If you’ve been following me for any time at all, you know that we make a big deal out of birthdays around here. Last week Harper turned 7 (I’m still wrapping my head around this idea), and we are still partying! One of the BIG ways we were able to celebrate was with a trip to Color Factory Houston!
Just in case you live under a rock, interactive art installations are kind of the new thing and Color Factory Houston is the latest and greatest of these limited-engagement exhibits. Located in Upper Kirby, Color Factory features room after room of colorful displays by local artists. The palette is inspired by Houston itself and allows you to experience each hue with ALL your senses. That’s right, there’s even food!
We owe a huge thanks to Color Factory Houston for hosting us and making our rainbow obsessed 7-year-old’s day! Though we did receive complimentary tickets, you guys know that our opinions are always, always, always our own.
I put together a list of tips to help make the most of your experience.
Wear your favorite color
I mean, you’re going to Color Factory so you might as well have fun with it. I kinda wish we had been smart enough to do something fun, but how great would you look in a bold color with a bright (or striped or shimmery or star-spangled) background?
If you’re a suburbanite or a country bumpkin like us, city parking can be a stressor. There is one row of parking directly in front of the building, but allllll the other parking lots are for specific businesses only. We drove around for a few minutes before we realized the residential building across Kirby was the parking garage they mention on the Color Factory website. Residences at Kirby Collection has a self-parking lot entrance off West Main, but if you miss it, go around the building and there’s another entrance on the opposite side. The fees would have been $8 or less based on time spent, but the machine was broken so we got free parking. Score!
There is a restroom at the entrance, but I don’t remember seeing any others along the way. I might be wrong, but just to be safe, if you’re taking kids (or me), potty before you get started.
Take lots of pictures
The first room you enter is where you pick up your photo token. Many of the rooms have photo stops where you scan your token and at the end it emails them to you. You could actually experience the whole exhibit without your phone or camera and still go home with a ton of pictures. You could also be like me and take both. At first, I thought you are only allowed to take one picture per scanner, but I decided to try one again and it worked. From then on, we took several at each spot. Sorry, not sorry.
Take your time
It’s tempting to see a room and then in your excitement head on to the next, especially with kids, but make sure you take your time and appreciate each room. You can go through as fast as you like, but you can’t go back once you’ve left a room. So play, take your pictures, and maybe learn a little something before you head through each door. We took about 2 hours.
Talk to the employees
The girls in the confetti room probably have the best job in the world and they obviously love it. While I tried desperately to get just one decent picture of my children, they helped tremendously just by playing with them. All the employees were just as friendly and would not only take our picture but would show us fun poses to try also. A lot of their job is making sure everyone follows the rules, but they do a great job of making sure you get the full experience as well.
Know your kids
It’s hard to say what the best age is for Color Factory. Harper just turned 7 and Hudson is 2. Without hesitation, I’d say it was perfect for Harper even though there were several times I had to tell her to chill just a little. It’s exciting you guys.
Hudson was questionable. He loved some of the rooms, the confetti and light bright rooms especially, but there were a few he was done with before we even got started. The moon room for instance. I thought he would love it, but it actually scared him because the balls are pretty deep and you sink immediately. He does however, live for snacks so every time one was offered he tried to take more than his fair share. If we were to do it all over again, we probably wouldn’t take Hudson. Even though he thoroughly enjoyed himself, sometimes chasing after him made it hard for us (meaning my husband who did most of the chasing) to fully experience it all. That doesn’t mean your 2-year-old wouldn’t still love it, and they’re free at that age so… it depends on your kid.
Part of the whole exhibit is experiencing colors with ALL your senses, including taste. They have colorful samples from various places around the city, but some of them may contain allergens. Everything is packaged and it’s not like they’re throwing peanuts around, but if you or your kids have an allergy, you may want to call ahead and make sure you won’t have an issue. Luckily, they’re very good about asking about allergies before they hand you anything and you could still thoroughly enjoy Color Factory without tasting all the colors (surely you know what phrase I wanted to say here).
Another heads-up for parents: When you get old, balls pits are still just as fun, but now they hurt your feet and make it hard to stand. You’ve been warned, but dive in anyway. It’s totally worth it.