San Francisco's Pop-Up Color Factory Experience

The word “factory” might bring up thoughts of gray scale assembly lines, but the only things being assembled in San Francisco’s Color Factory are smiles and perfect Instagram shots. The creation of Oh Happy Day’s Jordan Ferney and artists Leah Rosenberg and Erin Jang, the Color Factory deploys a wonderful mix of fun and colors while jumping into the hip way to do art these days: interactively.

It looks like the world is tired of going viral for accidentally knocking priceless things over for selfies. Thankfully, people are actually doing something about it – not punishing, but reframing the concept for those who desire it.

Carly and I trying not to eat any of the gross floor confetti.

Carly and I trying not to eat any of the gross floor confetti.

This is good news for us, as interactive pop-up art experiences continue to sweep major cities across the world. From sea to shining sea, the idea of “here today, gone tomorrow” interactive art is both exciting and genius from a marketing standpoint. If you can land the PR, you’re pretty much set for a successful run.

I was lucky enough to secure some tickets with friends to the Color Factory before it sold out for its run. Although it was marketed as “enjoyment for all-ages,” the millennials understood the exciting ‘gram opportunities and jumped at the $32 tickets. Those ticket prices seemed to be a hot-button issue of ‘worth it, or nah’ – my take follows the fact that experiencing something as a “pop-up” will always demand a premium price point, so for you and a group to go, it seems like a fine amount to me. We had a lot of fun, took a lot of pictures, and "oooh’d" and "ahhh’d" at every turn.

Taking the entire family, however, seemed both very expensive and not the intended experience of enjoyment. In the eyes of my four-year-old niece, the colorful stimulation overload partnered with the fact she couldn't run rampant and let out high-pitched screams in excitement just wouldn’t make for a great trip for her or my sister. The place is also definitely not baby-proofed.

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Whoops – sorry for not taking my shoes off!

Whoops – sorry for not taking my shoes off!

I will commend them on the snacks – cookies and frosting to start and tiny jasmine milk coffee ice creams to end the trip made me very happy. The ice cream was served in what I like to refer to as the yellow room of inferno, aka the ball pit. So fun, but so hot. We also had no idea we were supposed to take our shoes off until after (sorry Color Factory people).

Backing up to the beginning, upon entering the museum, you have a chance to experience each color of the rainbow (except for red for some reason) as you journey through. You begin in the orange room – where my friend Rachel proceeded to accidentally knock the basketballs off of their tiny, cardboard holders eighty times – and move into the blue room, full of balloons and unknown photo crashing. As you journey through, you can see the complementary vibes of each color from room to room.

Stoic Carly in the disco ball room.

Stoic Carly in the disco ball room.

The disco ball room was one of my favorites, but it would’ve been better with the addition of some bumping disco jams. Saying a tough goodbye to the glitter floors, we moved from there into the green room, full of opportunities to relive pre-K (for giants), complete with dried-out markers and coloring on the walls.

After a short battle with the markers, we entered the cube of 10,000 suspended ribbons. Yes, that’s right – ten. thousand. ribbons. This was almost magical, as each group could basically pick a section of the ribbons and, because of the sheer density, not be bothered by others during the photo shoots that followed.

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"Ouch, that actually hurt!" - Rachel

"Ouch, that actually hurt!" - Rachel

Walking from here, up the pink stairs, through the colored windows, down the transformed rainbow hallway, we found ourselves outside of the teal confetti room and purple selfie room. Sadly, the selfie room appeared to be broken, so we spent most of our time in the confetti room. Showers are not just recommended, but required, after that confetti room. It was worth it, but I had so much confetti in my hair, I’m still washing it out!

Rachel and I posing in front of the colored windows.

Rachel and I posing in front of the colored windows.

And this brings us all the way back to the yellow room of inferno. The Color Factory was amazing and fun and exactly what was promised. My friends and I loved it and are set for #tbts for the rest of our lives.

So how do you go?

Well, as I mentioned above, it sold out quickly, but you never know if they’ll be opening more dates for October, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, it looks like there’s always the Museum of Ice Cream… 😍🍦😍

P.S. Bring a good camera.