Florida Journey: Make the Most of Your Go to to Candytopia in St John – Way of life – The Florida Instances-Union
Step through the gates of Candytopia in St John and step into the ultimate Instagrammable world, where adults and children alike are exposed to a rush of colors designed to dazzle all of the senses.
Step through the gates of Candytopia and step into the ultimate Instagrammable world where adults and children are exposed to an onslaught of colors designed to dazzle all of the senses.
Just be ready to leave some dignity in the marshmallow pit.
This temporary interactive art installation has toured the country and is now located at St John’s Aventura Mall through January 26th. It’s the perfect day trip destination for families or groups of friends who want to get out of the house over the holidays.
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It takes about an hour to traverse what is known as the “Marshmallowy Mini Theme Park”. This length of time is perfect for younger guests who may not have the same attention span as a group of 30 people making their way from room to room.
The installation is reminiscent of the very popular Museum of Ice Cream that came to St John Beach last year. They both remember a simpler, more colorful time when ice cream and candy were their goals instead of paying bills and getting promoted at work. For adults, this is a nostalgic escape. It’s a sweet adventure for kids.
Each room is themed and includes at least one photo op-spot perfect for Instagram. The second room is dubbed “Wonderland,” with comfy swings, fragrant flowers pumping candy-scented air to your face, and a green screen that puts you and your friends in the middle of a pool of melted chocolate.
In the next room, the wall and floor together form an optical illusion that, when photographed from above, appears to suck you into a lollipop-colored vortex.
Guests can also purchase a free piece of candy in each room, and it’s not discounted off-brand, tootsie-roll style chew. Here you will find Twizzlers, AirHeads and Trolli rubbers.
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You can also buy a ring Pop with the Alice + Olivia brand in the Alice + Olivia themed room, which Candytopia says is the first collaboration with a fashion designer.
Tickets should be purchased in advance and you will be asked to select a time slot. We went there at 10:30 am on a Monday and our group consisted of a mix of younger women, a family with a toddler, and a mother with two young sons.
The key to candytopia is getting things done at your own pace. Staff are there to guide you, but you never feel rushed. In fact, you are encouraged to interact with the art constructed by candy. And the more you touch, the more you realize how much work has gone into every piece of detail, from the great white shark to the portrait of the rock god Prince.
The last room on the tour has a pit with 250,000 foam marshmallows. Take off your shoes and dive in, but be ready to use muscles that may not have worked in a while. The key to not getting sucked into a sea of soft white hopelessness is to quickly find the bottom of the pit so you can stand and move around instead of swimming.
The drive from Palm Beach County to Aventura Mall takes approximately an hour and 15 minutes on Interstate 95, and allow enough time for traffic. Reserving a morning slot for candytopia will give you plenty of time to grab a coffee and bagel before heading out.
Once you arrive at the Aventura Mall, it’s time to explore its shopping, dining, and other entertainment options.
Going with a group of children? Also in the mall through January 20th is Nickelodeon’s Slime City. Children can get slim, play with slime, make slime – it’s a slime lover’s paradise. And it’s about a two-minute walk from Candytopia.
“Exclusive pop-ups like Candytopia and Slime City, which were only available in a few markets, offer our guests additional, unique experiences, especially during the season,” said Anabel Llopis, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Aventura Mall. “They continue to position the mall as a premier retail experience destination, providing families and visitors of all ages with Instagram-worthy, unique activities to enjoy together.”
Both installations are in perfect proximity to the Treats Food Hall, the version of the traditional food court in the Aventura Mall. There’s something for everyone, including two side-by-side entries from star chefs Todd English – Fig Pizza + Pasta Bar – and Guy Fieri – Chicken Guy. You’ll also find some familiar faces like Chipotle, Shake Shack, and Tap 42 Craft Kitchen and Bar, which offer a delicious burger called Drunken Goat with a patty and lamb beef mix, whipped goat cheese, arugula and tomato, onion, dijonnaise and raspberry jam made from Purple Haze Lager.
More kid-friendly options are available elsewhere in the mall, including the Cheesecake Factory and Five Guys Burgers and Fries.
The pop-ups drew thousands of people to the mall and gave the Treats Food Hall a boost in sales, Llopis said.
“Our pop-ups are strategically positioned so that visitors can enjoy different facets of the mall,” she said.
During the holidays, the mall also has visits to Santa’s workshop – just a short walk from Candytopia and Slime City – and to the Aventura Express Model Train, the largest model train in Florida, stationed on the first floor under Treats Food Hall. The 18 x 30 foot display will be open until early January.
This story was originally published on palmbeachpost.com and shared with other Florida newspapers on the new Gannett Media network.