What do Prince, Frank Sinatra, a unicorn, and the Sphinx have in common?
They're all on display — in candy form — at Candytopia, the candy-centric pop-up that opens at Aventura Mall today.
The "experiential adventure" runs through the holiday season and features sculptures and framed art — all made from real candy. Each piece — from a giant dragon to Prince's guitar — lists the candies used and how long it took to construct. The dragon, for instance, was made with 125,000 different gummies, Swedish fish, twists, rock candies, and other sweets and took 542 hours to create. A portrait of Frida Kahlo took 102 hours to make and used 6,500 jelly beans.
The art is what differentiates Candytopia from other pop-up Instagram attractions. Sure there are flying pigs that "poop" confetti from their little butts and a pool filled with foam marshmallows made for frolicking, but look a little deeper and you'll find there's a ton of work that was put into this holiday attraction.
Candy artist Jackie Sorkin said she started doing versions of Candytopia in Asia years before Instagrammable pop-ups like the Museum of Ice Cream and Unicorn Factory popped up in the U.S. "It might be cliche and corny, but it makes people happy and candy is the universal language of love."
Sorkin started using candy about a decade ago. "Candy is a great artistic medium. There are thousands of colors and textures to play with." She now works with a team to create the colorful pieces seen at Candytopia. "We can create anything we want with candy. We've learned how to manipulate it and work with it. Candytopia is a fusion of pop culture and art."
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Though the candy on display was once edible, it's been treated with sealants, so there's a "don't lick it or suck it" rule — although touching is encouraged. There is, however, plenty of candy to eat included with your admission: Every room has friendly staff who hand out Twizzlers, Pop Rocks, Ring Pops, and other sweet treats.
The mini theme park also has an interactive app that, once downloaded, will send pictures from various displays right to your email. And, of course, like every theme park, your Candytopia journey ends at a gift shop where you can buy branded t-shirts, pens, and more candy.
Not surprisingly, Candytopia is already sold out for this coming weekend, though there are still plenty of tickets available. With the holiday season in full swing, it's a safe bet to say Candytopia will be showing up on a lot of Instagram feeds. Just be wary of those confetti-pooping piglets — they'll get you every time.
Candytopia Miami. Through January 26, 2020, at Treats Food Hall at Aventura Mall; 19501 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; candytopia.com. Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 to $28 via candytopia.com.