If you didn't read (or watch) Charlie And The Chocolate Factory as a kid and dream of one day living in a real-life world of pure imagination, I question your entire childhood. All this time, it's seemed like pure fantasy — until Candytopia opened its doors in Santa Monica, CA, last year. The experiential pop-up is straight-up Instagram porn for influencers and sugar fiends alike, featuring room after room of candy-studded art and sweets-inspired backdrops to take in (and, okay, 'gram until your friends want to unfollow you).
Candytopia just announced it's opening a New York City outpost later this summer, featuring many of the greatest hits from its California play land, as well as some NYC-specific exhibits, a rep for the brand said. You can sign up for ticket info now, and in the meantime, get a glimpse of what's ahead by living vicariously through these photos of the Cali location.
Ball pits have nothing on this massive swimming pool, which is loaded with more than half a million giant marshmallows.
Just take it in from another angle, to truly get a sense of its size. Now picture doing a cannonball into all that fluff.
Look closely at the busts — you'll see they're covered in candy.
To keep the crowds from getting too crazy, Candytopia sells tickets based on the day and time, encouraging people to show up 15 minutes before their appointment. That way, no room gets too congested, so you can really take in every facet of the place, like ...
a this candy mosaic take on Andy Warhol's Marilyn print ...
or a jelly bean recreation of the Mona Lisa.
There's also a candy mosaic homage to Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night."
Arguably, though, the truest work of art is the shop's ode to what happens when unicorns and pigs fall in love, featuring candy-coated pigs, unicorns, and — naturally — unicorn pigs. Rest assured, those little babies (and the confetti that bursts out of them, because yes, that actually happens at Candytopia), will make a cameo in NYC, too.
Every colorful, in-your-face backdrop is meant for you to take photos of, but that doesn't mean you'll go through the place empty-handed. The Santa Monica location's known for its candy lounge, where you can try all kinds of sweets, and gives out cotton candy shortly after you walk in.
Just in time for the 30th anniversary of Shark Week, you can cozy up to something a little friendlier than your typical Great White. Resist the urge to go all Jaws on it; eating the art is probably frowned upon here. And by "probably," I mean definitely.
Any made-for-Instagram-quasi-amusement-park worth its second location MUST have its own gift shop, and Candytopia's no different. There are walls upon walls of treats to tempt you, if you haven't had enough candy yet.
And, while you're basking in that sugar high, you can also scoop up all kinds of other swag, like candy-colored water bottles and stuffed unicorns.
Sadly, there are no signs of a river of chocolate you can slip into, Augustus Gloop-style, but given what happened to little Auggie, maybe that's for the best.