What To Do: Find your HAPPY PLACE in KOP

By Denny Dyroff, Entertainment Editor, The Times


There are a lot of family-oriented fun events on the calendar that come back year-after-year such as outdoor fairs and carnivals, ethnic festivals, Halloween attractions, holiday bazaars, and seasonal food festivals.

Every once in a while, an event comes along that is special – a one-time affair that is not an annual occurrence. There are a few of these special events in the area right now.

With the craziness in the world around us and the hectic pace of daily life, almost everyone dreams of being able to just spend some time in a happy place.

Now through January, people can find a happy place by making a trip to King of Prussia. Actually, they will find HAPPY PLACE (HappyPlace.me).

Live Nation Philadelphia has brought HAPPY PLACE, an interactive, immersive pop-up exhibit with larger-than-life installations and multi-sensory themed rooms, to the King of Prussia Mall where it will run now January 5, 2020.

On a mission to spread happiness across the world, “the most Instagrammable pop-up in America” (Urban Daddy) has helped people “find their happy” while exploring multiple vibrant rooms.

HAPPY PLACE is filled with multi-sensory immersive rooms inducing smiles and laughter, plus larger-than-life one of a kind installations—including seven-foot stilettos made of a million candies and six-foot tall mirrored X and O letters surrounded by a wall of one thousand red lips—you’ll find a whole lot of selfie moments that you don’t want to miss. “Capture Your Happy” for your social media—sharing the happiness is highly encouraged.

From dancing in the world’s largest confetti dome to posing inside the famous rubber ducky bathtub of fun and jumping off a rainbow into a pot of happiness, guests travel through each unique room guided by a team of specially selected and trained Happy People. Happy Place is created for an audience for all ages. Minors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

HAPPY PLACE features more than 15,000 square feet of playful spaces and cheerful moments including a Super Bloom room filled with 40,000 handmade gold flowers for the perfect photogenic floral backdrop, the World’s Largest Indoor Confetti Dome, a Giant Rainbow complete with a Pot of Happiness into which guests can jump, the signature Rubber Ducky Bathtub of Fun plus other photo-friendly fantasy rooms.

Philadelphia’s HAPPY PLACE, which will also add special features unique to Philadelphia, will occupy the space once occupied by JCPenney at the King of Prussia Mall, which is located at 160 North Gulph Road in King of Prussia.

“I’m a live entertainment producer and work in artist management,” said HAPPY PLACE founder Jared Paul, during a recent phone interview from his home in Los Angeles.

“I wanted to do something with my skills – immersive things with kids in L.A. It’s a trait I enjoy. Instead of stage, I wanted a new genre. I came up with the idea of happiness as a theme.

 “In November 2107, I started HAPPY PLACE in L.A. It was successful so I decided I wanted to take it out on tour. So Far, we’ve staged it in Los Angeles, Chicago, Toronto, Boston and Las Vegas.

“Las Vegas is a residency that will continue while we launch a full tour with totally different productions. We’ll be in Pennsylvania for a while and I don’t know where next. They are pretty much the same. In each city, we work with local artists to create local flavor.”

The inspiration behind HAPPY PLACE comes from Paul, who is on a journey to raise his children surrounded by positivity and joy.

According to Paul, “HAPPY PLACE is designed to provide an oasis for people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and embrace moments of happiness in their everyday lives.”

HAPPY PLACE at King of Prussia Mall will also bring its charity Lemonade Stand, to work with local non-profit organizations throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region. To date, HAPPY PLACE has donated over $100,000 to local groups in the four cities it has resided in.

“HAPPY PLACE in King of Prussia has 20,000 square feet,” said Paul. “It’s pretty expansive. Live Nation has been involved every step of the way and has been great to work with.

“There are 12 individual rooms and additional experiences along the way. Some of the rooms are a Cookie Room, a Flower Room, a Confetti Dome and a Candy Room. It takes about an hour to go through. There is timed entry so people can take as long as they like.

“The purpose of HAPPY PLACE is to put a smile on people’s faces and immerse them in happiness. People come to HAPPY PLACE to be happy and there is a lot to see.”

Video link for HAPPY PLACE — https://youtu.be/_hR57sn6R-k.

HAPPY PLACE will be open though January 5 at the King of Prussia Plaza. Tickets start at $30 for adults and $20 for children (ages 4-12).

Cirque Italia

From October 10-20, King of Prussia will also be a place to go to enjoy a very special circus experience – Cirque Italia (https://cirqueitalia.com/).

The circus will take up residence at 160 North Gulph Road in King of Prussia for an 11-day run. Then, it will move west fro a four-say run from October 24-27 at 142 Park City Center in Lancaster.

Cirque Italia is a show like no other. It is the first traveling water circus in the United States.

The circus has two travelling units – the Gold and the Silver. The tour stops in Pennsylvania will features the Gold.

The circus’ stage holds 35,000 gallons of water and features a dynamic lid which lifts 35 feet into the air, allowing water to fall like rain from above as fountains dazzle below.

This incredible show takes place under “Grande Tenta” — the circus’ majestic white and blue big top tent which came all the way from Italy.

Cirque Italia is the collaboration of the American dream and the tenacious leadership of one strong Italian entrepreneur, Manuel Rebecchi.

Rebecchi, Cirque Italia’s owner and founder, has a deep-seeded history in the circus industry. His late aunt, Moira Orfei, ran one of the largest circus shows in Europe.

When Rebecchi came to the states several years ago, he wanted to create something special and memorable. He was actually inspired to create the water stage while drinking a bottle of water one day.

This production is a European style circus show with no animals and a Las Vegas style water show. It’s a water spectacular similar to a smaller-scale Bellagio fountain show.

Starting with its creation in 2012, the Water Circus has advanced into one of the most innovative traveling shows to be staged in the United States. With more than 30 artists, chosen in rigorous auditions from around 25 different countries, Cirque Italia delivers high-end entertainment at an affordable cost to nearly two million people in about 50 cities each year.

 “The show is on the road 11 months a year,” said Cirque Italia Public Relations & Media Representative Sarah Kessler, during a phone interview last week from Sarasota, Florida. “It does close down in December for the holidays.

“Each year, Gold has all different acts. Some of the acts from Gold switch to Silver at the end of the year.

“This year, we have clowns Alex and Yvinson Acero, who are the ringmasters. They also do three acts – quick change, BMX and roller skating. Another great act is Emiliano and Maximiliano Fusco. They are jugglers who set a world record in 2012. Another impressive act is Ricardo Sosa, a contortionist who is 53 years old.”

Video link for Cirque Italia – https://youtu.be/5-v5D6WH5pQ.

Ticket prices start at $25.

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship is the first major installation in Delaware River Waterfront Corporation’s ambitious new Waterfront Arts Program, which plans to bring a host of site-specific artworks to the waterfront alongside attractions like Cherry Street Pier and all the seasonal fun at Penn’s Landing.

The haunting 18th-century ship, which is 90 feet wide and 50 feet tall, appears under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, hovering over the water and looking every bit like a supernatural phenomenon that rose out of the depths of the dark river.

Estonia-based artist collective Biangle Studio created the three-dimensional work using light and jets of water, which make the ship look like it’s moving as the wind blows and the water shifts. It is meant to be examined from many angles along the banks of the Delaware River.

The Delaware River flows through Philadelphia’s complex past and present social fabric. Its many tributaries run beneath our feet, under highways and neighborhoods, going largely unnoticed but still ever-present.
As early as 1676, ships were being built across the street from where you stand. These ships sailed on what was known earliest as the Poutaxat, Mochijirickhickon, and Lenapewihittuck, followed by the South River and Swedish River, before becoming known as the Delaware River. The Delaware was first used by the Lenni Lenape for hunting and fishing. These ships were later used to transport both free and enslaved people to distinctly different destinies.

The waterfront envisioned by William Penn as a “Greene Country Towne” was later the birthplace of the United States Navy and are still used for the importation of products ranging from cocoa beans to crude oil. These vessels paved the path for Philadelphia to become the “Workshop of the world” in the United States, which is still visible today along the waterfront.

Inspired by the nuanced and complex history of the Delaware River in the 1700s, Biangle Studio created the site specific, three-dimensional light and water-based public art installation. The 18th-century ship appears on the Philadelphia Waterfront as Ghost Ship for the month of October to shine a light on the shared history of the Delaware River, and reflect on its role in shaping Philadelphia today.

Ghost Ship will be visible Wednesday through Sundays now through November 3 from 7-10 p.m. each night at the Race Street Pier, which is located at Race Street and North Christopher Columbus Boulevard.

Video link for “Ghost Ship” — https://youtu.be/ZCr-kLwVHfk.

Admission is free.

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