BRIDGEWATER — An interactive fantasyland photo playground called POP!, a first of its kind in New Jersey, is set to open at Bridgewater Commons on Nov. 26.

It's called POP! because there are surprises at every turn and there's a lot of pop culture photo ops, said Tom Kovacic, marketing director at Bridgewater Commons.

The mall teamed up with BAYMO, the creators of one-of-a-kind immersive experiences, to bring POP! to New Jersey.

POP! will offer a carnival of creative spaces and modern places, paired with state-of-the-art, multimedia technology, in which to capture sharable photos and videos.

POP themed photo room (Photo Credit: Bridgewater Commons)
POP themed photo room (Photo Credit: Bridgewater Commons)

Kovacic said the exclusive new attraction is over 5,000 square feet of entertainment with over 15-themed rooms with various references from pop culture.

"It's supposed to be fun, a pop culture party," Kovacic said.

The exterior of POP! greets guests with an array of vintage TVs continually updating with visuals and videos reminiscent of the 1950s. People will then enter a lobby designed to resemble a New York City bodega. Inside, there are many themed rooms including a 1970s laundromat with retro machines and checkered floors where people can get their pictures taken in a laundry basket if they choose.

There's also a curved photography studio and a vibrant tunnel of music and lights. Each room has stations with professional cameras set up to take the perfect photo. Kovacic said these photos can instantly be downloaded to a mobile phone to be posted and shared. Hard copy prints may also be purchased.

POP themed photo room (Photo Credit: Bridgewater Commons)
POP themed photo room (Photo Credit: Bridgewater Commons)

"As the photo is taken, you literally can look down at your phone and it's there. You can literally send that or share that to your profile on the spot," Kovacic said.

Kovacic said this is such an amazing experience that people can take their time going through all the rooms.

The attraction may be the first of its kind in New Jersey, but Kovacic said it started in the Dallas Galleria Shopping Center. After seeing how successful it was there, Kovacic said they wanted to bring it to New Jersey.

"I think that shoppers expect more than a shopping experience today. We don't want to be just a transactional place where people just come in and buy things. We feel as though if we create something  — I guess it's one of those if you build it, they will come," Kovacic said.

The idea is to move away from the stagnant shopping experience, and instead keep surprising people to keep them coming back for more.

"People expect Santa. People expect shopping. People expect lights. But I don't think people are really expecting to see POP! so I think this is going to be a real holiday delight," Kovacic said.

He sees experiences like POP! taking flight to other malls.

POP! is for all ages and it's multi-generational, making it a whimsical experience with the "wow" factor people are always looking for, he said.

Located on the lower level across from Build-A-Bear Workshop, reservations for "POP!" can be made online. Admission tickets are $22 for adults and $8 for children under 12.

POP! at Bridgewater Commons will run through May 31, 2022.

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