Galleria

Instagram-worthy interactive art exhibit snaps into Houston with FOMO Factory

Instagram-worthy interactive art exhibit snaps into Houston

Fomo Factory
The FOMO Factory is making a surprise return after a tragic closure. Photo courtesy of FOMO Factory
Fomo Factory
The Insta-worthy space will open for three months. Photo courtesy of FOMO Factory
Fomo Factory
The FOMO Factory is supposed to represent childhood with larger-than-life installations.  Photo courtesy of FOMO Factory
Fomo Factory
It is being billed as a pop-up space for all ages. Photo courtesy of FOMO Factory
Fomo Factory
Fomo Factory
Fomo Factory
Fomo Factory

Houstonians who dream of going back to being a kid are in luck. The FOMO Factory is in Houston, and promises to briefly return guests to those carefree days where it was about fun all day, every day.

FOMO (as in "fear of missing out") is an immersive exhibit filled with fantastical sets from iconic childhoods, including a giant sand castle, a ball-filled swimming pool, and candy-covered swings. It started with a five-month run in Austin last fall, attracting thousands of visitors, including stars like current pop sensation Billie Eilish.

Now, the Factory has decided to move over to H-Town, doing a limited, six-month run in the Galleria beginning Friday, June 7. The exhibit comes courtesy of native Texan Rachel Youens. Inspired by her time spent at a summer camp for grown-ups, Youens created a pop-up space for children of all ages.

“Our childhood theme is one that’s universal: we all had a childhood,” said Youens, in a statement. “Whether yours was great and you want to relive it, or it wasn’t so great and you want to reimagine it, we’ve created that opportunity. We invite you to return to that fleeting time in life when everyone was a potential friend, every day was exciting, and magic was something real.”

Visitors will shed their identity at the door and choose a new, silly nickname before entering the space, which will feature 17 immersive rooms. In addition to FOMO’s now-iconic Birthday Room (replete with a giant cake) and Playground with rainbow seesaw, the Houston installation will introduce nine new concepts.

In the Science Lab, visitors can rock a lab coat and goggles while conducting experiments, snuggle into a tent to tell ghost stories in the Summer Camp Room or grab a giant marker and draw on the walls of the Coloring Book Room.

FOMO also specializes in offering an experience and not merely photo backdrops. The journey taps all five senses by including a theatrical staff, smells piped into rooms, a retro soundtrack and even tastes of childhood. “These types of exhibits have come to be known as ‘Instagram traps’ designed specifically for likes,” says Youens. “Of course, our place is artistic and well-lit, but we put the experience first. We offer the types of feelings and interactions that can’t be captured in a photo. We want you to truly be transported to our world, and not just to create a crafted photo.” 

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The FOMO Factory will be on display from Saturday, June 7, through Tuesday, December 31, on the third floor of the Galleria, Suite 4710, 5085 Westheimer Rd. Times will be 10 am to 9 pm (noon to 7 pm Sunday; closed Tuesday). For more information, visit the official site.