Amazing activities for kids that aren't in London - but should be
From experiential slime to colour-in walls, these are the amazing kids' activities and immersive pop-ups to check out across the pond (and eagerly await in London)
When it comes to indulging a child's every whim - and those of a Gen Z/millennial - there are some pretty exciting, immersive, adventurous, and must-be-posted-on-Insta-as-they're-being-experienced exhibitions to see now.
Pop-up museums and installations, paradise cities that encompass winter activities and theme parks in one space, a pink slide that dunks you into a pool of rainbow hundreds and thousands... this is the stuff childhood dreams are made of, now turned real, scattered in cities in the US. Fingers crossed some of these pop-ups make it across the pond in 2020...
Lake Sloomoo at Sloomoo Institute
Until April 18, 2020
475 Broadway, between Broome and Grand, NYC, open daily from 10am - 9pm
This experiential 8,000-square-foot SoHo, New York, space is an homage to that messy, endlessly appealing favourite, slime, offering an opportunity for kids and adults alike to engage and interact with it in different ways (touch, scent, sound). From designing your dream slime at the DIY slime bar to exploring glow-in-the-dark slime in a black light cove, there's no shortage of exciting ways to experience the substance (isn't it funny how much more you enjoy playing with it when you don't have to be the one cleaning it up?).
Glow-in-the-dark slime at Sloomoo
There's slime-based immersive art from the likes of Paul Outlaw and Jillian Mayer, vats of slime to play with, an ASMR tunnel and EEG machine to show your "brain on slime" and Sloomoo Falls, where kids can achieve their dream of feeling what it's like to have slime rain down on them. There are also adult-only workshops in the evenings, including CBD stress-relieving events and "Sip and Slime" drinking nights.
Color Factory NYC. Photo: Heather Moore
251 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013 and 3303 Kirby Drive Houston, TX 77098
Well, colour us excited. The Color Factory is an interactive, experiential exhibit in Houston and NYC, which celebrates all things colour (each location has slightly different colours and activities, and is closely inspired by its surroundings).
Designed to invite unencumbered play and inspire creativity, you'll find everything from giant ball pits to walls begging to be coloured in with enormous felt tips, all created in collaboration with designers, artists and makers. You'll dance under disco balls, run through rainbow ribbons, spin multicoloured pinwheels and see what sounds colours make.
Color Factory Houston. Photo: Cody Bess
In NYC, there's an accompanying (free) colour walk at the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum garden, which invites guests to skip down a rainbow-brick road of coloured stripes.
Click to book NYC tickets and Houston tickets ($28 for kids 3-12).
The new Museum of Ice Cream, NYC
Museum of Ice Cream
558 Broadway, New York, NY, 10012 (until March 1, 2020) and San Francisco, 1 Grant Ave., San Francisco, CA 94108 (until January 12, 2020)
It doesn't get much more exciting for kids than the Museum of Ice Cream, which has just opened a mega 25,000-square-foot permanent NYC space to delight all of the senses.
From sliding down a three-story slide into a giant pool of rainbow sprinkles to the hall of enormous scoops, guests can enjoy free ice cream throughout the space, pick out their own ice cream name tags and jump for joy in a bubblegum-pink soft play haven. It also doubles as a super-cool party venue, for kids and kids at heart. Don't have time for the whole experience? Pop into the cafe (free entry), for sundaes galore.
Click here to book tickets for NYC ($39).
Museum of Plastic. Photo: Ritchie King, Jr.
Museum of Plastic
This roving pop-up experience (the museum just finished a stint in Miami) from Lonely Whale tackles a concern close to all our hearts: how to end single-use plastic water bottles for good.
Through a series of educational, interactive exhibits which bring to life (the rather grim) facts about plastic water bottles in an innovative way, you'll be choosing reuse and refusing to buy single-use plastic bottles again. Look out for a new location for this pop-up in the new year.
Nickelodeon Universe. Photo: BFA for American Dream
1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ, 07073
An incredible new mall experience which redefines what to expect from a shopping mall, American Dream is every kid's dream way to spend a Saturday. The 180,000-square-foot space boasts North America's first indoor ski resort, Big Snow America (which is open 365 days a year), as well as an NHL regulation-sized ice rink and Dreamworks Water Park (opening soon).
It also houses the Nickelodeon Universe theme park, the Western Hemisphere's largest indoor theme park with over 35 rides like The Shredder, The Shellraiser and Nickelodeon's Skyline Scream, as well as favourite Nickelodeon characters on hand for the little ones and live entertainment courtesy of the Nickelodeon Slime Stage.