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(Above) Paint the Town Green, a ball pit at the Loop’s new Color Factory. Photo by Matt Haas. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

Move over, crayons, there’s a new place in town sure to delight your creativity and imagination.

1-Sep-22 – Each Color Factory location – there are now three in the United States – embraces its city with a unique color palette and multi-sensory interactive art experience. The palette of Chicago’s Color Factory, which opened its doors in June in 25,000 square feet of colorful space in Willis Tower, celebrates the city’s iconic elements and neighborhoods.

Photo by Joe Underbakke

Color Factory collaborates with artists, art institutions, nonprofits, and brand partners to bring more art and color to the world. Working in partnership with photographer and South Side native Akilah Townsend, the Chicago location relies heavily on mint green from its iconic Rainbow Cone ice cream (and the Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day), the blue waters of Lake Michigan, and the blue and white from the Chicago flag. The 36 colors in the Chicago Color Palette are infused throughout the museum.

(Left) WNBA players Azura Stevens (left in photo) and Dana Evans at Color Factory’s opening party on June 16, 2022. Photo by Joe Underbakke.

You experience the joy of color through multi-sensory installations, immersive rooms, and carefully curated moments. When you enter, you walk through a colorful path that gets your brain wired for a color explosion. More than a dozen immersive spaces tap into all five senses – taste, touch, sight, scent, and sound. There are sweet treats along the way, like delicious (and colorful) macaroons coming out of a conveyer belt, and a green Kurimu honeydew ice cream cone.

(Right) Shades of Chi-Town by Edra Soto and Akilah Townsend. Photo by Matt Haas.

Photo by Matt Haas

My two grandsons loved the mirrors that created multiple images of themselves “flossing” and “dancing.” They helped us navigate other mirrored rooms, otherwise we’d still be lost. Myles was in charge of keeping track of our QR code card and scanning the card in each of the rooms. We got lots of fun selfies of our antics.

Photo by Mira Temkin

Touching the lightweight colorful balloons and watching them move through space was fascinating. Climbing up the colorful Art Deco mirrored maze was great fun. There was even a chance to quietly sit and draw the person sitting across from you.

But for the kids, the best part was the mint green ball pit they could slide down into and jump around.

(Left) What color does this pop rock taste like? Photo by Mira Temkin.

The Color Factory is great for kids, teens, and adults. There are enough activities with more sophisticated options to keep everyone happy. Plan to spend around 90 minutes to enjoy the Color Factory fully.

 More info: Color Factory