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Sunday 6 August 2017

Color Factory

If you're following Little Hiccups on Instagram you would've seen a lot of color in my posts and stories over the past few days. This past Thursday the girls and I visited Color Factory in San Francisco and it was one of the most amazing places we've ever been. They say that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth - nope, it's Color Factory!

Color Factory is a little tricky to explain. It's a 12,000 square foot pop up installation full of colorful delights for the senses. It's visual, it's hands on, it's delicious and it's full of memories. Created by the super talented Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day in collaboration with some amazing artists, Color Factory is an installation that needs to be seen to be believed. So let's take a look...

The entrance of Color Factory features possibly the most instagrammable staircase around. This rainbow staircase leads visitors down to the lower floor and the start of the installation. Can you imagine a happier entrance? There is also an equally colorful elevator for visitors who need it.

After checking in and getting our Color Factory photo cards (for fun photos throughout the installation) we headed to the first exhibit, the scratch and sniff wall. This rainbow striped wall is dotted with colorful scratch and sniff discs. The fragrances are designed to bring back memories. "Digging for earthworms", "My grandmother's perfume", "Picking out the perfect Christmas tree", "Hoarding all the Reese's Pieces in the Halloween stash", "Morning glories in bloom","First trimester pregnancy cravings", "Dirty old dishcloth"... The girls were keen to scratch and sniff as many of them as possible, even the ones that didn't smell quite so sweet!

Before heading through the door to the next room we stopped by the revolving macaron display to grab a tasty treat. Mmm... so good.

Through the door we found ourselves in a black and white striped room, the only color being the back of the revolving macaron display. This room features a lemonade stand like no other. Have you ever tried charcoal lemonade? It tastes pretty good, but the black color was pretty off putting for the kids as you'll see from Mathilde's face below! Speaking of Mathilde, you'll notice that she's holding a phone (or rather, her iPod) in quite a few of the photos here. She wasn't playing games with it, she was being a mini-blogger and taking her own photos to share! She probably took more photos than I did - and I took a ton. Ha!

Oh, that look on Mathilde's face!

The next room was decidedly more colorful with an orange theme. The walls were decorated with all things orange: cheese puffs, water pistols, mandarins, paint swatches, citrus juicers, pool floats, pool noodles... If it's orange, there's a good chance you'll find it there. The kids were quite taken with an orange lit fish tank featuring gold fish.

From the warmness of the orange room we made our way into a cool blue room filled with balloons. This room was created by Jihan Zencirli from Geronimo Balloons. Jihan's balloon installations are always stunning, and this monochrome blue creation was no exception.

The blue balloons spilled out into the next area which also featured a mass of mirror balls hanging from the ceiling. A secret button on the far wall turned on music and the girls had themselves a little dance party under the twinkling mirror balls.

The rainbow lighting continued in the next room which was like a giant Lite Brite. Remember those things from when we were kids? The black walls of this dark room are designed like a mesh grid to hold colorful plastic rods. There were patterns already made by previous visitors of the day, and the girls added their own colorful touches.  I love how Ava's hair shone like a rainbow in this room. Can you imagine having a wall like this at home! Wouldn't it make the most amazing night light?!

The next room had to be one of my favorites, and most anticipated of the whole installation. Imagine a giant coloring book covering the walls from floor to ceiling. That's this room! A giant coloring book needs giant markers for coloring, and that's just what we used. Those markers were huge! Ava was able to hold one on her own but Lola struggled with it a little. Mathilde was desperate to do a little coloring on her own instead of just helping her sisters, but there was no way she could lift the marker without help. She was pretty grumpy about this when we took the last photo below. Check out her hilariously grumpy face and stance!

Another favorite room was located right through the next door. Thousands of colorful ribbons hung from the ceiling in a dense cube. The girls had a blast plunging in and out of the ribbons. It was so dark in the middle I'm amazed they didn't crash into each other - or anyone else! The ribbons were so delicately soft that this installation was just as tactile as it was visual.

We then made our way upstairs to the next floor of installations. The staircase glowed neon red (freaking my camera out, so I don't have a photo!) and we found ourselves walking through a hallway beautifully awash with rainbow light.

At the end of the hallway we found three last rooms. You know what they say about saving the best for last, well that's definitely true of Color Factory.

The first room we entered on this floor was painted purple and filled with Instagram selfies printed on the palest purple paper. A printer in the middle of the room printed a new one every 10 seconds from photos tagged #selfie on Instagram. The girls threw these selfies in the air and made them rain down. They made snow angels, or rather, selfie angels! Mathilde even spent some time "swimming" through the selfies.

The next room was purely magical. Imagine a room filled with colorful confetti. Sounds pretty amazing right? Well, it certainly was. While confetti slowly rained from the ceiling the girls threw handfuls of it in the air, made confetti angels, and once again, Mathilde "swam" around the floor. The turquoise walls were a perfect match for Ava's mermaid hair and the perfect selfie backdrop. Lola and Mathilde didn't want to leave the confetti room, but Ava reminded them that there was one more room to go, and it was the one that they'd been waiting for the most. So we brushed all of that confetti off our clothes, out of our hair, and even out of our shoes and made our way to the last room.

The last room, oh my, it's amazing. A 2,000 square foot bright yellow ball pit! This was definitely the highlight for the girls. They haven't stopped talking about it since. The entire room is painted in the brightest, happiest shade of yellow and the ball pit contains thousands and thousands of yellow balls in exactly the same shade. The ball pit is 3.5 feet deep so I was a little worried about Mathilde at first as she's shorter than this, but she jumped in after her sisters before I could stop her and she loved it. Sure, there were a few times when she was completely submerged in the yellow balls, but she came out with a huge smile on her face every time. If you visit with little ones make sure to stick by them at all times just in case. The ball pit features multiple cameras to use with the photo card given out at check in, so we made sure to take plenty of fun ball pit selfies, especially from the camera mounted above. The girls would've happily stayed in the ball pit all day if they'd been allowed. I would've too! It sure was a work out making our way through all those balls though.

At the end of the ball pit is a small gift ship featuring all yellow items. We bought some small yellow candies and a banana for Mathilde. An ice cream stand offers visitors complimentary soft serve - yellow of course! We each had a cone of banana and vanilla swirl and it was delicious. Even Mathilde who will usually only eat chocolate ice cream thought it was tasty - although she did insist on chocolate flavor over and over before finally conceding that there was in fact no chocolate ice cream on offer!

There was one last stop we needed to make before we said goodbye to Color Factory. Now, I'm not usually one to take photos in the bathroom, but for the bathrooms at Color Factory I just had to make an exception. There are two bathrooms on each floor and both are painted in the brightest neon red -once again, like the staircase, completely freaking my camera out! One bathroom on each floor features framed bathroom and fart jokes which the kids found hilarious, but the other two bathrooms were definitely the highlight of our potty pit stop. The walls in these two bathrooms are lined with whoopie cushions! Talk about the ultimate fart joke! The whoopie cushions lower down had already been squeeze by other visitors by the time we saw them, but the ones up higher were still full of air ready to be squeezed. As you can imagine the kids loved this.

On our way out we were handed a map showing the locations of more Color Factory inspired fun in the neighborhood. Colorful murals, green fortune cookies, temporary Color Factory tattoos, rainbow manicures, brightly colored beverages and so much more all specially created for Color Factory. We didn't have time to track down any of these, but we're planning a Color Factory treasure hunt for next week to mark off as many as possible. Hooray for more Color Factory fun!

Color Factory was everything we hoped it would be and so much more. If you're able to make it there I really recommend it. It's such a fun installation and like nothing you've ever experienced before. Tickets for August have already sold out, but due to the popularity Color Factory will be extended through September. Tickets for September have yet to go on sale, but if you sign up to the Color Factory mailing list (click here) you'll be first to know when they're available. They're likely to go fast so don't delay.

Color Factory is located at 575 Sutter Street San Francisco and is open Thursday through Tuesday from 10am to 10pm. Tickets are $32 per person (free under 2 years) and are available only online.

For more information visit www.colorfactory.co

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