San Francisco, it's time to get your color on, if you haven't already! The Color Factory is extending their run here; so, if you missed out on tickets during the original run in August (and/or even missed out on the Museum of Ice Cream tickets; though they are extending their run through 2018 with tickets on sale this week!), your chance is coming right up at 11am PST tomorrow, Wednesday, September 13!
So what is this Color Factory, you ask? It's a two-story interactive exhibition [that] celebrates color and material. Each room has its own color/theme, like blue balloons, yellow ball pit, and more. You can spend as much time as you want in there, but note that once you leave a room, you can't go back. Knowing this, we took our time and had a blast spending an hour and half there.
If you'd like to see what to expect at the Color Factory before shelling out $32/ticket, keep reading and check out some of the photos from my visit! Otherwise, be sure to set your alarm clocks for 11am PST tomorrow (because it WILL sell out), bookmark this page, and get ready for a surprise-filled adventure!
Once it's time for you to enter, you'll go down these rainbow stairs, which will lead you to a rainbow room. In this room, you'll be provided with a card with a QR code, which you'll register with your email at the machines they have there. They've set up photo booths in five different rooms where you can scan your card, have your photo taken, and they will immediately email you the photos. And the best part is that you can take as many photos as you want, and you'll probably want to—you'll see why later. There is a booth in this room, and someone is there to demonstrate and help you as needed.
To make this pop-up experience possible and to make it even more fun, The Color Factory partnered with a few companies, including corporations and local shops. After you're done with registering your card and walking past a scratch and sniff wall, you'll be greeted with macarons from a local favorite, Chantal Guillon. Everyone is welcome to take one of their yummy macarons.
After you've open the door, you'll see somewhere there who is in charge of refilling the macarons and provide you with charcoal lemonade from Pressed Juicery. For the most part, it seemed to just taste like a lemonade to me.
Moving on, you'll get into the orange room, where they have numerous orange items propped there, like a pencil machine, basketballs, scissors, and more.
Up next is the Balloon Bath by Geronimo Balloons/in partnership with Alaska Airlines. It's a small room filled with blue balloons, which can get really hot. I suggest you to get your photo taken quickly from the photo booth, and move onto the next one.
Right next to the Balloon Bath is a room full of disco balls with light being reflected. This is the one part of the exhibit where you can go back and forth between the rooms, so if there are too many people in the ballon room, then you can check out the disco balls while you wait.
Also connected to this part is a room with jumbo Lite-Brite pegs you can rearrange to your liking, bringing some of us back to our childhood.
Then there is the green room where you are able to draw on the walls with giant green markers. The markers aren't too heavy, but they are surprisingly heavier than you think they would be. If you're bringing small children, you'll definitely need to help them out.
After all the green, the next room has 10,000 colorful ribbons hanging that you can walk through. If there are people there, especially children who may be running around, be careful because it's fairly easy to get lost in there!
You then have the option of going up the stairs or taking the elevator to go to the second floor. One of the things that impressed me about The Color Factory is all the details they put into everything. This could've been totally just a regular flight of stairs, but they made the entire room pink and put a happy face at the top. Clearly, I didn't take the elevator route, but I do wonder if they did anything in there as well.
Now is the probably one of the two most popular rooms in the whole experience—the confetti room, sponsored by method. Thankfully, The Color Factory sells a certain number of tickets allotted for each hourly time slot, which means each room should never be overcrowded. Of course, this being one of the funnest room—I mean, who doesn't love all this confetti, especially when you don't have to clean up after it?—people do tend to stay here the longest. So while there is a photo booth here, it's fairly difficult to not only get the right timing (grab a bunch of confetti and throw it when the camera countdowns to 2), but chances are, people will be in the background. We found that it was most successfully when we took the pictures ourselves or have someone else do it for you.
We went on a very warm Sunday, so we had confetti stuck all over us. They do have you to take out as many confetti as you can though in order to keep the room as confetti-filled as possible.
Directly across the room is the #selfie room by Tom Stayte, where you'll find tons of printed selfies on the floor. We didn't do it, but you could post a public picture on Instagram with the hashtag #selfie, and it'll eventually print out your image. As you can imagine, there are TONS of selfies being printed constantly.
After all that fun, it's time to dive* into this "big bowl of lemons," i.e., the yellow ball pit, the other popular room of the experience. There are three photo booths in this room, two of which are the same as you see above (one on each side of the pit), and the other one is against the wall in the middle. Note that when we went, the screen on the middle photo booth wasn't working, so we weren't sure if it worked, but it did.
One thing that you have to be very careful here is that you must secure your phone as best as possible if you want to bring it with you into the pit. I had it in my back pocket, and after one of these pictures above, I quickly realized my phone slipped out. Luckily, I figured that out right away, had my friend call my phone (which was on vibrate, by the way), and found my phone near my feet. Given all the balls in here and how big it is, that could've been a total disaster!
(*Actually, you can't dive into it; it's against the rules.)
Once you're ready to come out of the pit, you'll see a spot full of yellow-themed items, just like the orange room. The exception here is that you can actually purchase most of what you see there, including prints and books with yellow covers.
If you need a potty break, here's your chance. And remember how I said I loved all the details that went into this exhibit? Check out the restrooms, and you'll see what I mean!
Finally, before you head out for good, you get one free small cone of soft serve, sponsored by the oh-so-good and local favorite, Garden Creamery. I don't know if they ever change the flavors, but we had the option of getting vanilla, Japanese milk coffee, or a swirl of both—SO delicious.
Lastly, your fun doesn't have to stop here, though it can. The flyers you see up there? It's a map of all the other things The Color Factory has set up and businesses they partnered with around the city, such as the colorful stairwell mural by Color Factory design lead Erin Jang in Chinatown and the technicolor Color Factory mani/pedi at Sutter Nails.
That's The Color Factory! It was so much fun, and again, we took our time at each exhibit and had a blast. So, what are you waiting for? Set your alarm for 11am PST tomorrow, bookmark this page, and get your color on!