Finding your ‘happy place’: Pop-up museum leaves L.A. with happy memories

By Chloe Serventi

A pop-up museum called Happy Place is full of the stuff of happy memories — flowers, candy and colorful confetti. The museum travels throughout the country and recently made a stop in Los Angeles — to the delight of some area residents who attended.

For instance, Rachel McFarland, who visited with her 3- and 5-year-old children, said they enjoyed the interactivity. Most museums teach passive consumption, she said, but at Happy Place “my daughters are able to touch, explore and simple enjoy their childhood.”

The museum, which was at the L.A. Live center until this past weekend and will be in Chicago next, exists to spread happiness, according to its website: “Our world today can use a lot more happiness. To make this dream come true, we set out on a journey to create a special place where anyone who walks in is surrounded by all things happy…Why not spread the happy?”

In case you missed it, let us take you for a spin through the museum.

The entrance: The stairs are lined with hedges and dozens of small sunflowers and sunlight paints the pathway gigantic yellow tent on the rooftop.

A gaggle of employees greet visitors as songs like “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” play in the background. “Welcome to Happy Place, take your time exploring the outside before heading in. We’re here to help you capture that perfect picture moment and experience the happiness. Have a great time!” said the greeters.

The candy room: Towering high heels made out of yellow M&M’s fuses fashion and treats. Brings back childhood memories. Gumball machines line floor to ceiling of one walk. As you leave the room, the employee offers yellow and white happy face M&M’s.

The tropical room: Statues of palm trees, as goofy as they are, are not what stand out the most. Instead, the purple, green and orange monsters on the wallpaper adats the silliness of the room.

The red “XO” room: This is the best room for capturing your inner love goddess or god, and “Gossip Girl” fans with especially love it. The mirrors, music and red lighting can bring out anyone’s inner diva, but it might take you a while to capture this moment as it is one of the most popular rooms.

The dance room: The big “push me” button gets people into this dark, quiet room. It’s then transformed by lights and dance music. That means it’s time to bust a move.

The happy room: Through a silver veil, you can grab a cake pop and pose with a large, lit up happy sign. For fans of “Up,” the movie, the colorful balloons in each corner and electric blue step blocks will create an “up and away” feeling.

The carnation room: This is one of the rooms ladies seemed to flock to. It’s covered with yellow carnations and has an elevated platform and ladders underneath, allowing you to pop out of the holes and become surrounded by golden flowers. Strings of petals and tiny crystals hang from the ceiling, appearing to float throughout the room. “The dark, earthy feel and lighting made it feel like I was inside a storybook,” said Alexis Rodriguez, a first-time visitor.

The bedroom: By far the most difficult photo op is in the upside down girl’s bedroom. The upside down world may be a hit for “Stranger Things” fans. Don’t worry, there’s no Demogorgon lurking around.

The multimedia room: The ’70s may be out but disco balls are always in – at least if you like to party. Nearby, rubber duckies line an area with a yellow tub as its centerpiece.

The rainbow room: Do you feel the luck of the Irish? This next room will be sure to evoke that feeling. The employees can help you capture a selfie while you dive into the pot of gold where a rainbow ends.

The confetti room: Hold onto your skirts, ladies, for this next room contains a fan under the floor that might just blow it away! Confetti might be messy but it’s fun when you’re not the one cleaning it up.

At the end of your adventure, the museum can’t let you go hungry. The backyard house sells food and souvenirs.

“Happy Place is a really fun way to pass the time. I was really able to relax and goof off while I was there,” said Rodriguez.

Photos by Chloe Serventi.

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