Fa La Land – holiday-themed pop-up exhibit

We had the pleasure of attending Fa La Land‘s media preview event! If you follow us already, you know how much our family loves pop-up museums! Fa La Land is such a festive and interactive experience for our littles. We are that family that starts talking Christmas starting the first week of November, so naturally our first holiday outing had to be big and it had to happen early! It is a holiday wonderland with amazing holiday decorations and meet and greets with elves, Mrs. Claus and Santa Claus!

The pop-up exhibit is composed of six different festive rooms. Each room has a different theme – North Pole, Jingle Bell Toys, Fa La Forest, Candyfornia, Fa La Fest, and, of course, Walking in a Fa La Floral Room (meet Santa)! Each room provides a little something for you to take with you – candy, a golden ticket, a small present and more candy! Hold onto that golden ticket because you will use it to get your present from Santa. Plus, you will be allowed to keep it as a souvenir. We loved the details and interactive experiences in each room from writing out names on the nice (or naughty) list, jumping in the candy ball bit, to sitting in Santa’s sleigh. Most importantly, our favorite moment was meeting Santa at the end! My four year old has always been nervous of Santa, so he usually keeps his distance. I think experiencing the other rooms first really made him feel comfortable to meet Santa. I think having a golden ticket was a nice icebreaker because his interaction was about choosing a small present first, and then after slowly moving his way into talking and taking a picture with Santa. My son was actually able to interact with him, told him what he wanted for Christmas and even took a picture with him which was the first time in 3 years! So, parents, there is hope of having a non-crying picture with Santa!

Here are some tips to maximize your experience:

  • The entrance room has pillows that can be used as props while you Boomerang (Instagram feature). My kids loved throwing the pillows around.
  • Keep an eye on the ground for photo opp signs! These dots indicate that this is a great place to take a picture!
  • Engage with each art piece and take a minute to appreciate the creativity. I wish I could have emphasized this more with the kids. I guess we will always have our pics to revisit and talk about what we experienced.
  • Don’t forget your candy! There are buckets of candy in most rooms. Take each one, guilt free, and eat it. In Santa’s room there is a gum ball machine on the right side before exiting, make sure you get one! You are welcome.
  • The elves are there to help and they let you know it! I loved that I can ask them to take pictures of us and they were all for it. They were so interactive with the boys too!

I can’t stress enough how much fun pop-up museums are especially for toddlers. They utilize all of their senses which helps reinforce learning. In this case, we are all about the holiday season. I am hoping that these visits will also spark a general love and appreciation for art and creativity.

Quick reference: 

Ticket prices: $37, children 3 and younger are free. It is totally worth it, especially as a family outing during the holidays! There are two scenarios that I immediately thought about after we met Santa here. 1. Waiting in a mall line with a cranky toddler and then meeting Santa 2. Walking through a series of joyous rooms and then meeting Santa with a happy toddler. And if you are looking for that perfect greeting card picture, there are a ton of photo opps spots that you can use here!

Hours: Open from Sunday November 18, 2018 – Sunday, January 6, 2019
– Closed on Mondays
– Tuesday – Thursday: 11:00am – 8:30pm
– Friday: 11:00am – 9:30pm
– Saturday: 10:00am – 9:30pm
– Sunday: 10:00am – 8:30pm

Location: ROW Downtown LA, Building 2, diagonally across from the parking structure. If you enter through Center St. you will be directed to the parking structure. It is so easy!

Potty training toddlers? There are restrooms located in the parking garage closer to the elevators, near the exhibit and a couple of others sprinkled across the ROW! Make sure your toddler goes to the restroom before entering the exhibit. But if you have to go immediately after, there are restroom located to the right of the exhibit exit.

Hangry family? There are coffee shops and smaller cafes at the ROW. I also spotted some food trucks directly in front of the entrance to Fa La Land. If you are willing to venture into Downtown LA, there are a ton of fabulous restaurants to try, or drive 5 minutes to Olvera Street for some yummy Mexican food!

Strollers accessibility: Strollers aren’t allowed in the exhibit. Do not worry, the parking garage is literally so close to the entrance that you don’t need to bring one.


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