Imagine a world where too much sugar isn’t a bad thing. It exists thanks to a new, immersive exhibit called Candytopia.
The real-life, confectionery wonderland, which opened in Atlanta Feb. 8 at Lenox Marketplace, features 12 rooms of candy-made art installations and interactive activities that create a one-of-a-kind sensory experience for all ages.
At each corner, you’ll see thousands of pieces of gummies, licorice, rock candy, sour belts and other sweets, whether you’re viewing colorful portraits of Cardi B and Willy Wonka or admiring statues of flying pigs that release confetti out of their behinds.
“It’s quirky, and that was done by design,” candy artist and co-founder Jackie Sorkin told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Life doesn’t always have to make sense. Life doesn’t have to be so serious.”
The idiosyncrasies don’t stop with the flatulent pigs. You can dive into a ginormous pit filled with more than a half a million foam marshmallows, take a spin on the rotating Trolli platform or swim in a chocolate river using green screen technology.
As you take the hour-long journey collecting free candy samples along the way, you’ll even learn about many of the creations. There are signs that reveal the number of hours and amount of candy that went into making the artwork.
“There’s so much joy and wonderment here,” Sorkin raved. “Your only job here is to eat some candy and have the time of your life.”
The limited-run event, created by Sorkin, retail veteran John Goodman and production design expert Zac Hartog, debuted in Santa Monica in 2017. It’s since traveled to San Francisco and New York City. Atlanta is the fourth stop.
“Buckhead and the whole Atlanta area is great,” said Goodman, who hired about 130 hosts and performers to help entertain and guide visitors as they navigate the space. “There’s just a lot of energy and passion here with the music, art and everything else, so coming here was a no-brainer.”
While the photogenic pop-up shop includes popular attractions from previous locations, you’ll find some fun elements unique to Georgia, and they’re all made of candy of course. For instance, you’ll spot a huge peach, a wall that pays tribute to Ray Charles, an illustration of a few cast members from “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and some other sweet treats in the gift shop.
“We really wanted to create things that make people happy,” Sorkin explained. “We’re in the happiness business. It’s the best business to be in.”
“We want people to step away from the universe for an hour,” Goodman added. “Imagine a place where you can’t stop smiling. That’s the magic of it.”
10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Sunday. Through June 2. $28 for adults, $20 for children 4-12, free for children 3 and under. Lenox Marketplace, 3535 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. 100, Atlanta. 1-888-718-4253, candytopia.com/atlanta.
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