Color Factory Houston: Is It Worth Visiting With Kids?
Houston is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. In all of the hours we spent stuck in traffic, it's easy to forget what makes our city great. Color Factory invites guests to embrace Houston's kaleidoscope of gifts through interactive art exhibits. This iteration of Color Factory comes on the heels of its popular Los Angeles and New York City locations, and it lives up to every bit of hype. Color Factory opened in November 2019 and will be open through February 2020 in Upper Kirby.
There are sweet treats scattered throughout Color Factory Houston.
What makes Color Factory shine is that it gives a unique platform to local artists. Each room in the exhibit has been carefully designed and decorated by a local organization or artist. Local collaborators include NASA, which arguably manifests in Color Factory's most stunning room and attraction; sculptor Soo Sunny Park; Harvey & John, Christine Wong Yap, Tout Suite, James Akers, and more.
There are treats and freebies along the way as you venture through Color Factory's 20,000-square-foot facility. Keep this in mind when deciding whether you want to foot the bill for the tickets, which are $35 for adults and $25 for children ages 3-12. The price may seem steep, but admission buys you more than just a tour of the facility. As soon as you enter, enjoy mochi ice cream from My/Mo as you wait to enter. Guests are allowed into the facility in waves to prevent a backlog of people; this greatly enhances your experience and prevents you from feeling like a herd of cattle.
One room is a life-size Nite Brite.
In the first room, you will have the opportunity to activate a circular scanner for the numerous photo-ops scattered throughout Color Factory. At each photo station, you scan your token and the high-quality image is then immediately sent to your email. And while you're waiting for a free tablet to activate your token, enjoy choosing from myriad of flavors of macarons! We grabbed the watermelon flavor - it was delicious.
After activating your token, it's time to explore! I visited with my 3-year-old, but the exhibit's interactive elements appeal to kids and adults of all ages, especially teens with a love for Instagram and Snapchat. One room looks like a floor-to-ceiling Nite Brite with unlimited design possibilities, another incorporates your sense of smell in exploring Houston, and another is a unique experience where you work with a partner. There are two rooms like this, in fact, so if you're visiting with younger children, bring another adult along if you can.
The massive ball pit is the coolest in Houston.
Color Factory's final room is a showstopper - a massive ball pit inspired by NASA and Houston's galactic legacy. There are several photo stations here and an opportunity for a full-body workout. The ball pit is fairly deep in that it swallowed my 3-year-old, so we trudged through with him on my back.
After catching your breath, at Color Factory's exit guests get to choose a parting gift, like a pen or stickers, and enjoy a cone of space ice cream! Beware - it's black.
Our biggest piece of advice is to take your time! No one is rushing you - we found this particularly appealing that none of the staff members intervened or pushed us along; they are stationed in each room merely for support and to answer questions. Color Factory is a unique experience we highly recommend; you'll leave with unforgettable memories, fun pictures, and a deeper sense of love and appreciation for Bayou City.
Enjoying ice cream at the exhibit's exit.
More Information Before You Go
- Parking: There is virtually no parking at the facility itself (most spots are for staff), so save yourself a minute and park in the parking garage across the street at Kirby Connection.
- Strollers are not allowed, but you can check them at the front.
- It is an ADA-compliant and thus all-accessible facility.
All photos by the author