Apr 28 2009
One place we went out of our way to see was the Crayola Factory in Easton, Pennsylvania. It promised creativity and learning how crayons and markers are made, and we thought it would be a lot of fun.
We were wrong.
The “factory” isn’t really a factory, and I knew that going in. They have a room with a seating area where you can watch a staff member make a few crayons and markers behind a glass wall, if the equipment is working properly. In that regard, you do get to see the process for making crayons and markers, but you don’t get anywhere near the actual factory.
The creativity center was most disappointing for us. It was loud and brightly colored in addition to being crowded, making it headache-city to keep track of the kids. While it’s true that there were a lot of Crayola products available for the kids to use, I didn’t see it as inspiring creativity.
A precut shape at a table with markers or crayons screams “preschool” to me, not “creativity,” especially when you’re not supposed to take the equipment from one area to another. Thus, the kids could go to one table and play with clay, another for crayons, another for markers, etc.
The one area our kids like the best was a studio where they could make a picture using melted crayon wax. This was actually something unique that they don’t get to do at home, but there was an age limit, so the little ones cried that they couldn’t try it.
There was one display about the history of the company, and I was surprised there wasn’t more of a museum feel to the place.
With the price of admission ($9.50 each), each person gets four tokens, which can be redeemed for a small pack of crayons, a single marker, or some clay. Admission also includes the National Canal Museum upstairs.
After we visited (too little, too late, I suppose), I read reviews to see if we were alone in our disappointment. It seems that people either love or hate the Crayola factory. My advice: if you let your kids play with crayons and markers and glue and clay and paper at home and even perhaps (gasp!) allow them to mix the media, you’ll be disappointed in the Crayola Factory.
I would have preferred to have gone to the Crayola store next door and spent our admission money on a ton of new art supplies.
The store is amazing in its range of Crayola products, and is also the home of “Big Blue,” the biggest crayon ever made.
If you’re in Easton, the Crayola store is the place I recommend. The Crayola Factory? Unless you never let your kids draw or paint at home, skip it.
Note: Admission to the National Canal Museum is included with the Crayola Factory fee. If you do opt to go to Crayola, don’t miss the Canal Museum. It was the favored spot of the campus for us.