The photo-ops are plentiful at Candytopia as are the optical illusions!
The photo-ops are plentiful at Candytopia as are the optical illusions!

Candytopia Philly: An Epic Candy Playground Pop-up Opens Downtown

Candytopia, an immersive, candy-themed pop-up experience opened September 20 in downtown Philadelphia. The experiential art exhibit lets visitors explore more than a dozen rooms that are set up with interactive displays, games, and yes, plenty of candy to sample. Candytopia has been touring the country for the last year, stopping in major cities and amassing selfie-snapping fans as it goes—more than 1 million have visited Candytopia. Now it's Philly's turn!

Mommy Poppins editors in NYC, as well as Houston, and Los Angeles have all raved about the experience but have a few tips to offer for those visiting the popular pop-up with kids. Read on for what to expect from Philadelphia Candytopia, which includes new installations unique to the City of Brotherly Love. Bonus: Kids ages 3 and under are FREE.

The decor is all candy-inspired, of course.

Ready to dive in? Like a kid in a candy store, visitors to Candytopia are invited to journey from room to room, checking out whimsical artwork displays done with colorful bits of candy. Attendants dressed like workers in a Wonka factory help guide visitors along the way and add to the fantastical setting.

Everyone loves a marshmallow pool! Photo by Lisa Lake for Getty Images

Candy statues come to life with a little VR, a candy dragon draws giggles and stares, and everyone gets a confetti shower courtesy of some sweet unicorn pigs' derrieres. There's even an underwater-themed room with aquatic candy creatures. It's hard to pick out just one favorite experience in this massive candy playground, but it might be the massive marshmallow pool. Made with 250,000 faux foam marshmallows, there's no doubt your kids will beeline for this one. Go ahead and jump in! There's none of that candy stickiness here. No actual diving, please.

The Philadelphia Candytopia includes some sweet nods to local culture, including a candy-covered Liberty Bell, a Rocky tribute, and even a special portrait of Will Smith.

Interactive art, playthings, and yes, games, make Candytopia a win for kids.

What ages is Candytopia best for?

Candytopia is an all-ages experiential event, but it might be better for older kids.

Our LA editor had a blast in the experience with two teens: 

It's hard to do justice to the variety of whimsical settings; we cruised from room to room, munching on sweets, laughing at unexpected scenes made from candy, trying out all sorts of places to sit, stand, swing, or squeeze through, and of course taking photos from every angle. By the time we left, our hair was full of confetti, our bellies full of treats, and our phones full of memories—which reminds me of an important tip: bring a back-up battery!

Confetti and 'flying' pigs will have everyone laughing their way through Candytopia. Photo by Lisa Lake for Getty Images

In Houston, our editor and her toddlers giggled their way through the whole experience, but she did caution that some young kids, such as her 2-year-old might get overwhelmed by some of the noise and lights.

Candytopia Philly is opening in the new Fashion District Philadelphia, a three-block-long retail behemoth, in Center City. It's connected to Reading Terminal and is accessible by several entrances, including 12th Street and Market.

By the way, don't lick the walls here, kids. The displays are just that...displays. 

Find Candytopia downtown, at Philly's new Fashion District Mall. Photo by Lisa Lake for Getty Images

Candytopia Philly — What to Know Before You Go

  • Candytopia is a limited engagement, closing January 5, 2020.
  • Tickets must be reserved online, so check for available dates and times.
  • Prices in Philly are $28 for adults, $20 for children ages 4-12. Kids ages 3 and under are FREE.
  • No strollers in the exhibit, but there is stroller parking.
  • The Marshmallow Pit requires you to take your shoes off. 
  • There are confetti cannons, loud music, and some bright lights. Very young children may not enjoy the sensory overload.
  • Birthday parties and private events are an option.

Photos by Mommy Poppins except where noted

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