The most recent addition to the Insta experience club, opened this past weekend at Santa Monica Place in downtown Santa Monica. It’s called Candytopia, and Elliot and I were excited to be among some of the first to visit what turned out to be a pretty sweet time! Pun intended!
Candytopia? What’s that?
Candytopia, similar to The Museum of Ice Cream and The Happy Place, is a themed interactive experience with no real purpose other than fun and of course Instagram photo opportunities galore.
Once inside you’ll follow a one way path through a variety of brightly colored and very cheerful rooms full of interactive exhibits, photos ops, and of course all the sweet treats you can eat.
Related: The Museum of Ice Cream Los Angeles
Related: Happy Place Los Angeles
As soon as you enter the entrance hall you’ll be immersed in all things Candytopia, and not just sights, but sounds too!
The employees are dressed like Oompa Loompas, and a flair for the dramatic is most definitely a requirement for anyone seeking employment in Candytopia.
Library and Introduction
The “Library” is where you’ll hear a little bit about the founder of Candytopia, get your first candy treat, yummy chocolates, and sign the guest book.
Unlike the other interactive locations we experienced, visitors were welcome to take more than one treat.
Treat: Lindor Chocolates
This was one of my favorite rooms. The walls were lined with famous portraits and recreations of famous paintings and statues made completely of candy. In fact almost everything inside Candytopia was made of candy!
Alongside each piece of art was listed the amount of candy and type used, as well as the calories and grams of sugar.
Seeing all those calories in writing definitely helped keep my candy intake in check!
Treat: Candy Necklaces
Under the Sea
Candy sea creatures of all types filled this under the sea themed room, but the boys were on the fast track and didn’t stay long…
Treat: Pixie Sticks
💯Swing & Op Art Room
We all loved this room. The 💯 emoji swing was my favorite, but I think Elliot liked the whirlpool and flying among the clouds.
We breezed through the beach area, but not before Elliot gave both the hammock and the surf board a quick spin.
Treat: Saltwater Taffy
When Pigs Fly
What is it about confetti? I know this room had multiple interactive experiences, but honestly we were so busy playing in the confetti, which seemed to be flying out of a pig’s rear end that we didn’t pay much attention to anything else.
After we’d had our fill, and our clothes and hair were filled too, we set off for the next room…
The final room, and Elliot’s favorite was the giant “marshmallow” pit, which filled the room entirely. In actuality they were foam pieces in the shape of jumbo marshmallows, but it was a great illusion, and the Elliot and his friend had a wonderful time romping around.
Personally, I found it quite difficult to move at all, and after a short while I gave up and enjoyed watching them from the sidelines.
The gift shop was filled to the brim with delicious treats and fun gifts, but we’d had our fill during the visit, so after a quick look around we went on our merry way… After all that candy it was time for lunch!
These tickets were purchased as a holiday gift, which eased some of my guilt about them being on the expensive side. We had a lovely time, took a ton of photos and had more than our fill of candy. Of the three Insta experiences we’ve attended I felt that Candytopia was the most family friendly.
Tips & Advice:
- Candytopia tickets are available online and must be purchased in advance.
- Don’t be late. Only 30 ish people are allowed in for each time slot and if you’re late you’ll have to wait and hope there is room in the next time slot.
- Candytopia is located on the East side of the Santa Monica Place Mall. The entrance is on the second floor. You’ll exit on the ground level.
- Parking is available in the mall parking structure. Depending on where you park the first three hours are free.
- No outside food or drinks are allowed inside Candytopia.
Pin for Later:
love the candy paintings:)
Fun aren’t they!
This looks like so much fun! I want to find out about the founder and the creators of Candytopia. Is it new? I’ve not heard of it before either. I love the portrait of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka! #CityTripping
It is new, and it was a lot of fun! The website has a nice little blurb about the creators.
You must be the coolest mom ever! This looks like such a fun place to go! I love it!!!!!!! #CityTripping
Awe! You’re so nice to say so! We do like to have some fun!
Ladies What Travel (@LadiesWTravel)
Ah man, you have so many cool, fun things over your way! We totally need something like this in the UK! #citytripping
It’s true we have no shortage of fun to be had, just time to fit it all in. It’s tough, but we deal. Lol!
Urska - Slovenian Girl Abroad
Looks like a fun place to visit! 🙂 #FarawayFiles
Definitely fun and sweet too!
I am missing my LA fix, thanks for sharing. Both children are now in the San Francisco area, I know, not a huge problem. Love the whole idea of places created just for taking photos (walked past the ice cream factory in San Francisco but didn’t have time to go in) in our social media obsessed age. Mind you I have reached the stage where I do need to see myself in photos no matter how fun the background is. Brilliant photos, looks like a really day day out as opposed to simply somewhere to go to take photos.
I hear you, I lived in the Bay Area for years and it’s nice, but it’s LA! Yes, I liked this more, it felt more like an activity and was less rushed then the MOIC. We took our time and enjoyed and of course took photos as well. 😘
Alex - My LIfe Long Holiday
When I first saw your post title I wondered if it had anything to do with the icecream museum – clearly Instagram is doing very well for these kinds of places!
Yes, it sure is, but this one was definitely more family friendly then the MOIC, which was fun, but felt rushed. Also so close to our home, which made it a perfect day out!
What a crazy place! I’d love to visit but I think I’d have to leave my children outside, I can’t imagine what would happen if I let them loose in a place like that… #Farawayfiles
Ha ha! It’s good to let loose every now and again!!
Wow, I didn’t know this existed! I love candy, eating, that is 🙂 #farawayfiles
My kids loved it, however I admit to being more of a chocolate lover. That said, I loved the decor!
Always in awe of people who can create art out of abstract objects. Love the colors and bet the aroma was great too. #farawayfiles
It was impressive and so immersive! A fun day out!
I think I have got a sugar coma just reading this post – loved candy versions of the famous art works especially The Scream as I recently saw the real thing in Oslo! #farawayfiles
I loved the candy paintings too! I’d love to see the real Scream someday… it’s on my list!
I think it’s such a great idea limiting the amount of people allowed in at a time. It must make the experience that much better. I love that you get to play so much here. Any opportunity that allows grown ups to recreate the fun of childhood gets my vote! #FarawayFiles
Yes! I agree. Life can’t always be so serious, it’s important to be a kid here and there! I admit I jump at the chance whenever possible!
This looks super fun! hoping to make it to Cali soon so I can visit all of the unique museums there! #FarawayFiles
They’re a ton of fun, however there are many wonderful and more permanent museums too! Come visit!
That is just wonderfully mad, it looks great fun and such a wonderfully creative take on sweets. Did it smell sickly sweet? I have a sense of it smelling like the M&M Store in Leicester Square, London #citytripping
It was quite manic! But so fun!I don’t recall a smell at all… maybe I was nose blind?
I read it with the smell in my nose – quite bizarre!
Funny! I guess that means you were fully immersed!
It does look great fun, I’m not too sure if I would want to leave the marshmallow pit though!!!
I agree, the copies of the works of art look fantastic. #farawayfiles
My boys were definitely sad to leave it, but I found getting around in it very challenging.
Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays
Van Gogh was made for candy!
It was wasn’t it?!
This seems so much fun. I have never heard of marshmallows pits.such colourful photos, I liked the candy Knight.
Yes, it was my first time hearing of a marshmallow pot! The candy creations were pretty spectacular!
Amy @ Amy and the Great World
So cool! I love that there was a treat in every room 🙂
My kids certainly appreciated it!!
Oh wow, this looks the best day out ever (and for kids too…!) Chocolate/sweets and loads of photo opportunities? Sign me right up. I love the way everything looks super saturated too, as if you really are in some kind of fantasy candy land. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping
It was really well done! Very immersive and the treats were fun. My only wish would have been for more chocolate!
Caity Pfohl | The Pamplemousse Papers
This looks like so much fun. Tons of fun photo ops, too! I would head straight to see Candy Warhol, the 100 emoji swing and the marshmallow pit. 🙂
Good choices!! The boys just studied Warhol in school, so perfect timing there!
Bryna | Dotted Line Travels
This looks like so much fun (and so great for those ‘gram pics)! It looks like the dream place for the child me who loved candy, and would have been amazed to see candy all around me!
Woah, this place is crazy. No outside food or drinks allowed inside indeed! I wonder if anyone has ever been tempted to lick any of those paintings…ya know, just to have a little taste? 😉 #farawayfiles
Ha ha! They must have been tempted because they specifically tell you not to. they’re covered in shellac!
Kathleen (Kat) (@katpegimana)
Wow, this is really creative! I guess folks who have diabetes shouldn’t go to Candytopia, heheh! Love the skill and craft in creating the artwork with candies. Pics are amazing! #FarawayFiles
I guess not, although there was plenty to enjoy without ever eating a thing!
Holy cats that marshmallow pit is insane! Looks like a good fun, particularly on a rainy day. #farawayfiles
Was definitely an experience!
How much would my kids like this?! Totally awesome – I loved the ice cream museum too – too amazing sweet toothed places! This looks so much fun -Tutankamen made of candy?! ! Pinned, shared and on my ‘to do’ list! Thanks for hosting #FarawayFiles
Was a really fun and unique day out!! Thank you for sharing!
Oh my word this is incredible! I think my husband and I would go nuts in a place like this. I love the Van Gogh ‘painting’ – what wonderful creativity to create this real-life Willy Wonka atmopshere. So much fun! #farawayfiles
It definitely felt like we’d stepped into Willy Wonka’s factory!
Nicky @ GoLiveYoung
What a fun place to visit. It looks amazing. A dream for any child or kid at heart#FarawayFiles
Exactly! And I’m definitely the later!
Wow, that is such a brilliant museum and fun for all ages! Would love to visit it myself 🙂
Willy Wonka madness! A visual, sensual and epicurean treat; I particularly love the crazy optical illusion with the clouds (still can’t figure that out…). Thanks for sharing this on #FarawayFiles
Oh my goodness! I have to say, I’m reassured that the marshmallows were just foam. It might be a bit unsavoury if children began to eat the mallows after swimming round in them 🙂 What an incredible place #FarawayFiles
I can only imagine the sticky gooey mess if they’d been real! It was a ton of fun!
Birgit | Groove Is In The Heart
Oh my goodness! What an amazing place! I wish I lived closer… I’d be there in a heartbeat. My favourite is also the paintings… especially The Scream by Munch 😊 And, yes, perfectly Instagram-worthy!
Would love to see The Scream in person one day, but until then this was a pretty fun substitute!