Not to remind you, but winter is well on its way.
I notice when the cold weather approaches that my state of mind becomes a little more fragile. The lack of natural Vitamin D and rapid increase of precipitation makes me want to curl up in my pillow cave and hibernate. There’s nothing in this world that can beat a beauty sleep. However, I managed to get myself out of bed this weekend to see what the fuss was about at The Happy Place. Surely I could muster up the energy to visit an exhibit designed to release some endorphins. The intention was good, but I was sour knowing I had to change out of my pyjamas.
From what I perused online, The Happy Place started in LA and is now on a worldwide tour, with Toronto being the third stop. I bought tickets for my partner and I not really knowing what to expect other than what Instagram portrayed: a bunch of rubber ducks on a wall, confetti and wonderful treats that I most likely couldn’t partake in (no plant-based options!). Not quite what I would include in my personal happy place, but I’m assuming that a big room of puppies would break a few health & safety violations.
Putting skepticism aside, I decided to put on my rose-coloured glasses and see what the space had to offer. Hopefully this post is helpful to you if you’re on the fence about going. To make it easy, I’ve made a list of pros & cons for your consideration.
- Instagram photo-op haven
- Multi-sensory overload
- Relive the joy of a jumping into a ball pit
The place reminded me of a Willy Wonka fever dream. From floor to ceiling, the exhibit was oozing with vibrant colours and textures that were impossible to ignore. Each room had a different theme and a dedicated spot to capture a post-worthy photo. Friendly staff are at your disposal if you need a group shot too!
One after the other, the installations transport you to a new world. One minute you’re surrounded by a curtain of sunny carnations and the next you’re falling up from the floor in a bedroom that is way too clean for anyone to be actually living in. The biggest surprise though is at the end of the rainbow, where you reach a towering confetti dome and a ball pit pot of gold. Unless you develop a time machine or risk getting kicked out of an indoor playground, you’re never going to get the chance of leaping into a ball pit again in your life, so I suggest you give it your best cheesy star-jump.
- Extremely crowded
- Strict time limits for taking photos
- Lines, lines, lines
Immediately upon arriving there was a hefty lineup outside, and unbeknownst to me, this was foreshadowing the entire experience. The wait to get in was under 45 minutes, but it made purchasing tickets for a specific time slot seem a little redundant. Once inside, you’re essentially cattle crawling through the various rooms until you reach the exit. To keep the lines moving, the hanging flower room, confetti dome and the ball pit have a time limit of about 30 seconds. This doesn’t leave any time to leisurely stroll at your own pace, so if you’re wanting the perfect ‘gram, you’d better think about it ahead of time. I would recommend having extremely flexible plans if you’re going to check the place out for yourself, as it took us about two hours to get through the whole thing. It’s unwise to visit on a weekend as well, so go on a weekday before everyone is off work or school.
At the end of it all, I think it’s a neat way to spend an afternoon if you’re not on a budget. As long as you know what you’re getting into, the novelty of it will be worth the time waiting in line. Bring a friend or significant other to make the time pass faster and dare to let the journey make you smile.
Tell me, what makes you happy?