Candytopia: A Modern Day Willy Wonka Experience

School's out for summer! It's an exciting time of graduations and the culmination of all the hard work for the academic year. But the end of school can be both a blessing and a curse. Yes, there is a respite from homework battles and early morning drop-offs but now there are more free hours to fill and what to do with them? I can already hear my son whining from the other room, "I'm boooooooored!" Ugh, sigh. 
A recurring challenge is keeping my son entertained and engaged without screen time. It is a daily battle in our house, as I'm sure it is in most homes. I find it works best to get out of the house and be active as often as possible. 
boys signing life-size giant book at candytopia
Recently we went to Candytopia in Santa Monica. It's in the vein of a Museum of Ice Cream experience but in my opinion far superior. Yes, it was constructed with the instagram age in mind but for while Museum of Ice Cream seemed so random to me, Candytopia has a specific theme helping to tie it all together.  The entire place was for the most part, entirely made out of candy. Getting me as close as I suspect I'll ever be to fulfilling a childhood fantasy of visiting Willie Wonka's factory and the chocolate river with all the giant gummy bears. I mean, who as a kid wasn't dying to go there?! My son is a bit like Buddy the elf, all food groups for him lead back to candy. I figured it would be a perfect mother- son trip and I wasn't disappointed!
There's a very Harry Potter feel to the entrance of Candytopia, with the kids signing a gigantic book in an old library- with a British accented guide telling a story of Candytopia. 
candy painting of gene wilder candytopia
Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka made from 7,900 thousand pieces of candy!
The next room is the art gallery with works made entirely out of candy. We're talking thousands of pieces of candy. Think this could be a fun kid art project! 
Prince painting made out of candy Candytopia
Prince candy painting made from 1,500 pieces of candy!
Mona Lisa candy painting candytopiaMona Lisa made from 6,200 pieces of candy!
Andy Warhol Campbell soup can candy painting candytopiaAndy Warhol Campbell Soup Can 
Rodin The Thinker Le Penseur candy sculpture candytopia
Le Penseur (The Thinker) by Rodin
It's not only paintings in the art gallery, they also made sculptures!
sphinx made of candy at candytopia
Sphinx made of Candy
Giant shark in the under the sea room
boy on surfboard with shark in candy at candytopiaJaws!
Each room has tons of candy that they give away. I guess it's included in the ticket price. There was something for everyone Lindt truffle balls, Trolli gummy candies, starburst, tootsie rolls and Lolli pops. Dries was thrilled and grabbing all the candy he could get and stuffed it into my purse. After he had had a few pieces put it in his candy bin at home out of his reach.
100 sign at candytopia
op art background boy standing 
confetti room at candytopiaConfetti Room
woman in marshmallow pit at candytopia
Marshmallow pit and oh yes, I went in!
(They were actually made of foam)
marshmallow pit at candytopia
Of course, the marshmallow pit opens up to a giant candy gift shop that signifies the end of Candytopia. Hey, it is a business after all. I couldn't imagine buying any more candy after the loads we had just received gratis but of course, my son thought otherwise. We settled on a ring pop. 
Views expressed are mine and I purchased my tickets.
Santa Monica Place (East Court) 395 Broadway, Unit 142
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tickets are $30 for adults, $23 for children. Buy tickets here
Closes July 4, 2018


  • Evelyn, PathofPresence

    Janna, you find the best places! What a delightful playhouse and (museum, of course) for kids of all ages. It is fabulous that art can be created with ANY medium and creativity results in such wonder. I am waiting for the day they catch someone licking the walls and eating the art! 😂.

  • Devendra

    Wow what a wonderful place with all the history and artwork made of candy. I liked the marshmallow pit.

  • tachira wiltshire

    This place sounds like heaven. I love how they incorporated art, history and candy . Perfect for the entire family.

  • Susan

    This place sounds absolutely AMAZING! I love all the artwork made of candy – how people come up with these ideas I have no idea, but thank goodness we have creative people like that in our world. Sounds like the perfect place for a family outing.

  • Chana

    Wow, I’m a fan! I love Willy Wonka and to have an experience such as this is incredible! It looks very carefree and fun.

Leave a comment