Monday, March 20, 2006

Field Trip: Crayola Factory

I've changed my background to this blog for a very special reason!  We've been on a field trip!  We took a drive to Easton, PA to visit Crayola Factory Experience.  What a great time!!  Using directions from the web site, we very easily found the building and the parking garage.  Since it was a long drive for us, our first stop was the nice clean restrooms located just beyond the entrance.  Then my husband headed for the registration desk.  After paying our entrance fee, he was handed a stack of gold coins.  These coins can be used in the Factory Experience floor to purchase Crayola items from fun vending machines.  As Todd was paying the entrance fee and getting our entrance stickers to wear, the boys sited a "hands-on" area and went to explore.  This area explained different attractions around the Easton area and had displays with gears and levers that piqued the boys' interest. 


From here, we headed to the next floor to Crayola Factory Experience.  As you reach the top of the stairs, you are bombarded with color and sound!  It was so much fun!  We just moved from area to area.  At each stop there were crafts to make, paints to use, glue to put on paper, sculptures and magnets and markers. Oh my!  We all made lots of crafts that we placed into our plastic handle bags.  We painted with melted crayons, used finger paints and a cool heat dryer, made family trees, wrote on a large glass wall, observed a beautiful folk-art display by various artists, danced in a special room that provided a large screen that turned your body into color, and sculpted, just to name a few activities.


And the gold coins?  Well, the boys each bought a marker from a vending machine, but then they found that they could turn each coin in for a sample bag of Crayola Model Magic.  EVERY one of their remaining gold coins went to model magic.  My budding sculptors made their own souveniers!


After touring the entire 2nd floor we headed off to the third floor which is the Canal Museum.  Right now, most of this museum is under construction and will be VERY cool when it's completed.  It will include a working canal where the children can choose a boat, put it into the water and operate the locks to move it along.  We'll have to return to Easton to explore the Canal museum next year.  There was one room open and the boys dressed up in period costume, sat on a replica train engine and operated a train's light as well as a model train.


Our time at the Factory Experience lasted almost 3 hours!  But of course, we had to visit the Crayola gift store.  We loaded up on glue sticks and crayons (a box of 120) and headed to our hotel.


The hotel was the highlight of my youngest son's experience.  We stayed at a Comfort Inn just below Hamburg, PA.  The hotel had an indoor pool and we went swimming 3 times in one overnight stay!  We also enjoyed their wonderful continental breakfast before headed to Cabela's in Hamburg for a few hours.


We love Cabela's.  It is like visiting a museum, not a store.  Our highlights are the walk-through aquarium and the safari room with more animal mounts than I can list!


Our trip was over much too fast, but my husband has already said that it will be an annual event.  While driving to Easton, we saw lots and lots of billboards and exit signs with attractions we will visit in future years.  This will be a memory builder for years!

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