I love interactive art experiences for the family! The first one we tried was the Ice Cream Museum and I instantly became a fan of these pop-art installations! We Are Happy Place was an awesome experience especially because I got to try it with my husband and kids after having a tough weekend. Did it turn our sadness into happiness? It sure did! For an hour we didn’t worry about anything, we were present and soaking in all the happiness inside this “hershey-shaped” dome. There are different rooms focused on one piece of art and you are encouraged to take pictures as a part of the appreciation process. Quickly we move from one room to the next and it’s okay because my kids are on a sugar rush because the first two rooms load you up with M&Ms and cake pops. My two toddler boys were encouraged to eat candy, cake, climb boxes, run, throw balls and confetti, and jump in a pot of gold (balls)! Enough said, this was a win for all of us because they were happy, we were happy!
Why do I like these pop-art experiences so much? first, I alway see a diverse crowd with families and non-families, and young and old. Secondly, this is an awesome way to introduce toddlers to art. Thirdly, theres always some sort of treat; most cases sweets to enhance your experience and make it 10x more sweeter. Fourth, the creativity and imagination behind each one inspires me to find unconventional methods to teach art to my kids. Lastly, there is so much learning being done using all the senses. I love how these interactive art-experiences such as We Are Happy Place encourages us to feel, taste, and smell and moves beyond just see. So my toddlers are happy because 90% of the time they can touch the art and interact with it.
- Cost: Parking is $10 first 2 hours (West garage but so convenient) or metro it. The cost of a ticket is $35, but children under 4 are free.
- Strollers: They are not allowed but there is a space designated for them to be kept. In any case, find out if the interactive art experience allows strollers.
- Restrooms: Yes, they are directly in front of the dome but you have to use the restroom either before or after you enter. Make sure your toddler pees before going in!
- Breastfeeding: At the end of the experience, there are benches to sit at (with food options) but the experience is so quick that you probably won’t want to plan your trip at the same time as your kiddos feeding schedule.
- Food: They sell some items such as unicorn grilled cheese, sundaes, popcorn and lemonade. But I thought it was overpriced so we headed to El Cholo (nearby) and it was cheaper and filling!
Tactile learning within pop-art installations:
It is important for children to learn by touch because it is another way of helping them make sense of the world. Using all of their senses is important and visiting these pop-art installations will expose them to tactile learning. Jumping into sprinkles, marshmallows, flower pedals, and balls is actually helping them learn about the world around them. I love that these places are encouraging sensory play (whether they realize it or not) because they are smelling, touching, seeing, tasting and listening in order to fully experience this type of art.