The Crayola Experience in Easton, PA. What a Great Family Day!

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@VisitCrayola #VisitCrayola #magicofcolor

Who doesn’t love arts & crafts? In my family – from the age of eight months to thirty eight years, we all love creating. Upon booking our first family ski trip to the Poconos, we knew immediately the best place to stop enroute would be the Crayola Experience, in Easton, PA!

Back in 2012, on our first visit (and prior to the expansive renovations), we ventured to the Crayola Experience as an easy day trip from Manhattan.

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Since moving to the suburbs, and subsequently having two more children, we have been looking for an opportunity to return. The timing could not have been better. My seven year old and three year old went to town, while I enjoyed the baby friendly facility (including a nursing room on the 2nd floor!). There was literally something there for everyone.

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Bursting with four floors of color, we began our creative journey at the top.  While I waited on the short line for Melt and Mold, my kids were at Meltdown. Think painting directly from the belly of a giant Crayola crayon – the kids dipped brushes into melted wax and “painted” their creations.

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Next, it was Melt and Mold time. Here the kids put a crayon into one of three machines and watched it melt, drip down, and mold into a dinosaur, ring or Crayola swirl. My kids thought this was fascinating! We spent a good amount of time here and made souvenirs for pretty much everyone we know.

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Our last stop was Drip ArtCrayola’s take on spin art. As a child, spin art was my jam, so I eagerly awaited my turn right behind my kids. Yanking the throttle to control the speed of the spinner, my son pretended he was on a rocket ship as the crayon wax dripped into a beautiful circular design. It’s safe to say this exhibit was a winner.

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Feeling like we successfully conquered the fourth floor, we headed down to the third floor where my kids had tunnel vision to the jungle explorer in the Activity Studio. A HUGE two story jungle gym with twist, turns, slides, and climbing galore meant they were in heaven (and I could sit down for twenty minutes – yay)! I watched them have the best time and even ran back up to the fourth floor to snap a quick picture of them in one of the clear lookout bubbles.

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After some begging, I got them to move on to the Doodle in the Dark area. This great (dark) space provided large neon doodle boards on the walls, an animated dance floor, and an interactive dancing experience where a Crayola crayon copied your moves. Let’s just say Mr. Purple pulled out some impressive choreography!

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Heading down to the second floor, we found ourselves mesmerized by the Art Alive area – where your iPad creation magically transports  into a live animation on the wall.

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But once they saw the Molding Madness area they started running. Loving the vending machine and the crafting equally, they put in the provided tokens and picked their Crayola Model Magic colors.

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If your kids are like mine and seek out shows and character meet and greets, this is the floor for you. We not only met Mr. Green, we saw crayons being made at the Crayola Factory show and were transported into the two dimensional world of a coloring page in the Be A Star studio.

Favorites of ours on both visits, these are all not to be missed.

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As our grand finale exhibit, we created custom crayons by picking a color, logo, and name at Wrap It Up! Once the label printed out we used the machines to attach it to the provided crayon making it an official Crayola color. Woot!

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As our time at the Crayola Experience came to an end, and we exited through the colorful gift shop – loot bags in hand – we once again agreed the “Experience” was a success.

Perfect as a day trip or enroute to one of the many fun things to do in the Poconos, the Crayola Experience is a great place to spend the day. If you live in the area, check out their special events. Wish I could do a Mom’s Night Out here!

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****Giveaway****

Know what’s even more fun than coloring? Winning an annual pass to color as much as you want! The nice people at the Crayola Experience have offered to giveaway 2 annual passes to The Mint Chip Mama readers!

To win comment below:

What is your favorite arts and crafts/creative thing to do with your kids?

Winner chosen Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 5pm EST!

(Drum roll) the winner is Jen H! 

But even better – everyone is a winner! Follow this link to save $3 off  your admission tickets! The code to access the tickets is: Chip. With the school break next week it’s a great time to go!

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Ladies and Gentlemen and Children of Ages! Big Apple Circus presents Metamorphosis

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Big Apple Circus presents Metamorphosis

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Fantastical Fun for Everyone!

Looking for a fun activity to do when it’s too cold to play outside? Well, step right up to the Big Apple Circus! Boys, girls, and adults of all ages will thoroughly enjoy themselves under the big top where no seat is bad and smiles are guaranteed.

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I am a big fan of the circus. Not clowns (ew! They scare the bejesus out of me) but the circus. I used to drag my husband pre-kids and now I am happy to drag my whole family! This was our third year taking our daughter. The first year was exciting because they made an announcement that the actor (one of my favorites) Eli Wallach was in the audience. I couldn’t resist saying hello during intermission and telling him my favorite movie was Keeping the Faith. He could not have been nicer. Last year I bought tickets so far in advance I did not know I’d have a new baby keeping me home (my lucky husband got to go). This year we all went together and even the baby (who just turned one at the time) loved it. We were unsure if he would sit still but given our lack of a babysitter for the day, he came along. I think he was the most enthralled!

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 Photo Credit: FredCohenPhotography

My absolute favorite moment of the day was during the animal parade, when a camel literally stuck his head into my neighbor’s bucket of popcorn. As if that wasn’t funny enough, he did it a second time. We are still unsure if this was part of the act… if it was, my neighbor certainly wasn’t in on it! Kudos to the Big Apple Circus for replacing his popcorn immediately!

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Photo Credit: FredCohenPhotography

As always the circus was filled with acts that you should not and could not try at home. My favorite was the outrageous costume changing couple Vladimir and Olga Smirnov. I honestly do not know how they did it. You think they have the clothes layered but they keep coming off. I really want to know how they did it! Seriously, it was so cool.

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Photo Credit: Big Apple Circus

Also impressive was not one, but two ladies – Tatevik Seyranyan and Odbayasakh Dorjoo – who folded themselves into one small box. Yep, two ladies. Folded in half. One box. Do not try this at home folks. Makes my flipped downward facing dog seem pretty lame… The photo below only shows 50% of the women who fit in this box. At the same time.

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Photo Credit: Big Apple Circus

And of course what would the circus be without horses, dogs and other animals performing astonishing tricks before your eyes, trampolines, flying trapeze, “Chinese yoyos”, foot juggling, and an aerial space act that will leave you bedazzled and beguiled (spoiler alert, there was a spaceship. My daughter was MESMERIZED).

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The Big Apple Circus’ 37th season runs under the Big Top at Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center (62nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues) through January 11, 2015. The show is two hours long including a 15 minute intermission. The Big Top is heated and there are tables and chairs available for you to sit and eat prior to the show. There is also a stroller and coat check. Children under 3 are free when on the lap of a paid adult, one child per lap.

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In addition to the Big Apple CircusTicket Specials and *giveaway below*, I’m pleased to offer my readers the promo code BIGAPPLE which will give you up to $25 off tickets!* That’s per ticket, not just off the total purchase! (*Limited availability. Offer good on select seats and shows. Other conditions apply). Buy tickets online at www.BigAppleCircus.org, by calling (888) 541-3750, or at the Circus Box Office located in front of the Big Top on Lincoln Center Plaza (there is no service charge for tickets purchased at the box office). Hours of operation:  Tuesday through Friday from 10am – 8pm, and Saturday through Monday from 10am to 6pm (or to 8pm on weekend days when there is a 7pm performance).

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Finally, I want to share something very interested that I learned about the Big Apple Circus (a not-for-profit performing arts and outreach institution committed to invigorating the communities they serve with the joy and wonder of classical circus). At the center of the big apple, is a big heart. I like supporting companies that give back to the community and reading about all of these different programs simply blew me away.

Tax-deductible contributions made by corporations, foundations and individuals enable Big Apple Circus to bring its special magic to diverse audiences through its outreach programs including:

Clown Care[SM] the signature community outreach program of the Big Apple Circus, brings the joy of classical circus to hospitalized children at 16 leading pediatric facilities across the United States.

Vaudeville Caravan[SM] brings the uplifting power of the circus to delight the residents of nursing care facilities.

Circus After School[SM] provide a unique opportunity for at-risk youth to develop life-enhancing skills such as teamwork, commitment, and responsible risk-taking through a structured program of learning and performing the circus arts.

Circus For All!® annually distributes more than 50,000 free and discounted tickets to public and private schools and not-for-profit organizations serving disadvantaged children, families, and the elderly.

Circus of the Senses® a unique performance that enables children and adults with vision or hearing impairments and other disabilities to experience the magic and joy of the circus.

Big Apple Circus Embraces Autism! for these performances, Big Apple Circus worked with renowned ASD experts to adapt Metamorphosis for families with members on the spectrum.  The adapted show includes the same world-class artistry as the full performance only with a shorter running time, adjusted lighting and sound, calming centers, pictorial social narratives and plenty of folks to assist in creating a memorable event for all!

Ticket Giveaway!

Win two tickets for opening night at the Big Apple Circus!

Friday, December 12th at 6:30pm

To win, answer the following questions:

1. What’s the height of the Big Top?

2. What is your favorite part of the circus?

Winner will be chosen Sunday, December 7th, 2014 at 5pm.