by Spencer Bollettieri, freelance writer for Theme Park Magazine
Within the vibrant halls of New York’s Color Factory, Spring is in the air and on display in SoHo as its latest celebration, COLORS IN BLOOM welcomes visitors. As part of a grander collection, the New York experience is at the heart of Color Factory’s many art pieces, allowing guests to see, smell, taste, and hear the city’s beauty in unique ways. Embracing exploration and creativity, Color Factory encourages guests to see Manhattan through a new light, whether pink, green, or a more exotic hue.
The Color Factory: Pioneering the ‘Experium’ Movement
With locations in Houston, Chicago, and New York, Color Factory is far from the traditional art exhibition. Originally debuting in San Francisco in 2017, Color Factory helped popularize the concept of the “experium,” or “Instagram museums,” as they’re also known. Featuring artists such as Lakwena Maciver, Tosha Stimage, and the late Jason Polan, Color Factory promotes a more interactive environment where guests experience art rather than just appreciate it from afar.
Getting Started: A Colorful Welcome and Personalized Experience
When first welcomed into New York’s Color Factory, guests get a taste of what lies ahead, greeted with displays of New York’s most iconic color palettes and a complimentary packet of gourmet jellybeans. After having a moment to drink in the sights, a guide explains how the museum works. At the start, visitors can claim a QR code allowing them to operate the many automated photo opportunities throughout the building, which can be later printed out in the gift shop or sent via e-mail. Additionally, while clearly marked, at each sampling station, those with dietary concerns can request a list of potential allergens within their various treat offerings. Meanwhile, while all the exhibits are in English, Color Factory also offers downloadable translations in multiple languages.
Exploring the Multi-Sensory Exhibits: A Journey Through Color
Once ready to embark, guests wander from room to room, exploring a multi-sensory world of color. One exhibit has people experiencing New York through scents such as “Nuts 4 Nuts,” “Summer Streets,” and “Central Park Sakuras.” Another has pairs attempting to express what they see in others with colored pencils and paper. Meanwhile, visitors with a sweet tooth can sample complimentary macarons, taffy, and gelato before sliding into a pool-sized ball pit. Other highlights include a silent disco where headphones allow guests to dance to their own tune, a room of self-discovery where a secret color awaits those who navigate its questions, and an A-Z of bizarre colors sure to entice curiosity.
Colors in Bloom: Celebrating Spring with Cherry Blossoms and More
Color Factory also provides seasonal offerings, and as part of their COLORS IN BLOOM event, they’re celebrating the budding cherry blossoms. During their tour, guests can wander through a Central Park cherry blossom grove as fluttering pink confetti rains from the sky. Additionally, visitors can indulge in a serving of strawberry gelato, receive a free floral-scented air freshener, and for an additional charge, decorate a flower pot that they can take home with a packet of seeds. COLORS IN BLOOM prides itself on being beautifully surreal, but at the same time authentically New York in its presentation, as it brings Spring to life in brilliant shades of pink.
Memorable Souvenirs: The Unique Gift Shop at the Color Factory
Although guests receive a complimentary branded silly straw, collapsable cup, luggage tag, or COLORS IN BLOOM air freshener, Color Factory also has a gift shop. Besides t-shirts, pins, and keychains, visitors can purchase a box of Color Factory’s famous macarons, exotic-flavored drinks from United Sodas, and various Bon Femmes lifestyle products. The gift shop is what most would expect from an offbeat art museum and offers distinctive souvenirs to commemorate any visit.
A Colorful Adventure for All Ages
Color Factory is an hour-long self-guided tour best explored with two or more people, as many exhibits require partners or group participation. Additionally, Color Factory’s attractions are suitable for everyone, with one of their visitors, Penny, age 14, remarking how it’s her “favorite place in New York City.” Regardless of age, there’s always something entertaining in every Color Factory exhibit, with most of them fun, accessible, and easy to understand, creating a vivid palette of memorable experiences.
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- Website: Color Factory
Feature photo by ©Color Factory
About Spencer Bollettieri: As a biologist, journalist, and writer, Spencer Bollettieri has written for sites such as Screen Rant. Although mostly based out of New York, he’s traveled the world in pursuit of new stories.