There's no other way to say this: There's a plastic ball installation in a Washington D.C. museum. It holds over one million recyclable plastic balls (they're clear and look like bubbles), and the entire place just looks like the beaches I've been dreaming about. Except made out of plastic. It's housed in the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. and their facility has an entire plastic beach. (No, really, it's complete with beach chairs and everything.) It's designed by Snarkitecture, which is an ~experimental design firm~ known for their innovation and hilarious company name. The structure has everything else you'd ever hope for at the beach — as in, they have a concession stand. All you need is a good beach read and you're set.
The National Building Museum is well-versed when it comes to creating ridiculously awesome installations. In 2014, they had a maze that guests could try to make their way through (and get lost in). In short, they've truly captured the essence of what it feels like to be a kid... even as an adult. (We can always count on Washington, D.C. to do that, am I right?)
Anyway, there's miles more fun, and we're committed to tracking down everything else you can do to make sure you don't have to feel like an adult too much this summer.
It's heaven, basically:
Here's the pit in action:
Ah, the luxury of floating in a bubble ball pit:
1. The stairs at the Museum of Science in Boston, MA
Walking on each step generates a different tone, so as you walk up and down the stairs it sounds like you're making your own music.... because you are. You don't have to be a kid to bounce up and down these stairs for hours on end. (Important recommendation: It gets really fun if you run down them really fast.)
2. Disney Land in Anaheim, California
I went recently (and yes, that is a picture of me on the tea cup ride at night feeling like a 5-year-old). It is where magic happens. When you enter it says, "Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy." COME ON, how is that not the gateway to all magic?
3. The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida
You cannot truly feel like a kid until you've tried Butterbeer ice cream at Florean Fortescue's. You'll see goblins and dragons in action, and get to experience Diagon Alley. When I tell you I've had dreams about going here, I'm 100% serious. Like, you can take the Knight Bus to the Leaky Cauldron. That's the dream.
4. The Etsy Lab in New York City
5. Dylan's Candy Bar in New York City
As I get "Candy Shop" stuck in my head, I must insist you go here. They have locations all across the country (including LA, so, lucky me!), but NYC is their flagship story. Creep their goodies online, and after 10 seconds of drooling, you'll already feel like a kid again. (And what better place to feel like a kid in a candy shop than at the world's largest candy emporium?)