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17 Extraordinary Experiences Open Now & Coming Soon: August 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 August 2023.

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

1. Hip Hop Til Infinity

Hip Hop Til Infinity, New York

Open: 2 August – 17 September
Location: New York, US
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

If you know your De La Soul from your Run-DMC, Hip Hop Til Infinity – an immersive hip-hop experience at the Hall des Lumières in New York City – might be for you. Launched to mark 50 years of hip-hop culture, the show includes never-before-seen footage of the genre’s most prominent figures. The experience, which was created by Mass Appeal with graphics from Superbien Studio and a score by DJ Clark Kent, seeks to recontextualise how people look at hip-hop culture by highlighting the genre’s development in a novel way.

Focusing on the birth of hip-hop in the US in the early ‘70s, the exhibition includes unreleased images by hip-hop photographers such as Joe Conzo alongside unseen footage from Sony’s archives, making it both educational to newbies and filled with easter eggs for die-hard fans.

2. BLOKspace

BlokSpace, Leyton, London

Open: Open now
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Wellbeing, Immersive Art

Boutique fitness operator BLOK has launched a new studio concept in London’s Leyton that mixes curated fitness classes with art and design. BLOKspace has been designed to bring together resident artists, spatial design and BLOK’s signature classes to create “an immersive and transformative experience”. Design studio Anotherform has worked with BLOK to create a minimalist landscape that “stimulates both physical and mental wellbeing”.

In addition to fitness classes focusing on core strength, cardio, yoga and pilates, BLOKspace will host a rotating art exhibition by Fluxprojects inspired by choreography. Anotherform has added a purpose-built structure within the space positioned at an angle to create a sense of disconnection from the architecture to enable gym-goers to engage with their surroundings.

3. Cravan

Cravan, Paris

Open: Open now
Location: Paris, France
Experience Sector: Experiential Dining

Luxury goods giant LVMH is incorporating experiences into its remit, giving fans the chance to live the lifestyle of their favourite brands. Its latest offering is a cocktail bar and cultural complex set over five floors in a 17th-century space in Paris reimagined by Belgian designer Ramy Fischler. Named after poet, boxer and Dadaist Arthur Cravan, the venue has opened in literary St-Germain.

Each of the five floors has a different focus, from art and fashion, to film and literature, with three cocktail bars dotted among the different creative spaces. The top floors house a by-invitation-only private atelier and mini Parisian kiosk, perched on the building’s rooftop, where movies will be screened on warm summer nights. The mastermind behind the drinks list, which features quirky twists on classic cocktails, is historian-turned-mixologist, Franck Audoux, who is keen for Cravan to become a meeting place for creative exchange.

4. Chinese Canadian Museum

Chinese Canadian Museum, Canada

Open: Open now
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Experience Sector: Museums & Attractions

Vancouver’s new Chinese Canadian Museum has opened its doors to the public, and aims to serve as an inclusive and transformative place where people can gather to explore Chinese-Canadian history and heritage. Housed in the Wing Sang Building in Chinatown, built in 1889 by merchant Yip Sang, the museum’s inaugural exhibition: ‘The Paper Trail to the 1923 Chinese Exclusion Act’, focuses on the centenary of Canada passing its Chinese Immigration Act in 1923.

The exhibition’s strength lies in the telling details of personal stories that were unearthed by scouring the pages of old Chinese and English newspapers, and sifting through society archives and personal correspondences. The museum also includes a recreated 1930s living room inspired by the one lived in by Sang and his family, and one of Vancouver’s oldest schoolrooms, which was used as a classroom for Sang’s 23 children.

5. Puma Black Station 2

Black Station 2, Puma

Open: Open now
Location: Online
Experience Sector: Gaming, Metaverse

If you’re keen for a deep dive into the metaverse, be sure to check out Black Station 2, sports giant Puma’s second digital world and shopping experience. Black Station 2 builds on the unveiling of Black Station 1 at New York Fashion Week last September. Puma’s goal is to make the digital shopping experience more immersive, bringing it more in line with the brand’s physical retail experience, which includes an F1 simulator at its flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

Created in collaboration with game developer Unreal Engine, Black Station 2 features two new digital worlds – Unkai and Unter – with sneakers tied to each. In Unkai, you can float between Lego-like blocks in the sky featuring giant Puma sneakers, while Unter sees you go underground into a red-lit cave where you can follow neon green footsteps to a Puma rave room.

6. Netflix Bites

Netflix Bites, Los Angeles

Open: Open until 18 August
Location: Los Angeles, US
Experience Sector: Experiential Dining

Streaming service Netflix has opened its first pop-up restaurant – Netflix Bites – in Los Angeles, which is currently hosting chefs from some of the platform’s most popular cookery programmes, including Curtis Stone from Iron Chef, Dominique Crenn and Ann Kim from Chef’s Table, Nadiya Hussain from Nadiya Bakes and Jacques Torres from Nailed It! The quirky concept, which is running with the tagline: ‘Watching is good. Eating is better’, can be found at the Short Stories Hotel for a limited run of brunch and dinner services.

Expect the likes of Crenn’s roasted cauliflower and smoked tahini and Stone’s chilled tomato and grilled watermelon consommé. To accompany the food, mixologists from Drink Masters, including Frankie Solarik and Kate Gerwin, have developed a selection of bespoke cocktails. We like the sound of the Understated Elegance, which blends Highland Park 12 Year Old with amaretto, maraschino and sweet vermouth.

7. Park Playground

Park Playground’s NanoClash Focus, Birmingham

Open: Open now
Location: Birmingham, UK
Experience Sector: VR, Competitive Socialising

Virtual reality franchise Park Playground has opened an immersive VR entertainment venue in the UK city of Birmingham, marking its 13th venue worldwide. Offering competitive VR experiences, the Birmingham location features an exciting array of interactive immersive experiences, including the recently released NanoClash Focus, which is entirely mobile and free-roaming. Created in collaboration with HTC and Triangle Factory, NanoClash Focus is a first-of-its-kind eSports-inspired VR battle game that allows two teams to participate on two separate fields at the same time. Other experiences include adventure game Mask of the Pharaoh, and escape room Don’t Scream.

8. The Glenlivet Omakase Experience

The Glenlivet Omakase Experience, Hong Kong

Open: Until 12 August
Location: Hong Kong
Experience Sector: Experiential Dining

Speyside single malt The Glenlivet is hosting a series of immersive dining experiences in Hong Kong that highlight the Scotch’s food pairing potential with Japanese cuisine. Launched to coincide with the release of its 21 and 25 Year Old Whiskies Sample Room Collection, the 12-course Japanese omakase and whisky pairing experience – where diners are left in the capable hands of the chef – takes place at Wake Sake Labo in Tin Hau, with artistic input by graffiti specialist Jams, who has given the venue a cyberpunk makeover.

Highlights from the menu include slow-cooked ankimo paired with The Glenlivet 25 Year Old; grilled unagi paired with The Glenlivet 18 Year Old; and sea bream sushi with nori sauce paired with The Glenlivet 21 Year Old. Included within the experience is the chance to take a virtual tour of the distillery.

9. Harry Potter Visions Of Magic

Harry Potter: Visions of Magic, Europe

Open: Opens soon
Location: Europe
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

Just when you thought all Harry Potter avenues had been explored, global entertainment giant NEON comes along and partners with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Themed Entertainment on Harry Potter: Visions of Magic, an interactive art experience inspired by the Wizarding World that will start its European tour this year, followed by a global rollout.

The collaboration will celebrate both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, offering visitors a glimpse into the evocative settings based on enigmatic locations in the magical world, from the Ministry of Magic to Newt’s Menagerie. The interactive experience promises to take Potter fans deep into multi-sensory works created by responsive video content, striking architecture and unique soundscapes, while interactive technology will enable visitors to illuminate the invisible, exposing visions of magic that bring the experience to life.

10. Paradox Museum

Paradox Museum, Las Vegas

Open: Open now
Location: Las Vegas, US
Experience Sector: Museums & Attractions, Immersive Entertainment

Carving a niche as an entertainment Mecca for kids and adults alike, the latest shiny place to open in Las Vegas is the Paradox Museum, home to an array of mind-bending and eye-tricking exhibits. The new attraction includes 90 interactive and educational exhibits and illusions, with accompanying information about the science behind optical illusions and perceptual effects if you don’t mind the spoilers.

Staff are dotted throughout the space to guide guests as they explore the immersive experiences on offer and learn about vision, perception and the human brain. The museum also contains Las Vegas-themed exhibits, including the adults-only Upside Down Room, inspired by the city’s strip clubs, and the casino slot machine-themed Ambiguous Shapes Room. All objects and people in the Upside Down Room will appear to defy gravity, while bodies will be split in half in the Paradox Sofa exhibit.

11. Immersive Gamebox

Open: Open now
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Gaming, Competitive Socialising

Immersive entertainment company Immersive Gamebox has opened a new venue in London’s Shoreditch, offering interactive digital games in smart rooms known as ‘Gameboxes’. Making use of cutting-edge technologies such as projection mapping, touchscreens, 3D motion tracking and surround sound, the 3,600-square-metre attraction in Brookfield Properties’ Principal Place is Immersive Gamebox’s 25th location, and its seventh in the UK.

At the latest venue you’ll find 13 games on offer, including  a new Paw Patrol-themed experience, a Squid Game attraction based on the popular Netflix show, and an Angry Birds game developed in collaboration with  Finnish mobile-first gaming company Rovio Entertainment. To encourage collaboration and competitive socialising, many of the games and challenges at the venue can only be completed by working together.

12. Deutschland Museum

Deutschland Museum, Berlin

Open: Open now
Location: Berlin, Germany
Experience Sector: Immersive Learning, Museums & Attractions

Experiential design firm Creative Studio Berlin is the mastermind behind the Deutschlandmuseum in Berlin, which includes an hour-long experience across two floors that explores 2,000 years of German history. The experience aims to be entertaining as well as informative. Combining extensive historical knowledge with the entertainment value of a theme park, the museum takes visitors on a journey through 12 periods of German history, via a historic forest, mediaeval castle, World War I trench, Wilhelminian-era shopping complex, and a Berlin S-Bahn in the newly reunified Germany.

The exhibition spaces are authentically designed, with carefully considered decor, sounds, smells and lighting effects that enhance the experience. Forests feel real, castles are complete with creaking floorboards and the smell of gunpowder, shop windows glow and Berlin is reduced to rubble in 1945, while 3D projections digitally extend the spaces.

13. Hasbro City

Hasbro City, Mexico

Open: Open now
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

If you find yourself down Mexico way then pay a visit to Hasbro City, an action-packed FEC inspired by the toy giant in Paseo Interlomas on the outskirts of Mexico City. Among the attractions are Monopoly: The Ride, a suspended roller coaster that carries the rail on top and allows passengers to control the speed; Power Rangers Battle, a bumper cars track that includes 360-degree turns; a Transformers Hurricane VR ride, a Nerf Interactive theatre and obstacle course.

Younger visitors can swing by the escape room-inspired Potato Head Pirate Adventure and Equestria, a My Little Pony-themed area boasting a magic bike ride. The entertainment metropolis also features character shows, VR attractions, active play areas, skill games, food and drink and a branded store where you can stock up on Hasbro merch before heading home.

14. Camp x Doodles

Doodles x Camp experience

Open: Until 14 September
Location: Chicago, US
Experience Sector: Immersive Entertainment

Experiential toy store Camp has opened a 7,500-square-foot venue in Chicago, which bills itself as “part toy store, part party venue, part immersive theatre space” and includes an immersive adventure masterminded in collaboration with multimedia brand Doodles. Dubbed ‘Doodles x Camp’, the experience will see visitors crawl through tunnels into glowing caves filled with mushrooms. The brightly coloured land boasts a rainbow slide set within pink cosmic clouds, and an arts and crafts space under 12-foot-tall daisies in a flower forest.

Visitors can make sweet music on interactive synth noisemakers, play alien arcade games in the mothership, and create their own characters in rainbow valley. On the way out they can pick up some exclusive Doodles x Camp merch, while adults-only Doodles events will run in the evenings. The store is also home to a slime creation station, splatter room, party rooms and an events space.

15. Halo

Halo, Shanghai

Open: Open now
Location: Shanghai, China
Experience Sector: Experiential Dining

If you like your dining experiences with a multi-sensory twist then head to Halo at the Phoenix Nest Mall in Xujiahui, where your preconceptions of what a restaurant is will be challenged. Akin to dining inside a fantasy videogame, on entry, guests are greeted by interactive 3D digital art installations by Output Lab and Encor Studio that aims to peel back the physical world to explore unknown dimensions, time and space.

Melding sci-fi and cyberpunk aesthetics, you’ll pass through spaceship-like sliding doors to enter the 88-person dining room, which has been kitted out with laser projectors that plunge diners into a hyperspace audio-visual experience that subverts the traditional method of viewing artwork. Inspired by Paul Pairet’s multi-sensory Shanghai restaurant Ultraviolet, the goal is to treat diners to an immersive performance using high-end tech paired with equally imaginative food and drink including luxury favourites lobster and foie gras.

16. Nerf Action Xperience

Nerf Action Xperience, Manchester

Open: Opens 25 August
Location: Manchester, UK
Experience Sector: Competitive Socialising

Europe’s first Nerf-themed family entertainment centre (FEC) is opening at Manchester’s Trafford Palazzo on 25 August. Officially licensed by Hasbro and brought to life by Rocafella Leisure Group in partnership with Fever, the Nerf Action Xperience is an indoor activity centre offering Nerf training, blaster battles, and sports challenges.

The family-friendly attraction is the first Nerf-themed FEC in the UK, and is home to five themed arenas, including an active play zone with seven sports-inspired games; a zone where players can test their Nerf blaster skills with eight digital target games; a post-apocalyptic zone for a blaster adventure; a marooned spaceship-style blaster arena; and a classified testing bunker-inspired blaster arena. If you’re hungry after all that running around you can refuel at Archie’s, an American-style diner then stock up on merch at the Nerf shop.

17. The Tree Of Light

The Tree of Light, France

Open: until 13 August
Location: Le Havre, France
Experience Sector: Immersive

We’re big believers in the idea of “regenerative experiences”: those that offer a different vision of the future and inspire us to act to protect it. French immersive company Onyo have been leading the way with The Tree of Light, an eyes-closed immersive experience that transports you into a magical forest to regenerate a sacred tree.

Participants are invited to gather into a yurt, to sit around a luminous tree made of paper and close their eyes, discovering the legend of the Tree of Light and taking part in a ritual. It’s popping up at the Pasino of Le Havre from Wednesdays to Sundays until 13 August, with two performances per day in English.

Have you got an Extraordinary Experience launching in September 2023 or later? Let us know about it to be considered for a future edition here.

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