Candytopia at Santa Monica Place
This past week, Kiddo + I scored the ultimate Golden Ticket for Candytopia in Santa Monica and it was just as wonderful as it sounds. Carefully curated, IG-friendly, pop-ups have been sprouting up and selling-out all over the Los Angeles area, so I was grateful when Candytopia reached out to see if Kiddo wanted to check out their latest creation sometime this spring.
Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect since we pinky promised each other we wouldn’t sneak a peek at the rooms on Instagram. So the candy-themed gallery could either be a sugar rush or a sugar crash, but one thing is for sure, we were excited to find out.
“What if an eccentric chocolatier and a daredevil pop star had a whirlwind romance, got married while skydiving, and had a glamorous, glittering love child who grew up to rule a small nation? Welcome to Candytopia, where colossal candyfloss constructions meld with a tantalizing taffy twistedness!”
Oh, my goodness…SOLD!
We headed up to Santa Monica from Orange County afterschool on Wednesday. The traffic flowed, and from what I understood the entrance of the 16,000 square-foot interactive attraction was near Bloomingdale’s at Santa Monica Place, so I knew immediately which structure to park in making matters even easier. So far everything was a breeze, but what exactly would happen next was anyone’s guess.
There was something about taking the glass elevator from the first floor, to the second-floor entrance of Candytopia that was oh, so, Willie Wonka-ish. And the uniformed greeters immediately struck me as a hybrid of Fresh Beat Banders and with quirky-Oompa Loompa personalities. (And to be clear, I mean that as a compliment.) Which intrigued me even more.
The lobby is a great starting point for photos. It’s a small staging area for guests to get acclimated before they are welcomed into the Steampunk parlor where the tour kicks off. No spoilers, but once you are inside, you find out a bit more about what to expect from more than a dozen unique environments with larger-than-life installations ranging from flying unicorn pigs to a marshmallow tsunami.
And yes, in addition to amazing Instagram ops, you will get have the opportunity to sample all types of candy throughout your visit. You’ll even have a chance to bring some home before you exit Candytopia’s 2,000 square-foot retail shop offering exclusive Candytopia merchandise and more.
What happened over the next 90 minutes was nothing short of a blast.
Everywhere you look there are small (and some really obvious,) tributes paying respect to the one-and-only, His Purple Royal Highness, Prince. I would say the most obvious would be his portrait in the museum gallery, and the more subtle 80s staircase, and what I consider to be the “Raspberry Beret” Cloud Room.
Each and every room has something wonderful to experience, but the museum gallery that makes you feel as though your favorite candy store has exploded inside the MoMA was our favorite. It was a nice place to pay homage to the King of Candy himself, Mr. Willie Wonka. I think he would be proud.
Make sure to closely inspect the fine details and craftsmanship of each piece to truly understand what it took to create each piece.
A comprehensive spec card is located next to each piece of artwork will give you a brief background on each project detailing things such as candy count, calorie count, and sugar count.
Southern California is known for our shakers, so it was funny to watch Kiddo and her friends brave the surf during a tropical windstorm, and try and do the backstroke inside the marshmallow tsunami.
Time flies by when you are having fun, and these minutes flew by. I have to say, I was sad to leave. I really enjoyed our time and loved what they did with the place. But just like everything else, our candy dreams had to come to an end. Talk about coming down from the ultimate sugar high.
Things You Should Know Before You GO!
Buy tickets now! Candytopia’s limited, four-month engagement runs through July 4th and is drawing thousands of visitors every week with most weekends already sold-out. The imaginative experience is designed to appeal to audiences of all ages and should take just under 90-minutes to adequately see the entire project.
Have You Visited Candytopia?
We would love to know more about your experience. By sharing your tips, recommendations and memories in our comment section below, you help fellow members of The JetSet Family community decide the best fit for them and their families. Let us know what you liked most, or if you have any questions about Candytopia or other Los Angeles pop-ups.
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