If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably seen posts on social media of Color Factory NYC. Dubbed the ‘most instagram-able place on Earth’ this interactive museum/art gallery may be an influencer’s dream-come-true…. Or is it? For Memorial Day weekend, 2019 I was excited to visit and snag some pictures of my own for the ‘Gram. I was prepared to take my time in order to get all the best shots.
Color Factory NYC Tickets…
Tickets for Color Factory NYC are $38/person and sold at 30 minute entry increments (but the tours are not timed). Tickets must be purchased in advance and are not available at the door. They only go on sale about 4 weeks in advance so you can’t buy them way ahead of time. But don’t worry, while some slots may sell out, it’s rare a full day will be.
Originally, we had planned to visit first thing Sunday morning after breakfast and a stroll through Central Park but an untimely allergic reaction threw a huge wrench in our plans and we had to delay until the next morning… Meaning we would be going on Memorial Day. This had me a little paranoid…
Should you purchase tickets through Color Factory NYC website or a third party?
For my visit, I purchased the NY City Explorer Pass. I built my own with tickets for The Color Factory and Top of the Rock. How the pass works is the more tickets you buy, the more you save. Since I only purchased two, I saved 10% overall. Nothing to write home about, but I’ll take it.
The pass’s and attraction’s sites DO NOT do a good job of explaining how it works since the tours I was taking have timed slots and they DO sell out. I contacted customer service of both Explorer Pass and Color Factory NYC to get clarification. Both assured us there would be guaranteed entry and there was no need to worry. Just show my pass and in you go. The Color Factory said there may be a “short wait” depending on occupancy but I shouldn’t anticipate any problems.
Turns out, my paranoia was correct. At 10 AM, we get to The Color Factory. After waiting in line for just shy of 10 minutes we were told they were sold out for the day! I couldn’t believe it. We were leaving the city that day at 2:00 PM and they were telling us they could maybe let us in but only after 4:30 pm! Thankfully, the gentleman grabbed the manager who was quite snobby but ended up letting us in. I’ll take snobby as long as I’m not flushing my $35 down the toilet!
So, my answer… Unless you’re purchasing 4 or more attractions for your pass or another NYC pass (there are several others) that get you a significant discount, just save the hassle, and purchase directly through Color Factory NYC’s website.
Now on with the tour…
After the entry, you wait on some steps for your tour to begin and you can partake in complimentary Mochi. YUM!
The first stop after entry is a short video explaining the museum and providing some helpful tips. Make sure you don’t blow through the museum/gallery too quickly. Take your time to read the plaques like you would at any other to learn about the artist and the piece you’re interacting with!
From there, you enter a room to get your photo pass. Many of the rooms have self timed cameras. You’ll scan a card provided to you at the beginning that you’ll register to your email address. Simply swipe your card, the camera will count down and SNAP! All your photos will be emailed to you after the tour.
Sounds great right? Yeah, it would be if they worked. Unfortunately less than half of the cameras in the whole museum worked! So make sure if you do go, it isn’t alone and you have someone there with a decent photography eye.
A big plus that brightened the experience? Complimentary sweets and treats are sprinkled throughout the tour! Macarons, candies, ice cream and even little souvenirs! Much appreciated, considering the $38 ticket price!
The biggest downside to the entire museum? People’s children. Sorry, not sorry! Our tour was full of families with small, screaming children. I have no problems with children there. Of course you’d want to bring them–It’s such a fun place! But many parents were rude and oblivious, letting their children run into people’s photos (even after everyone else patiently waited while they took theirs) and even hitting some of the other guests. This definitely put a damper on the whole experience.
The honest truth is, the majority of your time there, will be spent waiting…. And waiting…. And then waiting…. And probably some more waiting. Being the planner I am, I knew this would be the case and we were prepared. But what you can’t prepare for is other people’s stupidity and rudeness. We found it near impossible to get any good photos with people just blatantly walking in front of the shot or steamrolling ahead of us to get theirs.
I’m sure if you went during a week day morning, it would be slower and you’d probably have more luck and I’d like to try again some day but the experience left a bad taste in my mouth overall.
Is it worth it? The verdict.
Sure, I guess so. But 100% go on a week day and early in the morning. If you’re only in the city for a weekend or holiday like I was, honestly, don’t even bother. You’ll only leave feeling frustrated and jaded, especially if most of their cameras are broken like when we went.
New York is a city full of color and art and creativity. You can snag plenty of great shots in SoHo and LES walking around for free.