link because they are a great deal at $6 off 365 days a year – go here to purchase them, You can thank me later).
- You won’t lose your mind
I feel like this should be the first thing I say because it’s always the first thing I ask myself when deciding whether to take the kids somewhere or not. A busy mom should always ask, “will I lose my mind? Will this activity cause undue stress and anxiety?” If the answer is even CLOSE to a yes, I don’t go.
At the Crayola Experience, it’s not panic-inducing. You can take a herd of kids, all ages, and let them loose. The space they have the attraction in is big and spacious so you can see everyone, and there’s only one way in and out- so you don’t have to worry about the escape artists in the family. And trust me on this one- when my daughter was little I swore she could be the only to get out of Alcatraz alive. But not here my friends, NOT TODAY!
Also, kids are so engulfed in crafts and playing that they are pretty quiet so if the sound gets to you, worry not my friends. Worry not! There’s plenty to keep their minds busy enough to go a few hours without screaming or squealing.
- There’s Something for Everyone
I know people say this all the time, but I swear if my broad of kids could all be happy and entertained; certainly, yours can too. I have ages two all the way up to twelve – and not once did anyone come to me bored. Not once. Not one time. Thank you Crayola execs, thank you.
I had the littlest having a field day over the colossal caddy (think so many crayons and paper that there’s no fighting over colors ever. I mean ever.
The oldest was in high tech heaven with their rocking paper experience which is this thing where you draw something, and it comes alive and rocks and rolls to some tunes. Not even sure how they do that, but my hard to impress tween was impressed and even smiled (don’t tell anyone though).
And if you’ve got that one kid that can’t sit still, they have a playground you can set them loose on. So let them run and burn all the energy, so the trip home is quiet and peaceful. They won’t get frustrated with having to sit still, and you can leave the duct tape at home this time. Yep, miracles happen.
Kids go through food like it’s going out of style. I don’t care how much food I pack and how prepared I am, there’s always some drama when it comes to food. Well, if I’m honest, there is always some drama that food-based bribery will solve. Am I right Moms? Right.
Well, there’s a cafe with all sorts of fun treats, healthy treats, beverages, and even gluten-free treats. They have salad, kid food, sugar, sugar-free, gluten free, nut free and so much more. Yeah, whoever planned the cafe knew a few things about kids and Moms these days.
And to boot, you don’t even need to take out a second mortgage to afford the cafe. Just gather all that loose change in the van and call it good.
And don’t worry if you don’t want to use the cafe, you’re not going to get judgments for packing the goldfish, peanut butter and jelly, and juice boxes. Their cafe has plenty of room for everyone!
4. Birthdays for the Win!
You know me, I don’t care to do Pinterest Birthdays. I don’t have time for that, and the kids honestly don’t care if their snacks are pirate themed. They want to play, eat cake, have a balloon and open some presents.
So when I saw they had party rooms, and you get to send the kids out to do their thing, I was more than thrilled and took a mental note for our next party. The room was big enough for kids AND parents. Just say goodbye to crowded rental rooms that smell like stinky feet and old carpet, and hello to fresh, clean, and bright rooms. Finally!
5. It Won’t Break the Bank Ya’ll
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of having to take out a second mortgage to do something fun with my entire family. When you consider gas, food (packed or purchased) and tickets, it’s downright criminal how expensive things get.
THANKFULLY we have a membership with Twin Cities Kids Club (if you’re in the area and aren’t a member you’re wasting money I promise). So we got a significant discount by buying the tickets online Kids Club website. All in all, we saved about 30 bucks on tickets alone.
So join the club, buy the tickets, and save some cash. You can thank me later
- The Staff
Us Moms are pretty used to dealing with employees that haven’t ever really genuinely dealt with kids, but once again the Crayola team was intentional at hiring staff that seem to like kids. They interact with the kids, help explain things in kids language, and are so beyond patient. No more apologizing for your rambunctious kids or trying to be in six places at once. The staff here is so helpful and caring; you’ll think you died and went to mom heaven.
Here’s the thing, I could go on and on about how excellent this place is. And I don’t generally like most places or most people. But this place, in particular, is unique. Maybe it’s the colors; perhaps it’s the peaceful feeling of knowing the kids are focused and happy, I don’t know. Could have been the cupcakes. I’m not sure. Whatever “it” was, I enjoyed my time there, and my kids did too. I almost hate to announce it for the entire area to hear because then more people will come- but it’s SUCH a great attraction.
When you do go- here are a few tips to help make the experience as fun as possible
- Bring plenty of water. There are a lot of active games and ways to work up a sweat (who knew) so make sure you have the kids’ water bottles
- Plan. Go to their website and look at everything there is to do and get a game plan in your head, in case you have too many young ones to let them do their own thing. I was lucky and didn’t have to worry about this too much, but I can see how with a few little ones it would be good to plan.
- Park where the website tells you too. You’ll avoid all the other attractions MOA has, and thus avoid having to say no a million times.
- For goodness sake do not pay full price! Get discounted tickets here.
- Bring another Mom, because, “the more, the merrier. “
- Extra Room in your bag- you’ll have lots of new things to hang on the fridge when you get home
- So there you have it my fellow Moms (and Dads, shout out to the stay at home Dads). I went to the Crayola Experience, I saw, I colored, I crafted, I stomped, I ate, and I conquered and laughed- and you guessed it- I lived to tell about it.
So there you have it my fellow Moms (and Dads, shout out to the stay at home Dads). I went to the Crayola Experience, I saw, I colored, I crafted, I stomped, I ate, and I conquered and laughed- and you guessed it- I lived to tell about it.
Don’t walk parents. Go. Run. Go and have a fun time with your kids. Be cliche and do the thing. You’ll create memories and want to come back, I promise! Bring Grandma and Grandpa and the cousins and friends. And please, have fun. Enjoy every second.
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