Dopamine Land: A Multisensory Experience Brings Happy Vibes to Washington, DC

Diving into a ball pit will make any kid smile!
Diving into a ball pit will make any kid smile!
1/14/24 - By Jennifer Swope

Dopamine is what gives our brains feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation, and that's what Dopamine Land: A Multisensory Experience in the Friendship Heights area of Washington, DC does. This paid experience invites visitors to activate dopamine through immersive activities in media, technology, and play.

With my 12-year-old daughter, I went through Dopamine Land during a preview event at which we learned a little about what satisfies our brains.

Read on to learn all about Dopamine Land, and don't miss our Guide to Indoor Fun for DC Kids to help with staying busy during these cold months.


The Bubble Bar at the entrance to Dopamine Land includes a colorful bar serving snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.

All About Dopamine Land: A Multisensory Experience

Dopamine Land immediately grabs your attention with a Bubble Bar at the entrance, complete with a ball pit into which my daughter launched herself. (Note for the less agile: Ball pits are difficult to get out of, at least for this 40-something mother.) This space also includes a store and an actual bar serving non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. For an additional fee, you can add on a seat at the Oxygen Bar and use nasal tubes (think oxygen-tank tubing) to connect to eight flavored oxygen tanks as one way to activate dopamine.

The experience officially begins when entering the Decompression Room, where the voice-only guide, Anima, helps center you and explains how dopamine plays a role in our brains and our everyday functions. Once Anima invites you into the experience, you can wander at your own pace through nine rooms featuring different sensory activities. Rooms flow one to the next, and most have a staff member to explain how to get the most from it and to answer questions. We loved that we could spend as much or as little time in the different spaces, though a few rooms do have time limits to control the flow of visitors.
In Lucid Dream, visitors experience dreams through movement and interactive screens.

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Go ahead—draw on the furniture!

We found ourselves lingering in The Writer's Loft and the Sensory Room, where there is a lot to do—and where we were clearly experiencing the effects of dopamine. My daughter particularly liked the freedom to write on furniture, the floor, and the walls. Since this was a preview event and Dopamine Land wasn't at capacity, some of the rooms—particularly the Rhythm Studio and Pillow Fight—weren't quite as captivating, as they needed several people to fully activate the experience. With a group, these spaces would be so much fun.

Length of the Experience

Because of the freedom to travel through the exhibit at your own pace, each visitor's time at Dopamine Land will vary. The website estimates that it will take about 50 minutes, and that's how long we spent in the experience.

RELATED: Guide to Indoor Playgrounds, Play Spaces, and More Indoor Fun for Kids in DC

Wind your way through twinkling lights and mirrors in the Infinity Bliss Room.

Tickets and Information on Visiting Dopamine Land: A Multisensory Experience.

Tickets for Dopamine Land start at $22.50 for adults and $16.99 for children, depending on the day and time selected. A seat at the Oxygen Bar is an additional $12 per ticket. Tickets are sold in 30-minute increments and should be purchased online in advance. Everyone age 2 and older needs a ticket. 

Dopamine Land is wheelchair-accessible, but strollers are not allowed. Stroller parking is available, though the area is not monitored.

All photos by author Jennifer Swope

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