They’re the Mercedes Benz of crayons. They are what other crayons dream of being. They are Crayola crayons. So, it seems fitting that the top of the line colors have a home worthy of them, right? The Crayola Experience at the Mall of America is like the Taj Mahal of crayons.
With its colorful stuffed toys, clothes and backpacks, what small child wouldn’t be in crayon nirvana? However, the store isn’t just targeting children. With the international craze of adult coloring books, the store is invaded daily by grown “kids” looking to add to their crayon collection. Lisa has developed an interest in adult-themed coloring books (get your mind out of the gutter. They’re not THAT type of adult theme). So, she needed crayons for her new hobby. Visitors have their choice of 99 colors in a bin that runs the length of a long wall. They also offer Crayola markers.
The store is vibrant in its color scheme – everywhere you look, screams Crayola. The store is a marketing executive’s dream – 6,000 square feet of crayons, markers, crayon boxes, shirts, stuffed toys, hats and candy. The list goes on and on. Children (real children, not adults wanting to be kids again) can frolic (yes, I said frolic) in the play area while the adults take a break in the Crayola Café. Or, the family can grab snacks or a meal at the café. Children can have parties at the Crayola Experience. Our friend Connie of Midwest Wanderer got to experience some of the activities that you can do during a visit last summer including creating your own crayon and putting yourself into a coloring page. People are known to spend 3-4 hours at the Crayola Experience.
As we visited the Crayola Experience, we weren’t alone. I overheard a mom and grown daughter (in her 30s?) discuss which crayon box the younger woman should buy to fill with crayons galore. She settled on an older looking design (which would have been my preference, too). Then, she went to town loading up the color box. You pay for the crayon container, so you can put in as many crayons or markers as you can fit.
Lisa grabbed the same style of container and commenced to fill it up with almost every color offered in the Crayola rainbow. She took several of the same color, as well as markers. I told her if she behaved while we were at the store, she might get an ice cream treat. She didn’t get an ice cream treat.
I scoped out the store for possible souvenirs for myself. Tie-dyed T-shirt? I may like the Grateful Dead, but a Jerry Garcia-style T isn’t for me.
The Bloomington location is one of three Crayola Experience spots in the United States. Easton, Penn., and Orlando, Fla., are the other locations.