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Kids (and chocolate) rule Choco Town

Jeffrey St. Peter, 4, from Gloucester played in a cotton candy beauty salon shop at Choco Town.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Parents looking for something different to do with the kids have a few days to take advantage of a sweet, educational, chocolate-y, treat in Cambridge.

Choco Town is here, and a corner of CambridgeSide Place has been transformed into a bubblegum-pink, luminous Willy Wonka-like experience for kids and families. The immersive journey features games, taste-testing experiments, photo ops, and plenty of sweet surprises. It stays in town until Aug. 28.

The experience begins at the Choco Citizens Center, where guests are given “passports” that outline different games and quests. Groups are taken into a taste-testing room, where visitors learn a bit about the science of taste, and how each person experiences it differently.


Chocolate samples are handed out during a taste test at Choco Town.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Then, Choco Town guides lead guests through the experience. The “Town Square” features a “take it with a pinch of salt” taste-testing experiment, where participants sample chocolate with both Himalayan and smoked hickory salt sprinkled on top. A “mindful melting” experiment asks visitors to consider whether they enjoy savoring chocolate more than eating it quickly.

“Mindfully taste the chocolate and salt combinations, and think about the taste sensation and difference in flavors,” one of the Choco Town staffers said as she handed out chocolates to try.

Ivy Jackson serves chocolate at the chocolate salami counter at Choco Town.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

The chocolate is good, and the salt adds a new flavor profile for kids to consider. They’re asked to record their preferences in their passports, collecting a stamp after completing the sensory experiment. Similar taste-tasting opportunities peppered the experience, revealing the quirks and character of each kid’s individual palate.

Kids played in the ball pit inside Choco Town, an immersive chocolate and candy experience at Cambridgeside Place.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Beyond the tastings, kids can play. There are banana split swings, a rock-climbing wall, a merry-go-round, and plenty of other candy-inspired activities. There are also arcade-like games, a ball pit, a photo booth, a giant gummy bear, and a cotton candy beauty salon. There’s even a VIP room for guests willing to pay a little extra.


Standard tickets for tours are $25 per adult and $17 per child; VIP tickets cost $32 per adult and $22 per kid. Tickets can be bought in advance, or upon arrival if there’s still space. The entire experience takes about an hour, and time slots are available every 30 minutes. For more information, visit chocotown.com. 100 Cambridgeside Place, CambridgeSide, Level 2, Cambridge.

Isabella Pacheco,12, from Pawtucket, R.I., sampled a piece of chocolate with hickory flavoring at Choco Town,John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @brittbowker and on Instagram @brittbowker.