We were invited to check out Bixbee Imagination Station this weekend and couldn’t pass it up. It’s a unique pop-up experience that will be in the city until September 22, 2019. They call it a safari into the imagination and we would agree.
Bixbee Imagination Station is on North Avenue near Sheffield around Crate & Barrel, Nordstrom Rack, Whole Foods Market, and various other stores. When you enter, walk up the stairs or take the elevator to the second floor where you check in for your time slot.
There are five rooms and it takes about 30-45 minutes to experience all of them. In each room there is a hidden Bixbee bee that you can search for in addition to many interactive features. The rooms don’t have official names that I know of, so here’s our interpretation…
Bixbee Jungle Room
A fun guide dressed in yellow with a whimsical Bixbee backpack does a little introduction and you travel through bamboo-looking pool noodles to the first room. Sit on the elephants, play the drums, and tap two different stations to hear sounds of the jungle.
Pop Art Room
In the second room you can lounge on a lip couch, hula hoop with bling, spin wheels with trippy patterns, and play with a gigantic wall of double sided sequins (our favorite aspect of the room).
There is also a photo station that takes pictures of you and/or your kids riding a huge unicorn that you can then email or text to yourself which is fun.
Interact with light in this room! Tap on the pads on each of the stumps to change the colors emanating from the butterfly and push the button on the tree to light it up from the trunk all the way up to the tree canopy on the ceiling. There are also places to take photos with all types of creatures.
Your kids will love crawling through the tunnel of light and the light table is super cool- you can actually manipulate the laser lines and drag them around the tabletop screen! The space taco was also a fun photo op.
Under the Sea
Little kids love bouncing around on the blown up octopus arms towards the entrance to this room. There are also inner tubes and beach balls to play with. Before you leave make sure to take a photo of your kids in the mouth of the shark.
We recommend Bixbee Imagination Station for kids ages 2-7 years old. There are some cool things for older kids as well, but that seems to be the optimal age that would enjoy it most. There were some babies along for the ride when we were there and they were definitely enthralled by the lights and sights, so no need to leave them at home.
Hours and Admission Prices
Hours for Bixbee Imagination Station are as follows:
Monday through Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday – 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Admission is $20 for adults, $15 for children ages 3-11 years old, and children 2 and under are free. You have the option of adding a goodie bag for $2 per bag. Ours included crayons, coloring sheets, stickers, a pencil, ruler, blow-up globe beach ball, two pieces of candy, and a stamp.
We felt that it was on the expensive side considering the amount of time spent in the rooms, but good news! You can get a discount on Bixbee Imagination Station admission by heading over to the Kidlist Half-Price Tickets page! Click here to get discounted tickets for Bixbee.
Where to Park
There is street parking in the area and parking is available off of Sheffield at 1555 N Sheffield Avenue where the parking fee is based on your length of stay. I thought we would be able to find a street spot so we weren’t prepared, but in hindsight Spot Hero would have been a good option.
The music and sounds could get loud for those with sensitivities, so Bixbee Imagination Station is offering a sensory-friendly experience on September 10, 2019 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm with lowered lighting, sounds, and effects.
Birthday Parties at Bixbee Imagination Station
There’s a hive-themed party room at the exit of the experience. Parties start at $30 per person (kids + adult), excluding tax and can accommodate groups of 6 to 30 and include admission tickets plug 30 minutes in the party room, Bixbee yellow partyware and table linens, favor bags, a special gift for the birthday child, and an attendant to help clean up.
For groups of 11 or more, birthday parties, or special events, email ChiStation@bixbee.com
Bixbee is actually a backpack and lunchbox brand and although that’s not obvious through the experience, there is a store on your way out. It’s a no pressure situation as you walk through, but their merch is fun and whimsical so you might want to check it out.
Bixbee Imagination Station
915 W North Avenue
Chicago, IL 60642