Crayola Factory

Trip Start May 16, 2003
Trip End May 16, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Monday, January 21, 2008

What do you do with two young kids, on a holiday Monday when the weather outside is close to 0 degrees Fahrenheit?
You look for a trip indoors.  One of the places we have marked earlier to go visit, but never got a chance to, was the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA.
We got our directions, ate some lunch and were on our way, the trip down Rt. 78 is very scenic and well worth the ride, you do have to pay $0.75 tax ... I mean toll to go over the Delware River and Easton is about 10-15 min. away.
The city of Easton, PA is a very nice place, looking like a movie set of the 1950's with beautiful old buildings, mom & pop shops, wonderful streets and very colorful.  However on a closer look you can see how hard times have hit the town, many stores are closed, going out of business or for sale.
In the middle of the town there is a the center square with a wonderful 75 foot monument to commemorate the Civil War.  When we were there the monument was shrouded by a one hundred foot Peace Candle, which is ceremoniously lit the Friday evening after Thanksgiving and remains on display through January. 
Right in center square is the Crayola Factory.
Factory might be stretching it a bit - there is a small section where they show how they make the crayons & markers in real time (there is machinery there behind glass and a person explaining the process), but mostly it's an "arts & crafts" amusement park and Crayola museum in which Crayola supplies all the materials (with a convenient store right next door).  Admission is about $10 per person and you get two gold coins per person which you can exchange for crayons or play dough (in our case we got all play dough).  
Once inside we first visited a room which showed how Easton created its silk trade, a very cool looking miniature of Easton is there and some displays.  But you cannot touch, they have looms, hanging threads and all kind of things a kid would love to mass around with ... but no can do, so we left.
The obligatory stop at the "factory" mentioned before was insightful - we enjoyed but our three year old daughter couldn't care less (we came in a few minutes after it started but she's too young for that anyway). 
We started going around, the place is actually very cool and Crayola did a good job maintaining order, engaging the kids, and layout.  There are displays which show the history of the company, which are very interesting, but not take up much room, but are there if one wants to look at them.
There are several stations where kids can choose what they want to do or not do.  The first one was to make some sort of pictures with color paper & glue.  We didn't see anyone make the picture they wanted you to make, but each kid was doing there own thing (with parents supervising and Crayola workers helping).  Next we went to a little area where the kids dance and they see themselves as white shadows on a big screen, the watercolors room (complete with an "oven" to quickly dry the pictures), chalk sidewalk, area for toddlers to play and the play dough area where you are given white play dough specially designed so you can paint it (very cool).
We were there for three hours, our daughter was all played out and we didn't even do half of the activities the place offers.  Of course afterwards we went to the Crayola store next door - I have to give Crayola credit and say that the two entities are not joined, meaning you don't have to walk through the store to get out, they are simply next door.
A very nice trip on a cold day.
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