16 Extraordinary Experiences Open Now & Coming Soon: October 2023

Each month we share our edit of the experiences opening around the globe that we think are truly extraordinary. Here’s what we think is worth checking out in October 2023.

If you’re working on an Extraordinary Experience you’d like us to consider for a future edition, please share it HERE!

16. Résistants

Résistants, France

Opens: 1 October
Location: Paris, France
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

Following on from the glittering success of Gatsby à Nice, immersive entertainment creators Sculpteurs de Rêves are back for a second bite of the apple with a new show called Résistants. Taking place, fittingly, in the former Museum of the Liberation of Paris – Musée Jean Moulin above Montparnasse station – the experience transports participants from 1939 to 1945, highlighting the acts of courage and determination that brought light to this dark period.

Between role-playing games, escape games, puzzles, workshops and immersive theatre, players step into the shoes of Resistance fighters and are taken on a moving journey in which they play a key role in shaping the narrative. Attendees can choose their level of engagement, opting to either be actors alongside the professionals, or spectators if they’d rather watch the action unfold in front of them. The family-friendly experience lasts an hour-and-a-half.

15. LUX: Poetic Resolutions

LUX: Poetic Resolution, Seoul

Open: Now until 31 December
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Experience Sector: Immersive Art

Housed within Zaha Hadid-designed Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, LUX: Poetic Resolution features a line-up of twelve artists at the forefront of contemporary art, including Carsten Nicolai, Pipilotti Rist, Julian Knxx, Universal Everything and studioDRIFT. Following on from a London show, the Korean edition features 16 large-scale media installation artworks themed around the resolution of light and the frequency of sound as artistic materials.

Through a contemporary lens, the exhibition approaches the abstract properties of light from a metaphorical perspective, seeking to reach an artistic realm that reflects how humans interact with nature and perceive the world. Curated by Ji Yoon Lee of Suum Projects, among the works on show is a kinetic botanical field artwork called Meadow and immersive experience called Continuum.

14. Atmospheric Memory

Atmospheric Memory at Powerhouse Ultimo, Australia

Open: Now until 5 November
Location: Sydney, Australia
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

Taking place at Powerhouse Ultimo in Sydney, immersive art experience Atmospheric Memory encourages visitors to interact with artworks in an environment filled with light, sound and colossal projections. Inspired by computing pioneer Charles Babbage’s theory that the air is a “vast library” storing every word ever spoken, Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s astounding immersive environment invites audiences to take part in a multi-sensory experience at the intersection of art and science.

During the show you can control 18 interactive artworks as you walk through various chambers. “I hope the project makes the atmosphere tangible so it’s no longer seen as something neutral or invisible that we take for granted. It is something complex, beautiful and irreversible,” Lozano-Hemmer said. Curated by José Luis de Vicente, works in the show include a speech-recognition fountain where words become clouds of floating text; a room filled with recordings of 200 species of insects and 300 birds; and a robotic light beacon.

13. Compass 2023

Open: 14 October
Location: New York, US
Experience Sector: Competitive Socialising

Hosted by Great Gotham Challenge, Compass is an epic, all-night puzzle adventure that unfolds across New York City, where teams compete against some of the sharpest minds in the Big Apple. Taking place just once every two years, the event features a series of meticulously designed, diabolically difficult and cleverly camouflaged puzzles – the answers to each indicating the location of the next – which are solved in sequence, until teams crack the code and arrive at the finish line in the early hours of the morning.

The event will raise money for youth and families via Good Shepherd Services, a non-profit committed to connecting over 30,000 young people and families in New York to opportunities for success in over 90 different programmes. Team entry spots to this year’s event are available for a tax-deductible donation of US$33,000, with a limited number of individual spots on sale for US$6,000.

12. BBC Earth Experience Melbourne

BBC Earth Experience, Melbourne

Open: 27 October 2023 to 28 January 2024
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Experience Sector: Immersive Learning

Off the back of a successful run in London, national treasure Sir David Attenborough is heading Down Under to narrate the BBC Earth Experience in Melbourne, which takes visitors on a 360-degree audio-visual journey through the natural world via the latest, multi angle digital screen tech. Habitats from the seven continents will be projected onto screens inside the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre during the hour-long experience, with video footage from Attenborough’s Seven Worlds, One Planet series featuring.

Exploring the extraordinary diversity of the world’s seven continents on an epic scale, expect to see fireflies dancing in North America, snub-nosed monkeys huddling in Asia, a face-off between hamsters fighting for food in Europe, and cassowary fathers protecting their tiny chicks in Australia. A classroom space and curated resources for teachers will help to bring the experience to life for school groups from around Victoria.

11. Genghis Khan: How The Mongols Changed The World

Genghis Khan: How The Mongols Changed The World, France

Open: 14 October 2023 to 5 May 2024
Location: Nantes, France
Experience Sector: Immersive Learning

Show designer Nomad Exhibitions has launched a new travelling exhibition inspired by fearsome figure Genghis Khan. Developed in partnership with Nantes History Museum, with support from the Mongolian Ministry of Culture, the exhibition explores the life of the warrior-ruler and the history of the 13th century Mongol empire via an array of Mongolian treasures loaned from national museums including the new Chinggis Khaan National Museum.

The show will make its debut at the Nantes History Museum in October before embarking on a world tour in 2025. It’s the first exhibition about Genghis Khan to be shown in France, and will include a variety of artefacts dating from the first to the fourteenth century from Mongolia’s state collections, including a substantial number of national treasures, as well as objects from major French and European museums.

10. Three Parent Child

Three Parent Child by Sonya Dyer at Somerset House, London

Open: Now until 14 November
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Immersive Art

A new sci-fi-themed exhibition is winging its way to Somerset House this month. Called Three Parent Child, the show is Somerset House Studios resident Sonya Dyer’s first solo exhibition in London. Representing the final stage of Dyer’s Andromeda trilogy, Three Parent Child forms part of Dyer’s ongoing project Hailing Frequencies Open, which reimagines the history and radical potential of human space travel, exploring the intersections between scientific enquiry and science fiction.

In the exhibition, Dyer weaves influences including Star Trek, the legacy of HeLa cells and mythology to engage with ongoing conversations around monumentalism, memory and the role of speculation. Action > Potential is a two-channel moving image artwork centred around Andromeda, who is trying to return home to her galaxy after unexpectedly finding herself in a science lab, while Lucy is a large-scale sculpture of rogue mitochondria that mutates across the three River Room spaces and transforms into new forms.

9. The Last Of Us Haunted House

The Last Of Us Haunted House, Los Angeles

Open: Now until 31 October
Location: Los Angeles, US
Experience Sector: Themed Attractions

Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights is back for another year with a series of spine-tingling events including one themed around popular dystopian video game-turned-TV show The Last of Us, which brings the post-pandemic nightmares of the video game to life in terrifying fashion. The walk-through haunted house is both a frightening experience and an ode to the game. Universal has gone to great lengths to recreate the game’s post-apocalyptic environments and show the dystopian world unfolding in front of visitors’ eyes via epic sets, detailed costumes and haunting music.

Subtle references to the game are sprinkled throughout, from familiar notes and drawings to iconic in-game moments. The highlight of the attraction is encountering the Infected. As you journey through dark immersive sets of the devastated city, Runners and Clickers keep you in a perpetual state of anxiety. While there are scares aplenty, the desperate struggles of Joel and Ellie inject humanity into the horror.

8. Ephemeral Solidified Light

Ephemeral Solidified Light by teamlab, Tokyo

Open: Now
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Experience Sector: Immersive Art

Immersive museum teamLab Planets in Tokyo has elevated its artwork spaces to ramp up the immersion for visitors. The brainchild of art collective teamLab, new to the Toyosu museum is an immersive artwork called Ephemeral Solidified Light, an installation filled with spheres of light that change colour through people’s interactions with it. Formed of a multitude of multicoloured lights that float through the air, the boundaries of each colour are clearly separated as though they are solid; something that isn’t found in the natural world.

The Infinite Crystal Universe, an artwork that creates a 3D sculpture from a collection of light points, has also been given a revamp, with five new light sculptures having been added to the installation, which encourages visitors to interact with and change the character of the artwork via the teamLab app. Expanding Three-dimensional Existence in Transforming Space and several other artwork spaces have also been renewed.

7. Squid Game VR Experience

Squid Game VR Experience, London

Opens: 1 October
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: VR, Competitive Socialising

Netflix and LBE specialist Sandbox VR have joined forces on a Squid Game VR experience that hits The Post Building in London’s Covent Garden this month. The immersive experience features mind-blowing, full-body VR, allowing attendees to feel like they’ve stepped inside the show and are competing within it. Transporting players to iconic Squid Game locations, where they become contestants, each will take part in various challenges inspired by the Netflix series, and compete against each other to be the last one standing.

Groups of up to six will play games from the series, including ‘Red Light, Green Light,’ and ‘Cross the Glass Bridge,’ along with surprising new twists that expand on the world of the show. Keen to offer a personalised experience, after each game session players will receive a highlight video capturing their adrenaline-fuelled in-game reactions and recapping how their Squid Game story unfolded.

6. Ed Sheeran Metaverse Experience

Ed Sheeran Metaverse Experience

Open: 5-9 October
Location: Online
Experience Sector: Music, Metaverse

Ed Sheeran is the latest musician to dive feet first into the metaverse. The flame-haired singer is to host a series of concerts this month at iHeartLand‘s State Farm Park in popular gaming platform Fortnite. Taking place from 5-9 October, the event will allow Fornite players to experience Ed’s music in a quirky new way, as they find themselves navigating new worlds inspired by his songs.

Among the worlds created for the event are: a metropolitan city at night; a boxing ring in a desolate city at sunset; a high-speed boat cruising through the ocean; and a luscious forest. The experience was designed using Epic Games‘ Unreal Editor for Fortnite and is inspired by the songs Sheeran performed for iHeartRadio to celebrate his albums Subtract and Autumn Variations. The set list includes Eyes Closed, Shape of You and Life Goes On.

5. Dreams Of Dracula

Dreams Of Dracula, New York

Open: 4 October to 11 November
Location: New York, US
Experience Sector: Horror, Themed Attractions

If you’re based in New York and have a soft spot for vampires then you’re in luck, as Dreams of Dracula: An Immersive Masquerade Experience will recreate the classic Dracula universe as a theatrical adventure. Taking place at Musica NYC in Hell’s Kitchen, Gothic costumes are encouraged. The choose-your-own-adventure whisks visitors through two floors and six rooms across 25,000 square feet for a potent mix of immersive theatre, dance and masquerade.

Created by Never More Immersive, the language and symbols of dreams are woven throughout the show. Visitors can have their dreams analysed, help co-create a Gothic ghost story, and have an ode written and recited to them. The adults-only experience includes nudity, hypnosis, tarot readings, darkness, flashing lights, thunder, lightning and blood, so it’s not for the squeamish.

4. Multi-Sensory Art Retreat

Multi-Sensory Art Retreat, Maldives

Open: 1-7 October
Location: The Maldives, South Asia
Experience Sector: Immersive Art, Wellness

If you fancy a taste of paradise with a dash of fine art then head to boutique private island Milaidhoo Maldives, which will be hosting a multi-sensory art retreat this month. Designed to help guests recharge their minds and souls as well as their bodies, the retreat will be hosted by contemporary artist Alena Lavdovskaya, who will take attendees on a multi-sensory journey, helping them to “forge a deeper connection with themselves and their surroundings”, culminating in the creation of “inventive and unconventional self-portraits”.

Guests will be guided through beginner’s techniques to gain confidence in putting their visions on paper. Next comes a sound healing session at the Serenity Spa, followed by a blindfolded tasting session with Milaidhoo’s chef in the estate’s wine cellar. Winding up the week will be an aromatherapy meditation session exploring how certain scents can inspire creativity, and a finger-painting class that focuses on creating tactile elements in artworks.

3. Angel Of Light

Angel of Light, Los Angeles

Open: Now until 31 October
Location: Los Angeles, US
Experience Sector: Immersive Theatre

A chilling new experience has hit LA in time for Halloween. Created by ODEON, Chris Anastas and Mark Binder in collaboration with Fever, Angel of Light is a haunting theatrical experience at the historic Los Angeles Theatre in which attendees are transported back to Old Hollywood in 1935 to witness the terrifying story of Rota Krisha, where ancient curses, sonic secrets and demonic possession intertwine across the entire venue, from underground catacombs and dressing rooms to a grand ballroom filled with creepy characters.

Instead of creating an immersive experience based on an existing IP with a devoted fan following, Anastas and Binder opted to create an entirely fresh fictional universe centred around a cursed character. Making use of Dolby Atmos sound, projection mapping and strobe lights, visitors witness Rota K. Preston’s debut vocal performance at the theatre on the same night that the Angel of Light curse is revived. Attendees relive the unsettling tale through the combination of live performances, elaborate sets and vintage music.

2. Balloon Museum

Balloon Museum, New York

Open: 27 October until 14 January
Location: New York, US
Experience Sector: Themed Attractions

Following on from successful runs in Madrid, Milan, Paris and Rome, the Balloon Museum is set to take over Pier 36 in The Seaport, New York, this month. Set in and outside of the 80,000-square-foot space, the new cultural hub will make its debut with an exhibit titled Let’s Fly. Expect a variety of installations created by 18 international artists and media studios exploring the nature of inflatables.

Visitors are encouraged to interact with the art and get up close and personal with the exhibits – giving the inflatable latex sculptures squeeze is encouraged. Among the showcased artists will be muralist Camila Falsini, Sasha Frolova and Cyril Lancelin. Look out for a 4,000-square-foot ball pit, inflatable lava lamps and Insta-worthy infinity rooms dotted throughout the 90-minute experience. If it all seems a bit familiar it is – the exhibit featured in Emily in Paris.

1. Bait

Bait Horror experience, Tunbridge Wells

Open: 20-31 October
Location: Kent, UK
Experience Sector: Escape Room

A terrifying immersive escape room experience that sees teams race against the clock lands in Kent this month. Set in an abandoned lab, the intense experience sends teams on a mission to clean up the long-forgotten facility, but things take an unexpected turn as soon as the door closes. Expect live horror actors, blood-soaked floors, flickering lights and eerie sounds echoing through the space.

Taking place at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells and designed for teams of four to six, the 60-minute escape room requires a clear head, resourcefulness and nerves of steel if you’re hoping to make it out of the lab in one piece. During the experience teams will need to crack codes and decipher puzzles to unveil the “terrible secrets hidden within the lab’s walls”, where sinister beings skulk in the shadows.