Worth-the-Drive: Otherworld

Located in Columbus, Otherworld is a 32,000 square foot immersive art installation. Mysteries unfold as you explore over 40 rooms filled with large-scale interactive art, mixed reality playgrounds and secret passageways. It’s an all new kind of art experience where visitors are encouraged to freely explore and interact with a surreal world of science fiction and fantasy.

Otherworld was named one of TIME for Kids World’s Coolest Places in 2019 — and it truly is. Each of Otherworld’s 47 (!) rooms is completely unique. There are endless spaces to explore, and like any art exhibition, the experience is personal and dynamic. It’s a completely immersive art experience that’s completely unlike anything else in the world.

Welcome to the matrix.

And, most importantly, Otherworld is incredibly accessible for kids; a one-of-a-kind, out-of-this-world experience that is absolutely worth the drive.

Don’t be intimidated by Otherworld. When you enter, it’s a little dark, which made me worry if the whole experience would be too much for my kids, who range in age from 22 months to almost 9.

It wasn’t.

Otherworld is a place for everyone to let their imaginations run wild and free. There is so much for kids to see and do. Everything is interactive. Everything. Kids can “paint” bedroom walls and climb into a giant bed. Kids can bounce inside a giant mouth, wander through enchanted forests and ogle themselves in rooms with endless mirrors. Every room is different and blurs the boundaries between modern art and play. (Shouldn’t art be fun? Interactive? Tactile? At Otherworld, it is.)

There are so many lights in Otherworld. You’ll feel like you’re inside a video game. The lights were my favorite element of Otherworld; they take the whole experience to the next level. Light tunnels, lights on large play structures, lights changing colors and lights inviting you to play games. My toddler was enchanted and intrigued and dazzled by all the lights.

Otherworld is room after room of multi-sensory modern art installations, mixed with the topsy-turvy world of Alice in Wonderland, with a dash of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds thrown in for good measure. For kids, Otherworld is basically a fantasy come to life, in a playful and accessible way. Otherworld is wild and wonderful and something everyone needs to experience — and it’s right here, in Ohio.

For more information on Otherworld, visit otherworldohio.com.

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