When was the last time you experienced pure joy? In this frenetic, stress-filled world, it can be difficult to let go of your to-do list long enough to fully experience anything, much less nostalgic, childlike fun. Opening this weekend, the Sloomoo Institute (pronounced slew-moo) aims to change that.
Founded in 2019 in New York, Sloomoo is a “celebration of sensory play.” Think of it as a children’s museum-meets-play space without the head-pounding noise and overstimulating colors. Don’t get me wrong, Sloomoo is colorful, but it’s designed with purpose, focused on arousing each sense in different ways. Glue-based slime is the main attraction, and it comes in an endless assortment of textures and colors. Kinetic sand, familiar sounds (rain, a chip bag opening, farts), and meditative abstract videos provide other methods of well-paced simulation.
Located in Buckhead in the space formerly home to progressive play space Kefi, Sloomoo is spirited from the start. The name comes from the word “slime,” but replaces the vowels with double-o’s (based on a 2017 viral trend). In addition to washing your hands in Kefi’s state-of-the-art sanitizers, guests are encouraged to put on a name tag. The catch? You must use your “Sloomoo” name. My 6-year-old son is still giggling about “Daddy” becoming “Doodoo” and “Mommy” as “Moomoo.” The sillier the better here.
The adventure begins with vats of slime in various colors. We were invited to grab a handful and stick it to the Slime Wall, watching it drip in fascinating arrangements. Next up: a slingshot. I went behind the plexiglass so my son could “shoot” at me. Then we traded places. We wandered from room to room, enjoying some exhibits more than others. The sound wall seemed better targeted to adults and teens, while the kinetic sand appealed to toddlers. My son and I got a kick out of the virtual dance party/slime fight, but designing our Sloomoo avatars felt forced.
Perhaps the main attraction is the slime room. Interested parties don protective gear for a full-on slime shower, Nickelodeon-style. Sloomoo employees there seem to truly love their jobs, as they yell in unison: “What time is it? Slime time!” Just when you think you can’t be wetter, you hear them chant: “Extra slime! Extra slime!” Be sure to pass your camera off prior to capture the moment.
But wait, there’s more. The obstacle course isn’t complete without a dip in Slime Lake, and little ones can dip their toes in Slime Pond. Every ticket includes one make-your-own slime. Choose from eight textures, like bubbly Icey and fluffy Cloud. The slickness of Butter may seem appealing (think Gak), but it’s extra sticky and doesn’t work with the color machines, thus limiting your options. You’ll want to take your time sniffing all 56 scents—from chocolate brownie to dirt—before scenting your slime. Pick from 18 colors as well. Finally, you’ll choose three charms—from an area reminiscent of an arcade prize counter—to top it off.
Sloomoo is what you make of it: stress relief, fun and games, a science lesson, or all three. The space is peppered with signs explaining the chemical reactions that comprise it and how different sensory responses promote stress relief. Other signs aim lighter, like “Make slime, not war.” No matter how you approach it, Sloomoo is sure to make you smile—it definitely worked for me!
The nitty gritty
Dress for mess. The Sloomoo team does an impressive job of wrapping slimees-to-be in plastic ponchos, but there’s still a chance of getting dirty. My son and I survived the slime all spick-and-span, but then wet our jean bottoms while washing off our feet. This can be prevented by wearing capris or easily rolled pants.
Opt for slip-ons. I must have taken my shoes off and then put them back on again at least four times in our 90 minutes at Sloomoo. Had I worn sandals or slip-ons, it wouldn’t have been an issue, but lacing my combat boots up on repeat did a bit to retract from the fun.
Ditch your coat. Sloomoo is a hands- (and often feet-) on activity. You’ll want to roam freely without worrying about leaving belongings strewn about. That said, coat check is complimentary, and cubbies are available in many exhibits.
Plan your visit. General admission costs $39. If you want to be slimed, prepare to fork over an additional $30. Allow about two hours to explore, taking into account that no food and drinks are available. Depending on the crowds at the time of your visit, some activities—such as the slime slingshot—may have a small wait.