You don’t have to get stoned to enjoy Hopscotch, the immersive museum that opened in June on land once roamed by the Belmont Goats, but I sure did. And I’m glad, because surprise, surprise, y’all: Psychedelic, experiential art hits exceptionally well when you’re already operating on psychoactives.
Born from the same ethos as Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station in Denver, the multicity Museum of Ice Cream, Houston’s Seismique, and even our own Peculiarium, Hopscotch is an unconventional art venue that encourages visitors to engage with light- and sound-based exhibits and otherworldly spaces that make for exceptional photo ops.
Hopscotch is as suitable for families as it is for date night as it is for stoned wandering as it is for responsible TikTokery and Instagramming, and having already navigated Meow Wolf’s Convergence Station once while high out of my mind on psilocybin, I made the executive decision (for my partner and myself) to attempt to get through Hopscotch while under the influence of doinks alone. So we snatched two joints from the stash and set off to spend a couple of hours engaging with art in 14 different galleries using most of our senses.
Visitors enter Hopscotch through a smallish foyer, dimly lit by a tangle of pulsing, bright red neon tentacles hanging from the ceiling. Roadblock No. 1 was filling out a safety waiver on our phones, in the dark, through heavily stoned eyes. This was my fault, though. I should have completed them when I purchased tickets online. Learn from my mistake.
The foyer empties visitors into Hopscotch’s first spacious bar (a second one awaits in the rear of the 23,000-square-foot space), which serves a variety of bevvies that can be taken with you through the exhibits. During the day, the venue is kid-friendly, so there were several babies crawling through the minimalist disco lounge when we arrived around noon.
The bar has a creative menu of cocktails, mocktails and small bites developed by local Top Chef contestant Sara Hauman. There is a variety of seating options, from traditional dining sets to cozy couches, as well as what appears to be enough room to turn the space into a dance floor—presumably during the evening, when Hopscotch is open to adults only. My partner and I ordered drinks, an adult Capri Sun (passion fruit margarita with chamoy) and a Celestial Unicorn (butterfly pea lemonade, lavender and an edible glitter rim), and began working our way through the exhibits.
A heavy cannabis buzz was the perfect buffer for a few of the more sensorially intense exhibits, especially those that relied heavily on light, sound and mirrors. Our strain of choice was Dragon Candy by Green Dragon Farms, which allowed giggles to flow more freely and inhibitions to kick rocks as a feral enthusiasm unfolded.
Standout installations included the Quantum Trampoline, a bounce-activated laser light extravaganza that made our already rubbery limbs feel extra weightless; Augmented Normalcy, a VR exhibit that allows visitors to view themselves from unrealistic angles while wandering through a cartoony, artificial turf-covered landscape; and Unknown Atmospheres, a contemporary hall of mirrors where audiences watch curtains of pingpong ball-sized spots of light chase each other, flashing and pulsing in precise synchrony to an electronic symphony. Each exhibit was enhanced by our buzz in ways we wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.
Escape (Through the Gift Shop)
Stoners, be warned: The hallways of Hopscotch are, by design, labyrinthine, and since exit signs illuminate the ends of each hallway, keeping track of which way is up after having your senses sometimes aggressively stimulated can be a challenge. Hang in there—there’s no time limit on your visit, and once you stumble into the gift shop, you’re more or less home free.
I’d happily bring my kiddo to Hopscotch and fall into the enormous ball pit with him sans any extra, ahem, stimulation. But if I’m adulting without caregiving, there’s no better way to experience Hopscotch than while in a slightly altered state of mind thanks to a good cannabis buzz that fizzles by the end of the interactive journey. Of course, your results may vary.
GO: Hopscotch, 1020 SE 10th Ave., letshopscotch.com. Noon-10 pm Wednesday-Sunday; 6-10 pm adults only. $24 adults; $20 students, seniors and military ID holders; $15 kids ages 4-15; kids younger than 4 get in free.