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I consider Drew Barrymore to be one of my closest pretend celebrity mom friends. So when she posted that she had taken her daughters (Olive and Frankie, who are close in age to my own kids) to the Sloomoo Institute, a pop-up “Celebration of Slime” currently in the middle of a six-month NYC run, my ears perked up.

But it wasn’t just Drew’s influence that drove me to spend $68 per ticket to watch my children and their friends get Day-Glo pink slime dumped on their heads like they were A-listers at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. I bought in because slime has become a religion in my house—and a bona fide cultural phenomenon. (The most popular slimer on YouTube, Karina Garcia, has 9.12 million subscribers…and is a millionaire.)

At home, my kids mix up powders, galaxy glue, cornstarch, contact lens solution, shaving cream and conditioner with such regularity (and I have been so lax about separating their slime receptacles from our regular bowls and cutlery) that our overwhelmed dishwasher cannot keep up. As a result, I’m pretty sure each member of my family has consumed several tablespoons of glitter in the past few months alone. (Based on what I pick up in our yard, our dog definitely has.) With our slime credentials established, I am delighted to report our pilgrimage to the Sloomoo Institute was a colorful, gooey delight.

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sloomoo institute sloomo video
Courtesy of Sloomoo Institute

The Highlights

Where to even begin? Upon entering the space, guests are invited to grab a handful of the softest, silkiest putty ever squeezed, and then—unlike at home—encouraged to smush it onto the walls. There is a slime slingshot that begs to be captured by slo-mo video. Ooh and ahh as you wander into a Dali-esque blacklight-lit neon slime “cove” designed by Brooklyn artists that’s as trippy as it is squishy.

sloomoo institute bespoke slime bar
Courtesy of Sloomoo Institute

The Bespoke Slime Bar

Each ticket grants you your own individual container of slime. First you choose your base from a menu of textured options (Butter, Cloud Crème, Thick and Glossy, Jellee, Icy, Snowfizz and more). Then it’s on to the color counter, where one member of our party enviably selected Gold Sparkle pigment, which instantly gave her glossy slime a Kardashian-esque, high-end glam luster. You then encounter a fragrance bar that rivals the perfume department at Bergdorf Goodman. Sniff your way through pedestrian scents like Butterscotch, Coconut and Cotton Candy, or consider infusing your slime with more sophisticated aromas like Cuba, Cinderella, Dragon Fruit, Caribbean Sea, Xmas in NY, Dirt or Asian Pear. Seriously. These slime people do not mess around. Each guest is then invited to pick up to three accessories (think little plastic doodads like rainbow hearts, pastel unicorn horns, lacquered red lips and mermaid tails) to bury in their slime at the on-site mixing station. 

The Slime Waterfall

If you want to experience Sloomoo Falls—in which guests are draped in plastic ponchos, goggles and shower caps, then placed beneath a mobile bucket system that dumps several gallons of slime on their heads—book your tickets well in advance. Each Falls experience occurs in 15-minute increments and many time slots sell out daily. Guests are slimed four at a time. But there is plenty to do elsewhere at the venue, so don’t stress if you arrive at the Falls to find a line, or if members of your party get distracted by nearby freestanding vats of lemon-yellow, banana-scented  “butter slime.” The conscientious staff will ensure you get suited up and slimed in a timely manner.

The Cost

Though we sprang for the $68 Sloomoo Falls Enhanced Experience tickets, there are also $38 general admission tickets. (You will not be disappointed if you opt to skip the Falls.)

sloomoo institute interior
Courtesy of Sloomoo Institute

The Lingering Questions, Part 1: Is This Goo Sanitary?

The genius creatives behind Sloomoo left no detail unconsidered. There are sanitizing wipes at each slime station, and staff members gently monitor guests to ensure they cleanse before and after they dip their hands and bare feet into the slime vats. That being said, business is booming, and during our visit, foot traffic was high. As a germaphobe and a hypochondriac, I wondered with some concern how sanitary all this is—while I watched my euphoric kindergartener prance barefoot through a shallow “lake” filled with blue slime. Slime, while glorious, would appear to be an ideal vehicle for transporting viruses and bacteria, especially when it’s touched by thousands of New Yorkers under age 10, day in and day out. Thankfully, Sloomoo reports they change out the slime regularly. And for what it’s worth, we’re three days post-visit and appear not to have contracted any slime-transmitted diseases.

The Lingering Questions, Part 2:  Can Adults Go? 

They can. And they should. As we queued up to enter the Institute, a 20-something couple, seemingly on a date, stood unabashed behind us. They were just as awed as the kids who surrounded them. Creativity knows no bounds. Sensory stress relief appeals to all ages. And it all makes for damn good Instagram. 

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