by Spencer Bollettieri, freelance writer for Theme Park Magazine
As Halloween draws near, it’s not just the autumn leaves that are changing colors. In New York, Color Factory is gearing up for Haunted Hues, a lively celebration with tricks, treats, and surprises lurking around every corner. At Color Factory, the season comes alive with a brilliant palette of interactive experiences, offering guests a chance to let their imaginations soar, creativity flow, and raise their spirits as the museum paints the town red, orange, brown, and purple.
Originally debuting in San Francisco in 2017 and later expanding to Chicago, New York, and Houston, Color Factory is an interactive art “experium” that features multi-sensory exhibits and curated pieces from artists like Lakwena Maciver, Tosha Stimage, and the late Jason Polan. Each Color Factory location draws inspiration from its host city and actively engages with its community through various collaborations. Emphasizing play, curiosity, and creativity, Color Factory seeks to redefine how people of all ages experience art while simultaneously bringing more vibrance into the world.
Haunted Hues magically transforms SoHo’s Color Factory into a trick-or-treater’s wonderland, complete with delightful Halloween treats. As visitors pass a conveyor belt adorned with brightly colored macarons, they’ll sample Creamsicle-flavored Rice Krispies squares or chocolate confectionaries crawling with gummy worms. For those with an affinity for candy, there’s an extensive selection of year-round savory-flavored taffies they won’t likely discover at the bottom of a plastic pumpkin, alongside fun-sized bags of Jelly Belly gourmet jelly beans. However, sweet-savvy guests would be wise to save some room for a complimentary serving of sweet cream gelato topped with Halloween sprinkles.
Central Park Reimagined
In addition to indulging their taste buds, visitors can embark on a whimsical walk through a festively decorated Central Park, where they’ll find themselves engulfed in a confetti storm amidst a friendly flock of bats and crows. For the more adventurous art enthusiasts, a thrilling opportunity awaits to plunge into a ball pit beneath a swarm of silly spiders and alongside inflatable skeletons leisurely displaying their best “deadman’s float.” Additionally, NYC’s Color Factory hopes to make each visit unforgettable, and attendees can easily capture and share their trip using an intuitive QR code system, automatic cameras, and exclusive photo opportunities only available during the Haunted Hues celebration.
Ready for a Monster Scavenger Hunt?
But what’s Halloween without a bit of mischief? For an additional fee, visitors can embark on a not-so-scary scavenger hunt to discover mischievous museum monsters hidden within Color Factory’s 14 distinctive exhibits. Armed with a pencil and an educational guide, guests take on the role of monster hunters tasked with tracking down a chaotic cast of critters. As Color Factory’s guests delve into the realms of science, art, and imagination, they’ll become well-acquainted with the history and significance of shades these monsters represent, with bizarre colors like “Mummy Brown” and “Bone Black.” Spotting every creature on the list may prove challenging, but Color Factory provides rewards for those who complete the checklist. In addition to the standard selection of gifts that all Color Factory visitors receive, those who successfully mark off every monster can take home specially branded postcards and balloons for their eagle-eyed achievements.
Within Color Factory’s gift shop, among the usual assortment of colorful souvenirs, toys, and snacks, the museum has added Halloween-themed novelties based around Haunted Hues. On the way out, guests may purchase a Color Factory tote bag designed for a small Halloween haul or a sheet of Haunted Hues stickers to commemorate the occasion. However, for those who want to embrace their artistic side or host their own Halloween craft party, the Color Factory’s gift shop also sells kits that continue the creativity from home.
Year-Round Explorations Beyond Haunted Hues
Beyond Haunted Hues, Color Factory offers immersive exhibits year-round. In one room, guests are enveloped by the scents of New York, experiencing the essence of the Big Apple through iconic smells like “Nuts4Nuts” and “Picnic at Prospect Park.” In a sparkling disco, visitors discover that silence is golden as they don headphones and dance to a private soundtrack. Regardless of artistic prowess, Color Factory also invites pairs of people to sketch each other through a window, asking them to draw their unique features and express their partner through color. These are just a few of the engaging explorations that Color Factory offers, hoping to blend the colors of the rainbow with the experiences of people worldwide to create a unique vision of NYC that must be seen, smelled, tasted, heard, and felt to be truly appreciated.
Color Factory and its Haunted Hues celebration offer a self-guided experience best enjoyed with groups of two or more, as certain exhibits involve the participation of multiple people. Moreover, individuals with dietary concerns can request a list of potential allergens for the various offerings, and each treat station is clearly labeled. Additionally, downloadable translations make it possible to appreciate each exhibit in multiple languages. Above all else, Haunted Hues is a family-friendly affair that doesn’t feel too intense or scary, making it an ideal way to brighten up the Halloween season.
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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.