Family Fun Directory: Things To Do with Kids

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Crayola Experience

Free Wi-Fi Available
Mall of America, 300 South Avenue, Bloomington, MN 55425
952-851-5800
Admission: $21.99
Regular price $21.99. Online price $17.99; Annual passes available.
Concessions Available
Hours of Operation:
Mon. 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Tue. 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Wed. 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Thu. 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Fri. 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Sat. 10:00 AM - 09:00 PM
Sun. 10:00 AM - 07:30 PM
Details:

Crayola Experience is a museum-like attraction at the Mall of America. There are over 20 interactive exhibits, concessions, party rooms, a playground and tot spot, and a gift shop.

Discounts, Deals & Coupons for Crayola Experience:

There are always ways to save on your personal Crayola experience:

  • I recommend becoming an Annual Passholder if you. This will pay for itself in a couple visits and the savings are better if you buy a family pass. Plus, you get perks throughout the year. This is really your best savings.
  • Are you a teacher? Then your best savings just got better! Teachers get a complimentary Annual Pass with extra perks! Bring a valid teacher ID to the admissions desk to take advantage of this deal.
  • Purchasing ahead is always a good idea. It will cost you more if you wait until you get to the mall and while you are online, check out their current offers. There is usually some special deal available.
  • FREE on Your Birthday (or within 7 days of your birthday): I mention this in our Birthday Deals for Kids article, but adults can take advantage too.
  • Goldstar. We often see deals through our affiliate Goldstar. Bonus, you are supporting Family Fun Twin Cities when you purchase tickets through our Goldstar link.
  • Lisa at Twin Cities Frugal Mom often offers Crayola deals and Twin Cities Kids Club also offers discounts.

Melt Down at the Crayola Experience

One of the many creations brought home after a day of art-making.

Crayola Experience Review

We were lucky to get invited to review the Crayola Experience when it first opened. It can be a full-day adventure, and that is what you'll want to do if you pay full price, but if you have an annual pass, you could just visit one or two stations for shorter visits.

Different stations are geared to different ages, so there is something for everyone. While my toddler really enjoyed scribble square, my 11-year-old took off on her own and tried a little of everything. She came home with her art bag full. The 4-year-old and 6-year-old liked the Color Playground best, but also dabbled a bit in everything.

I think of the various exhibits throughout the Crayola Experience as "art supersized".  Much of what you do there could be done at home on a smaller scale, but the fact that your creation gets to be part of a wall-sized interactive screen is pretty cool.

Wrap It Up at the Crayola Experience

We each made our own personalized crayons.


By far, the most popular attraction on the day we visited was the playground. It occurred to me that, for small families who live in the Bloomington Area, the Color Playground may be a good enough reason by itself to purchase an annual pass.

Color Playground at the Crayola Experience

The Color Playground was a popular station.

Toddler town was a hit with my littlest. She could have just played there all day. If you are visiting for Toddler Town, I highly recommend the annual membership. Otherwise, there are cheaper options for indoor play in the Twin Cities.

Toddler Town at the Crayola Experience

For the little ones, there is Toddler Town.


The Pros:

  • Everyone, including mom and dad, had fun and found something they really loved doing.
  • My kids came home enthused about art again. The least artistic of my kids asked to start homework time back up for the summer, so we could have art time.
  • My kids tried a lot of different art techniques and supplies, and then left the mess there.
  • My kids came home with ideas to build on what they learned. For instance, we are going to get out the iron and melt some of their drawings into the paper.
  • I liked that it was not over-policed. For the most part, we were left alone to do what we wanted and to parent at our own comfort level. If I felt my kids were being too wild for an indoor space, I pulled them back, but I didn't feel judgment coming from either the staff or other parents for letting kids be kids, either. It was a very relaxed and creative atmosphere.

Scribble Square

Scribbler Square was my Toddler's favorite place.


The Cons:

  • It is expensive. My tickets were comped to facilitate this review, but I'm still very aware of the cost of things. I would have a hard time budgeting another family visit. Daily admission is currently $15.99 online or $19.99 at the door. For my family of 6 (with the toddler free), that is $79.95.
  • I wouldn't do this with four kids again. While my tween didn't need supervision, she also didn't want to be saddled with a younger sibling. This left a 3:2 ratio of kids to adults. The space was big and open, and there was a lot to do. I was constantly losing track of kids. Therefore, I couldn't actually be creative, because I was always on duty. This would be more fun (and more affordable for a one-on-one date).
  • Token Prices

    One token purchases a crayon or a lump of clay.

    Tickets are not all-inclusive. You receive two tokens with your admission. Tokens buy one personalized crayon or one plum-sized lump of modeling clay. We blew our tokens in the Wrap It Up crayon-making station and then had to purchase more to get clay. I feel that, if every restaurant I eat at can toss each of my kids 4 crayons, Crayola Experience could have done 4 crayons and a lump of clay as part of our admission. Some other stations also have additional fees for take-home souvenirs. Obviously, food costs extra, however, we expect that on any outing.

  • The kids are handed a black plastic bag to carry their creations. I found it ironic that they were handed a bag that looked like a mini garbage bag to hold their art. This bothered me because, 1) It's a choking hazard; 2) It's a suffocation hazard; 3) My kids couldn't personalize it, so it was hard to keep track of whose was whose. Perhaps a brown paper bag that the kids could decorate would have been more appropriate.

Modeling Madness at the Crayola Experience

Purchasing clay at Modeling Madness


Birthday Parties 

Birthday Parties start at $279 and include refreshments. Outside food, except your own birthday cake, is not allowed. Note, if you visit within 7 days of your birthday, you can get FREE admission.

Melt Down

All the various stations are available during birthday parties.


Bottom Line:

We had a really fun day at the Crayola Experience. Although there are things I believe could be improved, it was an overall positive experience. I would recommend it for a special treat or, if you live really close to the MOA, an annual pass could be worthwhile. If going with smaller children (taking into account your own parenting styles), I'd try to keep the adult-child ration at 1:1.

Cool Moves at the Crayola Experience

The dance floor was interactive and the kids could actually kick the ball.

Art Alive at the Crayola Experience

In Art Alive, participants create a design on the computer and than watch it animated on screen.

 

 

4 Comments

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  • Great review. My daughter has been wanting to go for a while but I am so pushed back at the cost so we still haven’t gone. Was the cost of the birthday package inclusive of everything there or just the two tokens at entrance?
    Thanks,
    Melissa

    • That is a good question, Melissa. The birthday parties at the $279 level include admission for up 15 guests, which I presume includes 2 tokens each. Additionally it includes your own party room for one hour, party supplies and a gift for the birthday child. At the $330 level you get all of that plus 3 pizzas.

  • The cost is what scared me at first too, until I found out they offer a family season pass for 4 people for 99.00, every time you go everyone gets 2 coins and you can go 365 days a yea . My kids love it and we go at least once a week.

    • Yes, I agree that if you live close enough, that $99/family deal is awesome. In the winter, having the indoor playground readily available on your own schedule would be awesome.

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