A Peek Inside the Color Factory
You don't need a golden ticket to enter the Color Factory (you can just pull up your reservation on your phone), but it is just as full of candy, treats and magic around every corner as if Mr. Wonka designed it himself.
The vibrant colors in this place made it inherently happy. When you first go inside, you’re greeted by guides in brightly colored jumpsuits. They give you mochi ice cream and lead you into a waiting area under a canopy of rainbow colored rice paper strips. From there, you watch a brief orientation video about the rules and basics of the Color Factory. In the next room, you receive a card with a QR code that actives the photo booths throughout the exhibition. This is awesome because it allows you to go hands-free for photos that get emailed directly to you. And since it's been a whole 5 minutes since you received your last treat, there's a conveyor belt of colorful macarons in a variety of flavors to help tide you over.
Next, you enter a hallway lined with hundreds of button pins in a rainbow of colors. You choose one button to pin on your shirt, and then partner up for the first real assignment. It’s a silent activity where you and your partner sit on opposite sides of a 'prison phone booth' style desk. You put on headphones and follow the narrator's directions to create a color portrait and line drawing of your partner. At the end, you exchange drawings and choose a compliment card for your partner (and if you're anything like my bestie and me, you'll be trying to stifle the laughter resulting from this whole hilarious, silent exchange). Afterwards, you receive complimentary candies of course.
The following activities are just as fun- a room with chimes to play that fill the space with lovely harmonies, a pink and orange ombré room with balloon balls floating around with wishes printed on each one, a life-sized flow chart where your answers lead you to a tiny room that reveals your “secret color” (mine was Alternative Prom, a pleasant shade of purple). From there you move onto a pulsing dance floor with a raspberry soda bar. A hallway with lettered slide-out drawers gives information on color names from A to Z. Another room has three vibrant 'pie chart' carousels where you can spin and take Boomerang style videos.
The grand finale is the final space- a giant baby blue ball pit. After wading and falling though the sea of plastic balls, you can enjoy a tiny blue gelato, pick a complementary gift (I went with the pencil, but you could also choose from keychains, stickers, pins, rulers, balloons and other unique trinkets). They also give out a map of other colorful destinations around Soho. From the Color Factory, we checked out a secret ‘ATM’ at the Canal Street Market that only puts out “Color Factory Currency.” The Boba Guys that we frequent there also has a special Color Factory drink.
The whole experience was so much fun. I think I laughed the entire time, especially since I was with my best friend who also had a blast. The $38 cost was more than worth it in my opinion for the value of the installations, food, treats, photos and service. 10/10 definitely would recommend the next time you're in NYC. Check out the rest of my pictures from the Color Factory below, and let me know if you plan to visit!