Wednesday, February 18, 2015

PA Dutch Country Weekend Trip: Crayola Experience, Saigon Cafe

I had been wanting to take the kids to Crayola Experience for a while, so when I came across discounted tickets on CertifiKid and we were only going to be 90 minutes away while in Lancaster, I decided that it was the perfect time to go. We picked to go on the second day of our weekend trip, on Sunday, when 99% of the stores were closed in Dutch Country anyway.

We woke up to frigid weather on Sunday morning. The temp was already just hovering above zero, but with heavy wind gusts, it was definitely in the negative teens. Just nuts. I took the picture below outside of our hotel room window, doesn't it just LOOK cold?

Luckily, we were going to be mostly indoor anyway.
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Crayola Experience @ Easton PA

After a long drive in less-than-desired weather condition, we arrived at Crayola Experience. I honestly thought that because of the weather, we would have the whole place all to ourselves. But instead, by the time we arrived, just 30 minutes after opening time, the place was already packed with people. We found the last few coat hangers that were still available, put our stuff away, and headed straight for the second floor.

Now before I go into the rest of our stay at Crayola floor by floor, I will just say that the kids had a WONDERFUL time. It was truly a fun place for kids to hang out for a couple of hours. They couldn't stop running and jumping with excitement. I liked it too, although some of the activity stations were kind of pointless and...um..dumb (I am looking at you, Fourth Floor). The last member of our family who thought the entire thing was a waste of time shall remain nameless.

Anyway, onto the play by play!

As I said, we started on the second floor. The first activity we did was Art Alive, where you draw your own digital art and it gets projected onto the wall. Will lost interest pretty quickly, but Anna did several creations. The little blue rainbow-shaped thingy below was hers.
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Also on the second floor was Marker Mania (make your own marker) and Wrap It Up (create your own crayon label). I thought Anna was super creative with the name of her blue crayon :) The kids also played at Toddler Town (indoor play area for tots), smiled for Be a Star (you take a picture of yourself and get a coloring book image of the photo), and got some bags of clay at Modeling Madness.
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On the third floor, we entered through Water Works, which was like a water play area. Both kids maneuvered their boats through the water table and found it to be pretty cool.
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The next room over was the Color Playground (taller play structure for older kids). This is Will scooting across the bridge above us on his tiny butt because he was scared. We were so proud of him for making it across, though!
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Inside the same room as the Color Playground, there were several other activity stations. There was Paint Palette (you paint something and run it through an oven to dry) and Puzzle It (you draw/color on a blank card and run the card through a press to make it into puzzle pieces). Both just ok, not that great.
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The last room on the third floor was Doodle in the Dark. In here, there was a variety of interactive "in the dark" experiences. Kids could've stayed here for a long time, lots of fun for them!
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Then we went to the fourth floor. There were 3 activity stations on this floor -- Drip Art (you get two crayons, put them in a machine that melts and drops them onto a round sheet of paper that spins in a circle), Melt & Mold (you get a crayon, put it in a machine that melts into a mold), and Meltdown (you get to paint with melted crayons). We didn't try Meltdown because it seemed messy, but the other two stations were very silly, in my opinion. You don't actually "do" anything but put the crayons into the machines and watch them melt. Very disappointing.
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Finally we went back down the the first floor and took a picture with the World's Largest Crayon and browsed the gift shop.
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I am the type that never buys anything at overpriced gift shops, but Luke is the opposite. He let the kids pick out a toy each. Their "Pinky" and "Greenie" crayon stuffies kept them company on the long drive back to the hotel and back home the next day.
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Ultimately...

While Crayola Experience was a fun place for kids, I doubt we will ever return again. Even with discounted tickets, we still paid $55 for our family of four. With that kind of money, we could've loaded up on art supplies at home. On top of that, Easton PA is FAR. It's just not worth the drive for what you get. But having said all that, I am still glad that we did it. We just wouldn't do it again :)

Late Lunch at Saigon Cafe

We love Vietnamese food wherever we go. Saigon Cafe, practically next to our hotel, was delicious and Luke loved his crispy egg noodles with seafood and vegetables. The kids and I had pho, as usual. We got two more dishes to-go for dinner, but didn't end up touching them. Everyone was already stuffed!
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For the Rest of the Night

Kids played on their tablets for a while and then lights out at 6:30p.
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I can't believe we all slept so early again!

4 comments:

  1. I can't believe you all slept so early too! The Crayola Experience doesn't sound so bad except that it's far, which sucks.

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  2. By far, the worst day of the trip. I know it was for the kids, but dammit to hell, it's not worth an hour and a half drive through the snow and arctic wind. Hell, I'm not even sure it'd be worth it on a bright sunny day with little robins chirping in my ear. Luckily, good ole Vietnamese food came to the rescue and saved the day in the end.

    But seriously, nothing tests the nerves of a man more than driving through the tundra with a windshield covered in salt 'n mud while the windshield washer fluid line is frozen with the delightful sounds of screaming kids in the back. Oh no...that'll break any man!

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  3. Goodness. Easton is almost the "opposite" end of the state!! (I exaggerate but still!!!)

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    1. :( I really thought it didn't look too bad on the map.

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