21 Extraordinary Experiences Open Now & Coming Soon: April 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 from April 2023.

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

1. Luna Luna

Headline and above image: Photography by Anna Shvets, Russia; Wave swinger for Luna Luna by Kenny Scharf. Photography by Sabina Sarnitz, US

Opening: Summer 2023
Location: Touring across the US
Experience Sector: Themed attractions

Roll up! Roll up! The world’s first travelling amusement park, Luna Luna, is coming to town. Backed by Canadian rapper Drake, Luna Luna is set to tour the globe this year, starting in the US. The original Luna Luna was founded by Viennese artist André Heller in Hamburg in 1987 and featured rides, games and fairground attractions designed by big name artists including Salvador Dalí, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein. Helping to breathe new life into the venture, Drake has invested $100m into restoring the park alongside DreamCrew’s Anthony Gonzalez and Michael Goldberg of Something Special Studios, and a documentary of the restoration is in the works.

2. Now Play This

Where Should We Begin by Esther Perel, Now Play This 2023, Somerset House, UK

Opening: 1-9 April
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Gaming
, Live Events

London’s leading festival of experimental games, Now Play This, returns to Somerset House in April to showcase the latest in independent game design from across the globe. This year’s festival explores one of humanity’s most universal experiences through the lens of playful art: love. From family, friendship and romance to self-care, consent and grief, different forms of love will be explored through games, installations, activities and workshops. Taking place over nine days, the big-hearted festival explores how we can treat each other in more loving ways. Dotted throughout will be cushions made by artist Valentina Karga from recycled materials for festivalgoers to lounge on, providing a calming space that helps to foster deeper connections with fellow gamers.

3. Picasso: The Collection In A New Light!

Musée National Picasso-Paris, Voyez-Vous (Vinciane Lebrun) and Succession Picasso 2023, France

Opening: Open now until 7 August
Location: Paris, France
Experience Sector: Immersive Art

British designer Paul Smith has loaned his artistic flair to a new Picasso show at the Musée National Picasso in Paris launched to mark the 50th anniversary of the Spanish titan’s death. In order to be relevant to a contemporary audience and give viewers an immersive rather than observational experience, Smith was keen to present Picasso’s paintings in fresh and unexpected ways by incorporating vintage wallpaper, posters, collages and bright stripes into the gallery space. Colour is key here: Picasso’s Blue Period room is drenched in bright colours to offset the sombre early works, while another dedicated to the Spaniard’s bullfighting artworks glows blood red.

4. Otherworld

Otherworld, Philadelphia, US

Opening: Spring 2023
Location: Philadelphia, USA
Experience Sector: Immersive entertainment

Philadelphia will soon be home to futuristic immersive entertainment Mecca, Otherworld, which will mirror the Ohio original’s mix of large-scale immersive art and mixed reality playgrounds. Boasting 55 rooms and giant installations across a 40,000-square-foot space on Grant Avenue, over 100 artists have been involved in bringing the project to life, with ramped-up production on a larger scale than the Ohio flagship. While making their way through the space, visitors will encounter “iridescent creatures, primordial monsters, crawlable tubes, expanses of light and alluring art with a captivating narrative”. The immersive attraction uses cutting-edge tech – from holograms and holodecks to motion capture and camera tracking – to create interactive visual effects.

5. Happiness Expo

Happiness Expo, Brussels, Belgium

Opening: Open now until 30 July
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Experience Sector: Immersive Art

An immersive art exhibition that aims to give visitors’ brains a happiness boost opens in Brussels this month. The show, called ‘Happiness’, focuses on art’s positive effects on mental health and includes 360° art installations that harness the latest in colour and sound tech. The family-friendly, 50-minute experience is set across 10 interactive rooms that encourage visitors to learn about how art can positively impact their happiness levels. A number of the installations were created by Dutch digital artist Irma de Vries who has been experimenting with digital tech, animation, video mapping, AR and light projection for over 20 years.

6. Stranger Things: The First Shadow

Stranger Things: The First Shadow, London, UK

Opening: Tickets on sale 30 March
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector:

Netflix has turned one of its greatest hits – sci-fi show Stranger Things – into a stage play in London’s West End. The play, based on the Duffer brothers’ series, is a first for the streaming service and will make its debut at the Phoenix Theatre this year, with tickets going on sale on 30 March. Titled Stranger Things: The First Shadow, the play is set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in 1959, over two decades earlier than when the show takes place. Directed by triple Tony award winner Stephen Daldry, the play will include younger versions of a number of key characters in the show, including a young Jim Hopper, the town’s police chief, alongside new characters.

7. Transfix

AXION by Christopher Bauder & KiNK. Photography by Ralph Larmann, TRANSFIX, Resorts World Las Vegas, US

Opening: 23 April until 30 September
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Experience Sector: Immersive art

Billed as the ‘world’s largest touring immersive art experience’, Transfix will kick off its global run on the Las Vegas strip in April. Featuring over 50 mind-bending interactive installations from contemporary artists, the show will take place at Resorts World Las Vegas inside a 200,000 square-foot multi-level space. The artworks range from shape-shifting kinetics, trippy tunnels, and mind-bending video installations to large-scale fire-breathing sculptures sonic landscapes. Among the artists on show are Christopher Bauder, Marco Cochrane, Foldhaus Collective, Kate Raudenbush and Playmodes. Taking around two hours to meander through, the experience includes 10 artist-designed speakeasies. When the Vegas run comes to an end in September, the show will hit the road.

8. Hijinx Hotel

Hijinx Hotel, Melbourne, Australia

Opening: Open now
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Experience Sector: Themed attractions

Kidults Down Under are in for a treat, as the world’s first challenge room hotel has opened in Melbourne to pair with its Sydney sister. Called the Hijinx Hotel, the immersive space is the brainchild of Funlab, creators of entertainment hubs Holey Moley, B. Lucky & Sons, and La Di Darts. The Chadstone hotel is home to 10 themed rooms offering an array of challenges, from giant Twister, pinball and Tetris to a room inspired by Netflix game show Floor is Lava. Channelling a swanky New York hotel, the space boasts a grand (fake) lobby, statement lighting, novelty artworks and flamboyant design flourishes. Time is tight, as gamers only have four minutes to complete each challenge.

9. The School Of Life Therapeutic Retreats

Photography by Boys in Bristol, UK

Opening: 30 May – 2 June (then 8-11 September)
Location: Somerset, UK
Experience Sector: Experiential Travel

Solo travel and wellness retreats are set to be two of the biggest trends taking the travel industry by storm this year, and we’re here for it. Keen to capitalise on a growing consumer desire for self-care and holidays that nourish the soul as well as the body and mind, Alain du Botton’s The School of Life has launched a series of four-day therapeutic retreats at 42 Acres in Somerset. The first kicks off at the end of May with the aim of helping attendees to break down barriers, heal old wounds, and emerge a stronger, more resilient version of themselves via guidance from experienced psychotherapists in a friendly and compassionate environment. The second retreat will run in September.

10. Harry Potter Studio Tour

Platform 934 at Warner Bros, Studio Tour, Tokyo, Japan

Opening: 16 June
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Experience Sector: Themed Attractions

Japan-based Harry Potter fans rejoice! Hogwarts is coming to Tokyo, as Warner Bros. seeks to expand one of the most successful franchises in history. The Harry Potter Studio Tour will launch in Tokyo in June, marking the first outing outside of the UK for the Harry Potter experience, which offers fans of the films and books the chance to wander through the sets of Diagon Alley and Platform 9 3/4 and marvel at original props and costumes from the films up close. Japan was chosen due to it being one of the most important markets for the boy wizard, with Warner Bros. hoping it will serve as a gateway to Asia Pacific.

11. The Tempest Immersive Experience

The Tempest Immersive Experience, US

Opening: Open until 16 April
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Experience Sector: Immersive

Shakespeare’s tragi-comic play The Tempest is being reimagined as an immersive experience in Los Angeles. The Shakespeare Center LA and After Hours Theatre Company have joined forces on the event, which has been directed by Ben Donenberg and produced by Graham Wetterhahn. The performance sees the audience cast ashore on a mysterious island, where they will experience an interactive retelling of Shakespeare’s final play. The shipwrecked attendees will be tasked with excavating clues and solving puzzles during the performance. The play was chosen as the action lends itself to various levels of audience participation, from those who simply want to hear the story to those that want to be more deeply involved in the show.

12. Formula 1: The Exhibition

Formula 1 exhibition, Madrid, Spain

Opening: 24 March – 4 June
Location: Madrid, Spain
Experience Sector: Themed attractions

Petrol heads, we have good news – Formula 1 has launched its first official exhibition in Madrid dedicated to the adrenaline-fuelled motor sport. Taking place at IFEMA Madrid in the northeast of the city, Formula 1: The Exhibition is an immersive, interactive experience that walks you through the story of the sport via artefacts, photographs and first-person accounts. Several years in the making, highlights include the Design Lab, where visitors will see the testing and manufacturing process that makes an F1 car, Drivers and Duels, which celebrates the most iconic races and legendary rivalries, and The Pit Wall, a cinematic experience that allows fans to relive the sport’s greatest moments.

13. Mr Fogg’s Pawnbrokers

Mr Fogg’s Pawnbrokers, London, UK

Opening: Open now
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Themed Attractions

The team behind Mr Fogg’s were early to the experiential party, and their latest venue doesn’t disappoint. Set inside a Victorian pawn shop owned by Phileas Fogg’s wayward half-brother, Frank Fogg, the Soho drinking den transports imbibers into Fogg’s quirky world via eccentric cocktails, cabinets of curiosities and peculiar possessions collected from his travels. The venue is set across three themed spaces: The Pawnbrokers Counter, The Strong Room and The Textiles Room, featuring floor-to-ceiling tapestries, an elaborately draped ceiling and a bar decorated with vintage carpets. Pull up a well-upholstered chair and peruse the minuscule menu via a jewellers’ loupe, then sip vintage-inspired drinks from punch bowls, vases and Fabergé eggs while admiring Victorian erotica.

14. Eternal Mucha

Eternal Mucha at Grand Palais Immersif, France

Opening: Open until 5 November
Location: Paris, France
Experience Sector: Immersive art

At the turn of the 20th century, Alphonse Mucha was one of the most famous artists in Europe. A key figure of Art Nouveau and the inventor of an original style of graphic art, his work combined female beauty and stylised nature with an innovative composition and typography. Using advanced projection tech, including sensory elements created by TechnicoFlor, and an original score by Studio Radio France inspired by the artist’s era, this immersive exhibition tells the story of Mucha in three acts: as a master of the poster in Paris; at a turning point in his career in 1900, and through the presentation of his monumental works, and explores his enduring legacy in everything from Manga to street art.

15. Misalignment Museum

The Misalignment Museum, San Francisco, US

Opening: Open until 1 May
Location: San Francisco, USA
Experience Sector: Museums

The Misalignment Museum in San Francisco’s Mission District aims to shine a light on AI and its potential to be both a creative and corruptive force. The brainchild of Audrey Kim, the museum is home to a deepfake of Arnold Schwarzenegger speaking from a script generated by ChatGPT and typing Viennese robots made from Spam tins. The upper floor boasts piano music composed with bacteria, an interactive play on Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam, and an installation that uses computer vision from Google to describe people and objects that appear in front of a camera. The aim of the venue is to spark conversations about the implications of intelligent tech.

16. The Curious Desert

The Curious Desert by Olafur Eliasson, Doha, Qatar

Opening: Open until 15 August
Location: Doha, Qatar
Experience Sector: Immersive art

Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson views the spectator as playing an integral role within the artistic experience, and creates works that come to life through interaction. His latest collection of works, currently on show in Doha, are no different. The site-specific installations set across 12 pavilions at an outdoor site close to the Al Thakhira Mangrove Reserve celebrate the natural world. The artworks respond to the site’s natural conditions using wind, water and sunlight as the driving force, and are designed so as not to disrupt the area’s plants and wildlife. His Rainbow Incubator uses the changing light of the day to create optical effects, while Your Fivefold Vanishing points uses circular mirrors to create a tunnel-like experience of reflection and colours.

17. DNA VR


Opening: Open now
Location: Manchester, UK
Experience Sector: Competitive Socializing

Manchester is having a bit of a moment when it comes to immersive entertainment. March saw the launch of DNA VR in the city, a new VR playground packed with escape rooms spanning horror, fantasy and music. From surviving a zombie apocalypse and soaring over the pyramids in Egypt, to fighting off dragons and saving the world from intergalactic disaster, DNA VR caters to all gamers, no matter how niche their interests. With 70 options, gamers can fly solo in their VR pod or dive into a VR session as part of a group.

18. Surrealism

Surreaslismo Mudec. Photography by Carlotta Coppo, Milan, Italy

Opening: Open until 30 July
Location: Milan, Italy
Experience Sector: Museums and galleries

Ahead of the curve in many ways, with their flouting of convention and obsession with the subconscious, the Surrealists are getting a their own show in Milan. Taking place at Mudec, the exhibition brings together some Surrealist 180 works from the likes of Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Man Ray and Leonora Carrington, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, documents and artefacts. The show takes viewers on an immersive journey into the minds of leading Surrealist artists, and mood lighting is used to create a sense of the unexpected. The design of the space is inspired by the Surrealist’s penchant for bright colours, psychedelic fabrics, which adorn the walls and floor. One room features a fake lawn, another videos projected onto curtains.

19. Escape IT

Escape It, Las Vegas, US

Opening: Open now
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Experience Sector: Escape Rooms

Not for the faint-hearted, this chilling escape room experience in Las Vegas takes you deep into the terrifying world of Pennywise the clown – the smiling assassin from the IT movies. The immersive experience is the brainchild of Fright Dome founder and Saw escape room owner Jason Eagon, who teamed with Warner Bros. on the project. Escape IT span over 30,000 square feet and features two multi-room escape adventures that bring the terror of the films to life. The attraction includes 20 interactive rooms, state-of-the-art special FX, lighting, animatronics and live actors to ramp up the fear factor. Attendees have to navigating some of the films’ iconic locations, including the Neibolt House and sewers below Derry while trying to escape the clutches of Pennywise.

20. Van Gogh The Immersive Experience

Van Gogh The Immersive Experience, Singapore

Opening: Open now until 30 June
Location: Sentosa, Singapore
Experience Sector: Immersive art

Following on from successful runs across Europe and the US, the don of all immersive art experiences – Van Gogh The Immersive Experience – has landed at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore, marking its southeast Asian debut. Organised in partnership with Exhibition Hub and Fever, the 360-degree digital art experience is housed within various galleries in the expansive space and invites visitors to step inside over 300 of Van Gogh’s sketches, drawings, and paintings via floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall large-scale digital projections. The Singapore edition boast two new elements: a showcase of traditional Japanese woodblock stamps and prints that influenced the Dutch artist’s works; and a matcha tea ceremony that visitors can take part in after the show.

21. Midnight Madness

Opening: 20 May
Location: London, UK
Experience Sector: Immersive
Theatre, Competitive Socializing

Now in its 4th year, Midnight Madness is an all-night, immersive, charity treasure hunt which last year raised over £615,000 for a variety of children’s causes. A series of cleverly camouflaged, incredibly ingenious and devilishly difficult puzzles reveal answers which indicate the location of the next puzzle, and so on. Teams compete all night, hunting for, solving, and executing puzzles embedded in the urban landscape of London. Previous locations include the O2 arena, the Gherkin, St Martin’s Crypt, Battersea Power Station and even disused underground stations, and this year’s top-secret locations are set to be just as iconic.