Thursday, October 8, 2015

Adventures in Parenting - The Crayola Experience

We took our first trip to The Crayola Experience in July. It was a rainy Saturday afternoon. Needless to say, the place was packed. There were lines for just about everything and so many kids on the play structures that I was nervous letting Ellie play. (A little too much Lord of the Flies for my taste.) I could see that there was a lot of potential for fun, but if it was always packed, it wasn't worth going.

We bough annual passes when we went in July. Yes, I bought a pass before walking through the door, but it was like $10 more than a single day ticket and I had heard good things. This past weekend we decided to give it another shot.

This time our plan was to go early on a Sunday. Since E is normally up before 7 a.m., getting places early isn't really a problem. We made a short stop at Trader Joes (where I bought all the pumpkin things) and still got there right around 10 a.m. when they opened.

I have to say the difference between this time and the last time we went was night and day. Everything was working and nothing had a line. E got to create both a ring crayon and a race car crayon because she wanted both. Last time it took 45 minutes to do one. (We took turns waiting in line and toddler wrangling.) We did spin art, played in the chalk/white board area and colored. 

Making Spin Art with Daddy

Watching a regular crayon turn into a ring crayon

Making a Masterpiece

You mean it is okay to color on the wall?

Then E wanted to go play. To her this meant the two giant play structures that they have at The Crayola Experience. One is designed for little ones and she had a great time with that and the giant Light Bright located in the same area. 

Enjoying the toddler size play structure
Then she saw the other saw the other play structure and set her toddler sights on that. As anyone with a 2 year old knows, once they get fixated on something you have two choices--let them go do it or ride out a tantrum. It wasn't something all that dangerous and the place was still so we let her go.

"I want to play that." I don't care that I am 2 and it is giant.

She did a great job climbing to the top and moving across on the rope bridge. After a couple of passes on the rope bridge, she decided she was done. Unfortunately, she couldn't figure out how to get down or exactly where we were (right below her). So she started screaming "mommy" from the top of her lungs. So I kicked off my shoes, channeled my inner child and started climbing. While the structure is pretty big, it isn't designed for a 5'7" adult. In the short time it took me to get to the top, E was crying so hard tears were dropping through the rope bridge where she was stuck. I felt so bad for her, but we climbed down and a few minutes later she was fine.

We played some more. Including dancing on a screen with some crayons and doing some more coloring. Then someone started getting hungry and tired (it may have been Mommy), so we grabbed some lunch at the mall and came home. E was asleep before we were out of the parking lot.

Dance Break

This was a much better experience than our first one. Going early and on a Sunday was a huge bonus and meant that E could do everything without waiting. We can't really do waiting right now, so that was really good. They also had some fun Halloween Activities including a scavenger hunt, painting pumpkins and treat stations. 

Halloween Fun
After this trip, I am happy we have annual passes.