Candytopia is the brainchild of Jackie Sorkin, the so-called Hollywood Candy Queen and Food Network regular, and executed by event designer and fabricator Zac Hartog. It made its debut in Santa Monica in 2018 and has held court at temporary pop-ups in top cities across the country. Currently, it's in residence in Atlanta and Dallas.
With more than a dozen rooms with larger-than-life interactive art installations and full-sensory experiences, Candytopia is a cross between a candy shop and an art exhibit that has been met with the same kind of excitement that surrounded tours such as the Houston Museum of Fine Art's blockbuster van Gogh exhibition.
Social media savvy readers may have already seen their favorite influencers and media personalities getting showered with confetti or lounging in the marshmallow pit. Still, the question remains, is it worth it?
After all, tickets aren’t cheap. Attending Candytopia costs $28 for adults and $20 for kids aged 4-12. Based on experiencing the event during a media preview and speaking with a couple of other attendees, we think it’s worth the splurge.
Here’s five reasons why it’s worth the cost:
1. The installations are fun and creative.
Whether it’s swinging on an oversized 100 emoji, posing with a candified replica of Prince’s love symbol guitar, admiring the artistry of portraits made out of gummy bears, or posing for selfies, the whimsical rooms prove equally delightful for children and the young-at-heart.
2. Family-friendly indoor activities are hard to find in Houston.
As blogger Keri Henry pointed out, she has limited options when it comes to taking her kids someplace that’s fun, interactive, and air conditioned. She also notes that her niece had no difficulty navigating the space in her wheelchair.
3. Candytopia’s super-friendly staff makes it easy to maximize the experience.
They’re ready to demonstrate how certain elements work, throw confetti, use a phone to take group shots, etc.
4. The exhibits have been personalized for Houston.
A few elements of the installation’s previous home at the Mall of America remain — a Minnesota Vikings helmet, for example — but Candytopia has been updated for the Bayou City. For example, the portrait gallery features an image of Beyoncé among the other works of arts, an oversized Astros hat hangs on one wall in another room, and a tribute to the Apollo 11 astronauts occupies another.
5. Admission includes candy to snack on.
Find chocolate truffles in the clock room, Tootsie Roll pops in the playroom, and much more. Just respect the signs that encourage people to limit themselves to only a piece or two from each bin.
Candytopia hasn't announced a closing date, but expect it to run approximately four months. On the website, tickets are available through September 29.