About The Crayola Experience
If you used Crayolas as a kid—and who didn’t?—but haven’t paid close attention to the iconic crayon manufacturer’s palette lately, you might be bummed to learn that some of your old favorites from the original, industry-changing 64 pack have been retired. No more violet blue or orange yellow. No more raw umber. No more maize. No more green blue (although we’re thrilled to report there’s still blue green). Though they’re no longer in production, we’re also happy to report those colors are still displayed in the Crayola Hall of Fame in the lobby at the Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania.
The Crayola Experience, at 30 Centre Square, fomerly known as the Crayola Factory, features 21 unique activities and highly interactive exhibits. You can still see a live demonstration of the crayon-making process (the actual manufacturing plant is up the road), but the name change of this popular tourist venue reflects a larger shift in emphasis. The Crayola Experience engages your child in fun arts and crafts and directs the focus to his or her own artistic creativity (of course, using Crayola products).
Color, draw and paint
The attractions an interactive exhibits are on the top three floors of the four-story complex, the first floor occupied by a restaurant and company store. Top-floor activities involve painting with crayon wax and using technology that melts crayons into toy shapes. Below, kids can do everything from create coloring-page images of themselves in a special photo booth to creating jigsaw puzzles and even digital art of pictures they draw . Children will have loads of fun writing on clear glass walls, finger-painting, writing and drawing chalk art on the floor, and drying their art projects in a huge oven. Parents will be inspired to jump in and create their own works of art.
And of course, it’s still compelling to learn how crayons are made, aided by live “Crayonologist” and animated guides Scarlet and Turk—short for Turquoise. The demonstration includes a meter that shows the second-to-second real-time manufacturing count of Crayola Crayons. All the while the familiar crayon smell wafts through the air and reminds you of childhood. Don’t worry about the smell, by the way. As the crayon expert will tell you in the presentation, eating 3,500 Crayolas in one day would introduce into your system the amount of toxins equal to those in one glass of water.
If you’re staying at The Suites at Hershey, plan on devoting a day to the Crayola Experience. Easton is about 2 hours east of Hershey and touring the Crayola Experience, plus lunch, could take between three and four hours. But it’s worth it to watch your children’s creativity transformed into into hues you’ve never seen.