“Let your imagination run wild but not your children” – from the list of rules in the color factory
This weekend my kids and I finally had a chance to visit the Color Factory here in Houston! It’s been on my list of things I want to do for what feels like FOREVER (or since it arrived last Fall), and we made it happen on Saturday.
I wondered if Saturday would feel *too busy* or if I’d feel rushed along because there were so many people. Spoiler: it was great. It didn’t feel too busy at all!
If you are considering visiting the Color Factory with your family, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know in this post so you know what to expect and can have the best experience!
More Fun Things to Do In Houston with Your Family
First thing to do
Before you go, you must buy tickets. They’ll check your tickets at the door, before you even come in, because the experience starts as soon as you are in the lobby. You can see pricing and get your tickets here.
When you buy your tickets you’ll choose the day and time that you want to visit the factory. They do tickets at 15 minute increments so that they can stagger the number of people going through the exhibit at a time. This system worked really well, and we rarely felt cramped or overwhelmed with people.
After you get your tickets, plan to arrive EARLY. The first challenge visiting the color factory is the parking. Near the building parking spots are only for employees, so you’ll need to park in the public parking garage across the street and walk over. Plan to pay around $8 to park.
When you arrive at the beautiful rainbow-colored building it’s time to show your tickets and start your color experience!
You’ll see the first exhibit when you walk through the door, and you’ll have the chance for everyone in your party to select some mochi ice cream. This is the first of many “treats” you’ll be given throughout your visit to the color factory. Each one is included with your ticket price. So enjoy!
At each snack station they will check if anyone in your group has allergies, before sharing the special treat with you.
- Your choice of Mochi ice cream flavor (I had chocolate sundae, my daughter had strawberry, my son had mango)
- Your choice of macaron color/flavor
- A small bag of colorful popcorn
- Two jelly treats
- Black ice cream (OMG this was amazing)
Each treat is from somewhere local in Houston, and while they were all delicious, I’ll definitely be hunting down that black ice cream, because that was INCREDIBLE.
In the lobby you have the opportunity to do a coat/bag check and explore two exhibits while you wait to go in. Keep at least one phone/camera to take extra pictures with. I would recommend arriving 15-20 minutes early so that you don’t feel rushed and can see everything the lobby has to offer.
…. and enjoy your Mochi!
This color wall shows you all of the colors in the Houston Palette. If you open each door you’ll see how they chose each color for the Houston exhibit.
When your time comes up, they’ll call everyone with your ticket time and have you line up by the doors. Don’t worry about where you are in the line, in fact, staying near the end of the line might be better.
You’ll be sent into another room where you’ll get your photo token. This will allow you to take pictures all throughout the color factory with their cameras that they have set up for the perfect shots. You can take your own cameras and phones in as well, but you definitely want to take advantage of the photo areas they have set up.
In this room, is where you’ll find the macaron conveyor belt and each person in your party can enjoy one while you wait for everyone else to set up their photo token.
Then, you’re ready to enter the factory!
The first room is really more of a hallway. It has a gorgeous, sparkly set up down a turning hall. There is no photo booth in this hallway, so any photos you take will need to be done with your own camera or phone.
Linger in the hallway. Some people will walk quickly to try to get to the next (more exciting) exhibit, but this is where a little bit of strategy comes in.
Try to move to the back of the line and spend 5 or so extra minutes in this room. This will put you “behind” everyone else and ensure that you feel less rushed going through the rest of the exhibits.
I lingered in the first 2 exhibits and then we had the rest of them to ourselves! Or it was us and 1 other family. I didn’t feel like we were waiting in line to get photos because we had pushed ourselves to the very back of the line.
Our tickets were for first thing in the morning, so this might work a little bit differently at other times of day. But this strategy worked really well for us.
The next exhibit is with large, colorful balloons. Air is blowing up from the floor to keep the balloons afloat. There are a lot of fun, creative ways you can play with these and take photos!
There is one photo spot where you can use your token and one that takes a boomerang. Both are fun and different. Make sure you do both.
TIP – take several photos/videos at each station. There is no limit! So spend time getting the perfect shot. If someone is waiting on you, simply step away for a minute and circle back. You can’t get back into a room once you’ve left it, so make sure you do all the playing and snap all the photos you want before you enter the next room.
The confetti room
This room was EPIC! There is space for two photos. One against a wall where you can throw confetti and one where you lay on the ground and it takes your picture from above.
All of the photo booth pictures count down before they snap the photo. For the confetti we figured out that throwing the confetti on “2” gave us the best picture.
The confetti room is also where you get that colorful popcorn (pictured above)
I may mix up the order of the next few rooms, but they’re all in the Color Factory Houston.
You are Magic
In this room you complete a circuit which lights up the “you are magic” sign. This was SO NEAT. And definitely a fun one to experience together.
They give you a boomerang of this exhibit, so simply stare straight ahead and enjoy the magic. You won’t need to move or smile. The photo above is a screenshot of our boomerang, which is why it’s a bit blurry.
The Marker Room
This room is filled with fun cartoon scenes that you can use 4ft markers to color in. It was definitely a fun one, and your kids will probably want to spend some time here writing their names and drawing on the walls.
There is no photo booth here, but there is an employee in the room who will take group photos for you if you ask. In fact, there is staff in every room, and they’re all more than willing to take photos for you, throw extra confetti or do anything to help you get the perfect shot. They were all extremely nice.
Light Bright Room
This room was small and dark, but held a HUGE light bright. You can make designs, play with the colors or write something out. It was a neat experience! There is no photo booth in this room.
The compliment room
You and some one else in your party (or a stranger!) will go in opposite sides of the room. You’ll sit across from each other and listen to instructions on headphones. You end up drawing for the other person, giving them compliments and doing all sorts of neat things.
My daughter got a little bit stressed out in this exhibit because she wanted her drawings to be perfect and the recording moved along a little bit too quickly for her liking. But this seemed like a really fun experience and it was neat to watch them do it. I didn’t participate because I was keeping an eye on my 7 year old, but it looked fun! There is no photo booth in this room.
You’ll get the jelly snacks after this room, and the snack you get is based on which booth you were at. It was a fun little twist!
The pipe room
This room is filled with colorful pipes! You can open any of them and smell a “familiar scent”. These range from freshly mowed grass, to movie popcorn and even bubble gum! There is no photo booth set up in this room, but there are lots of cute photo opportunities.
If you want to take a picture of your kids with the pipes make sure you stand near the windows and take a photo of the kids with their backs to the rest of the room to get the best lighting.
Ball pit room
The last room you’ll visit is the ball pit! It’s HUGE. 3ft deep and loads of fun. There are cubbies so you can take off your shoes and put down anything else you have and just go have fun with the kids!
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Every time Alex goes out of town I think “what is something fun/interesting we could do that Alex would not enjoy doing with us?” This time around the 3ft deep ball pit won out. We had the BEST TIME. And Alex was pretty thankful to miss out on all the photos we took along the way 😂
There are 3 camera spots in the ball pit. Two are different overhead angles and one is a straight shot, where you and your family can stand up and show how deep the pit is.
For the overhead shots, it’s best to fall back into the balls instead of trying to crouch down. It looks more fun that way! Again, take advantages of these photo spots and keep trying (as long as the kids are having fun) to get the shot you want.
No one will rush you along and this is the last exhibit so have fun here! We played tag, swam around and just generally had a blast. I was definitely sore the next day!
After the ball pit, you get the epic black ice cream, turn in your photo token (all the photos will be automatically emailed to you) and get a free gift.
Each member of your party will get to choose a magnet, a Texas pin, a pen or a temporary tattoo.
As you leave there are a couple more colorful things to enjoy like the rainbow hallway and the stairs. There is also a gift shop as you leave.
Be sure to grab a Houston map (free) from the wall. This map has marked little exhibits they’ve set up throughout the city that you can go enjoy for free on another day. It’s like a scavenger hunt of color!
That’s the end of the color factory. It was definitely a fun adventure, and I can’t wait to see what might come in next!