Source, Philadelphia Inquirer, Abby White
Fifteen thousand square feet of Happy Place is coming to the King of Prussia Mall this October.
Live Nation Philadelphia announced that Happy Place, an immersive and interactive exhibit featuring 12 distinct Instagram-able rooms, will take up temporary residence inside the space formerly occupied by J.C. Penney, as part of an ongoing national tour. Happy Place arrives on Oct. 5 and will be there through Jan. 5.
Happy Place dovetails with two larger trends. There are the made-for-Instagram-ready pop-ups, which exist almost solely for selfies. Last year, Photo Pop Philly opened in Center City, offering FOMO-inducing photo experiences for followers. Photo Pop is in now its second year, this time at the Bourse. And as malls lose their retail anchors — like departments stores— they are offering retail experiences, like entertainment outlets. Philly’s soon-to-open Fashion District, in the former Gallery space, will have a movie theater, a concert venue, and an arcade. Macy’s in Center City recently opened Story, which has a “narrative approach to retailing.”
Happy Place’s themed installations will offer visitors the chance to snap photos with 40,000 handmade gold flowers in the Super Bloom room, or go on a reality-bending trip through the gravity-defying Upside Down room.
Other multisensory experiences will include stepping into the world’s largest indoor confetti dome, jumping in the Pot of Happiness at the end of a Giant Rainbow, playing in the Rubber Ducky Bathtub of Fun, and taking in the aroma of fresh-baked cookies inside the Cookie Room.
Happy Place also features a charity lemonade stand that works with local nonprofit organizations, as well as other special features and art unique to the Philadelphia stop.
“Happy Place is designed to provide an oasis for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and embrace moments of happiness in their everyday lives,” said the exhibit’s founder, Jared Paul. “The city of Brotherly Love is the perfect next stop for us.”
Since its Los Angeles launch in November 2017, more than a half-million visitors have experienced the playful pop-up, whose previous stops have been in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas.
“We’re excited to bring this unique immersive, larger-than-life experience to King of Prussia,” said Geoff Gordon, Live Nation Philadelphia’s regional president. “Just like when we opened the Met Philadelphia and the Fillmore, we will bring that same level of energy and excitement to Happy Place in King of Prussia to create an experience like no other for the region.”
The King of Prussia Penney’s closed in 2017, a casualty of the decline of the American department store. It was one of 138 stores to close during Penney’s 2017 downsizing. The stores at the Willow Grove Mall and Philadelphia Mills Mall also closed during that time.
For more about the pop-up and what to expect, visit HappyPlace.me, where tickets, at $30 per person, go on sale Aug. 9.