Kaleidoworld, New York - Home of The World's Largest Kaleidoscope
It seems like just about anyone who's looked into a kaleidoscope wishes they could climb into the cardboard tube and live in that fascinating, brightly colored world. At Kaleidoworld in New York's scenic Catskill Mountains, I did just that.
Kaleidoworld is part of the entertaining in Mount Emporium at Emerson Place, and it's the home of the world's largest kaleidoscope. Listed in the Guinness Book of Records, the Kaatskill Kaleidoscope is housed inside a restored 150-year-old dairy barn silo and is 56 feet, 3 inches tall.
Once inside the silo, you lean back on padded back and neck rests while music plays and remarkable images flash, flow and rotate on the silo ceiling. As a child, I'd always wanted to step inside a kaleidoscope, and it was quite a thrill to realize this childhood fantasy!
After the show, we visited two fun exhibit rooms. The Crystal Palace offers lots of "hands-on" kaleidoscope activities. Kids of all ages will enjoy climbing into and becoming part of a big kaleidoscope on display in a mirrored room.
In the Starworks room, we enjoyed the Amazing DonDoakahedron, a kaleidoscopic "starship" that creates another amazing light show by displaying images taken by NASA's Hubble Telescope onto a 12-sided mirror system.
A gift shop encourages adult visitors to sample the kaleidoscopes for sale, and I gladly did. Many pieces are works of art that would be intriguing even without their fascinating visual prismatics.
Overall, Emerson Place is a fun place to spend a day. There are some cute retail shops and a charming firehouse-themed restaurant called the Spotted Dog.
But it's the kaleidoscope shows that take center stage here. They're unlike anything you've ever seen before and are definitely worth a trip.
For details, call the Brigham City Chamber of Commerce at 1-435/723-3931.
Fast Facts ... Mt. Tremper is on State Highway 28, about 20 miles west of I-87 (the New York Thruway); take Exit 19 at Kingston. For details, call 1-888/303-3936.
More to See... Nearby Kingston is a historic maritime community, featuring the Hudson River Maritime Museum and the Kingston Trolley Museum, both on the historic Rondout Waterfront District. For more information contact the Kingston Visitor's Center at 1-845/331-7517.