Golden Tickets for Candytopia!

Your childhood fantasy of an edible candy paradise is now a reality, and it is right around the corner in Santa Monica! Candytopia, originally delayed 6 months due to permit issues that would have originally placed it at a Downtown location, has found it’s home on the 1st and 2nd Floor of the 3rd Street Promenade Mall. Brought to you by Jackie Sorkin, a.k.a the Candy Queen, this modern day Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory is as colorful and delicious as the Instagram posts you have been seeing! Although it is a perfect destination to bring your children, you inner child will be jumping for joy as you journey through themed room after room of classic art made entirely out of Jelly Beans, Runts, Gummys & Candy Belts. Following the growing trend of “Instagrammable Installations” going on in major cities throughout the US, this is guaranteed to scratch your Snaptastic Itch. Every room and angle is a perfect photo opportunity- make sure you bring either a selfie stick or a photographer boyfriend to document your every move!

Each room has giant buckets and treasure chests of various candies you can sample. My first thought was, ‘This seems like probably the best way to get the flu’, but don’t worry each candy is individually wrapped [however I do recommend bringing some hand sanitizer with you as the installation is very interactive and kids are naturally drooling over the treats].

Tickets go for $30 a pop and though it seems expensive for an experience that generally takes about an hour to walk through, you will leave with your pockets FULL of America’s favorite candies. The installation will be around for 4 months [through June] so get your time slot specific tickets now.

Jackie Sorkin aka The Candy Queen
The Candy Scream!

The K does Hello Kitty

Need something fun to do today?  Head down to Little Tokyo and check out the Hello Kitty Exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum. The Exhibit will be open until April 2015, so no immediate rush, but as the weather gets colder and us Cali kids need something indoors to do, I highly recommend checking Miss Kitty out!

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Everyone loves Hello Kitty! It is hard to be sad when you are surrounded by sparkly, shiny, rhinestone covered, bright pink purses, wall art, and kitchen ware. Hello Kitty really is a LIFESTYLE! Everything is just so fun in at the exhibit, it is no wonder that Hello Kitty has been a hit since 1976. What started out as one little coin purse with the signature mascot and the word “Hello” printed, became  multi billion dollar industry that has shaped much of not only today’s fashion, but also trends in the last 30 years. It is amazing to see that not much has changed with the brand. The stuff that was made in 1976 still looks like the stuff that I was buying from Sanrio at Westfield Fashion Square back in the 90’s. Hello Kitty has always been culturally relevant, and they definitely make it apparent by showing you all of the different celebrities that has sported the signature look.

HIGHLIGHT: Lady Gaga’s Hello Kitty stuffed animal dress is on display as well as some of Katy Perry’s crazy kitty couture moments.

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Did you ever realize Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth? Seems interesting since Sanrio’s business motto is “Social Communication”… Thoughts?

The whole exhibit screams fun, but what makes it worth the day trip is walking across the street to the plaza with all the delicious food and  interesting shops. Get a bowl of Udon, and people watch. Or do you want a sweet colorful snack after seeing all the almost edible looking Hello Kitty paraphernalia? Head across the street to Lette Macarons– I recommend the freshly made salted caramel- SO DELICIOUS!

I will say the one thing that bothered me is that I was all amped up after seeing all this fun, pink, sparkly stuff, I wanted to go on a mini shopping spree. I imagined they would have a vast assortment of fun souvenirs to buy, but the museums shop had a few books and a couple key chains… You will have better luck heading across the street to the Plaza where there is a whole Sanrio store.

Hello Kitty!

After you exit the exhibit, you have to walk through the rest of the JANM museum, which lends me to think the Hello Kitty exhibit is part publicity stint to get more traffic and visitors- but hey it worked! Call a couple friends, grab some Udon, go see the Kitty, and top it off with some shopping. I promise you won’t be disappointed, you might even forget you are just in downtown LA!!!

Lincoln Kitty

Hello!

Sparkles

Kitty!