Looking for a colorful adventure with the kids that’s fun for you too? I have just the place, the Color Factory Co in San Francisco. So, drag out the brightest and most colorful clothes you and your children own, grab a selfie stick and sharpen those elbows for an hour of Willy Wonka-type of fun.

a rainbow striped painted building where the Color Factory is located

Wondering how to get tickets? I was one of the lucky ones who snagged three when the Color Factory extended their dates. Admittedly, it was a fretful two hours sitting in front of my computer trying to purchase them online. I was kicked off their server and the virtual queue froze multiple times. Finally when I made it inside to purchase the tickets I’d click on the date and time I wanted and by the time I went to checkout the tickets would disappear from my cart! With sweat rolling down my face, my determination kicked in – it was just me and a billion other people vying for tickets online. Only the fast thinking and even fastest finger-typers would prevail. DING DING DING! I won! I won! I won! OMG, I one the lottery – a million dollars. Um, I mean, yay, I got tickets to go to the Color Factory. lol.

If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to win the lottery – I mean to get tickets online – sign-up for their newsletter. They extended their dates once already but given the demand, they may extend again. And also, follow them on Instagram (@colorfactoryco). You’ll find information on upcoming tickets there first.

Here’s a few tips to help you prepare for your visit

1. Dress the part: If your child doesn’t own any color-appropriate clothing, check out Primary.com. I think the name says it all, but they sell clothing made of cotton in a wide range of colors. The best part is there are no logos, graphics or patterns. Just one or two styles to choose from in a range of colors.

2. Bring a selfie-stick: If you’re a parent like me, walking around with a selfie-stick is about appealing as wearing a fanny pack. But just do it. I wish I would’ve had one. Also, since I’m a photographer I thought having my professional camera would be key to awesome photos. But nope, I think having my professional camera was actually harder and more cumbersome. The lighting is poor and the color casts – wow the color casts. The experience is really best captured on your phone (all but one of the photos (the orange room) on this blog were captured with my professional camera though).

3. Cut the line: You get admitted into the installation at the time slot you’ve purchased for. However, what I learned is that they admit entrance by staggering people so there aren’t hopefully a ton of people in each room during your visit. So, the trick is to arrive a little early so it cuts down on your wait time. Capiche?

4. Sharpen your elbows: Why, you ask? Because people go here for one reason, to take photos in the installation. Be it of themselves (ahem, all the Peter Pan adults) or of their kids. Getting “the shot” was like the Hunger Games. Especially in the really popular rooms, like the confetti room or the balloon room (but I think it was because the balloon room was so small). Anyways, I warned you!

So, which room is your favorite? Let me know in the comments! <3

Pssst: I also snagged tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream – who’s going?

3 year old boy walking down the rainbow stairs at the color factory in san francisco

We walked the rainbow down into the exhibit. If you have a drone, or maybe an extended selfie stick you could capture the “arch.” Note to self if I ever go again.

scratch and sniff wall at the color factory in san franciscoscratch and sniff wall at the color factory in san francisco

This was such a fun novelty room. The walls were scratch-n-sniff. Yup, just like stickers. All the dots on the wall smelled like different things. I think my favorite was the “A stick of gum, in case of a kiss” smell.

3 year old boy leaning again rail looking over in colorful room at the color factory in san francisco

This rainbow rail is a conveyer belt that is spinning around a small treat. On the menu when we attended was a marshmallow square dipped in pink sprinkles. My son took what felt like forever to eat that thing haha.

black and white striped wall with 3 year old boy standing in front wearing yellow and orange eating a treatorange room with a 3 year old boy wearing yellow and orange

Orange and orange and more orange. My son all but blended into the decor of this room. He looked so cute in here with his matchy-matchy outfit.

blue balloon room

The blue balloon room felt like walking into a alien’s home. Or maybe some type of futurist place. Smelled of latex – but it’s all balloons. And yup, he’s still eating that dang marshmallow!

huge bright light with 3 year old playing with ithuge bright light with 3 year old playing with it

Remember Lite Bright? I had one the size of a tablet as a child. This one trumps it. It took up the entire wall! So much fun creating here.

3 year old boy coloring on wall with a green marker at the color factory3 year old boy coloring on wall with a green marker at the color factory3 year old boy coloring on wall with a green marker at the color factory

We are against coloring on the wall in our house. So when he picked up the marker I grinded my teeth a bit wondering if this would give him any ideas for later.

3 year old boy running out of a curtain of ribbons3 year old boy running out of a curtain of ribbons

“Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me I’m the ginger bread man!” He must’ve ran through these ribbons a 100 times. When you walk to about the middle of the ribbons it’s pitch black and you can’t see who’s next to you until you touch them or they’re right in front of your face. It got awkward a few times when I was looking for my son in here.

3 year old boy standing in a purple room with scraps of paper on the floor3 year old boy standing in a purple room with scraps of paper on the floor

Strangely, this was one of his favorite rooms. All those scraps of paper on the floor are headshots. The room is titled “selfie” so that’s the inspiration. It was empty the entire time with just a small printer printing these headshots and then the paper would drop to the floor. He thought it was fantastic!

3 year old boy throwing confetti in the airman throwing confetti into 3 year old boy's face

The confetti room! Need I say more. I’ve been finding small pieces of confetti all over house for the past two days.

3 year old boy jumping into a yellow ball pit3 year old boy's head popping up from the yellow pit balls3 year old boy buried in a yellow ball pit3 year old boy buried in a yellow ball pit

There are just a few general rules, one being NO jumping. So the first thing he does is jump into the yellow ball pit. SMH.

sutter parking garage in san francisco painted in purple with 3 year old boy pushing the button

We parked in the Sutter Street garage. I thought it only fitting that the levels were painted.


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