As many of you may know, we are very close with our niece and nephew. We try to spend as much quality time with them whenever our schedules allow it. They basically serve as our “practice” kids. We take them on outings, and do things with them so that we have a list of activities and places that we know are “kid” friendly. For example, Kristen and Geoff (Kristen’s brother and the father of the kids) took them to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia, and by all accounts, it was a huge success.
So, yesterday we tagged along with Geoff as he took the kids to the Crayola Factory in Easton, PA. The “Factory” itself was not an actual factory but more a discovery center for kids. Long story short, there was a lot of displays and activities for the kids, but you can only do so much drawing before it got boring and repetitive. The live show that demonstrated how the crayons are actually produced seemed very uninspiring. The crayola maker was just going through the motion and the video display could have been better. Maybe I’m a little jaded because I work in video production, but I will use Chocolate World as a good benchmark for these type of discovery amusement centers. Chocolate World does a real nice job of combining all your senses in a ride that makes the usually mundane process of chocolate making into something very exciting, educational, and fun. Unfortunately, I didn’t get that at the Crayola Factory. This was all reconfirmed by my niece getting mad at the end because she thought there was nothing to do.
The highlight of the trip, which we did not expect, was the Canal Museum on top of the Crayola Factory. Our nephew is big into trains, and this minimal but hands-on museum lit up his face. They had a mini-canal system that the children could traverse their boats through, and learn about how canals work. I even learned a few things from this exhibit. They also had various miniature train sets and other hands-on exhibits that I found interesting.
So will we bring our kids here in the future. Probably, but hopefully it’s just a side trip on the way to or back from NYC. I wouldn’t dedicate a full day to it, especially since we are from Harrisburg.