The Upside Down at Liberty Science Center
(SPOILER ALERT! To all my Stranger Things fans, proceed at your own risk)
Hawkins, Indiana came to life at the Liberty Science Center with everything Stranger Things themed and more. As the doors opened a crowd of people decked out in their favorite characters flooded the room. Music was playing, Midnight Market was ready with food and drinks – the party had officially started! Red strobe lights pierced through the black darkness, replicating the ominous yet exciting vibes when the Stranger Things title sequence starts on your TV screen. Iconic outfits from all three seasons were put on display from casual Dungeons and Dragons attire to intense Demogorgon battle gear. Many people found inspiration from the Stranger Things gangs own ghostbusters Halloween costumes and one woman actually went on to place in the top 3 of the LSC After Dark Costume Contest with her elaborate Ghostbusters outfit complete with a proton pack and giant Slimer on her shoulder. As the night went on and more people joined the festivities the venue looked like a scene straight out of the Starcourt Mall, fully equipped with Scoops Ahoy favorites Robin and Steve.
While it was tempting to immediately jump in line to indulge in some Empanada Papa or Cryo Cream, the lines for the attractions were slowly growing and I knew I had to check them out before the 100s of people filing in had the same idea.
Get Down in the Dark
There is no Stranger Things without The Upside Down, which was recreated using the LSC’s Touch Tunnel. On all fours you enter through a small opening into the darkness, using only your right hand to guide yourself through the tunnel. While we were waiting in line for about 10-15 minutes a big screen with night vision was displayed on the wall so all those waiting could see others attempt to make their way through the darkness, often fumbling over themselves, and others. As entertaining as that was it was now my turn to enter and navigate my way through the upside down. After I crawled a few feet, I realized you really can’t see anything, not even your hand in front of your face! I frequently bumped into walls and felt something squishy beneath my other supporting hand but I successfully avoided demogorgons and found my way to the other side.
The next attraction was something you simply couldn’t miss – because it was literally hanging two stories high over the masses of people below on the dance floor! LSC’s infinity climber gets your heart pumping while you crawl, climb and balance your way through different pathways while you’re suspended nearly 35 feet in the air. The hands on activities didn’t stop there because with a quick walk around the corner there were more activities and exhibits to check out. The horizontal rock wall gave everybody a run for their money, drawing a crowd to cheer on the brave people who attempted to successfully complete this challenge. Only a few steps away from there were people creating gigantic soap bubbles and playing with a ball hovering over an airstream, a great photo op for anyone dressed up like 011! Other popular exhibits were the beehive, pixel art, oversized building blocks, real life angry birds, spider maze, pumpkin painting and of course their haunted house and special planetarium viewings.
Midnight Market Mayhem
Screaming is the best give away of a good haunted house and LSC’s haunted house definitely checked that off our list. A crazy doctor, who liked experimenting on animals… and humans was on the loose along with his demented experiments. With chains, strobe lights, creepy tour guides and of course, jump scares this haunted house collected its fair share of screams, laughs and even a few tears. After all of this adventure, the smell of delicious food lingered in the air and I was starving! Tojo’s kitchen, Gringo’s, and Gusti Di Sicilia were waiting for me downstairs along with other enticing food stands brought in by the Midnight Market. After indulging in some Empanadas and Balkan Bites it was time to wash it down with a refreshing beverage! There were options for all tastes including beer, specialty drinks and samples of select spirits such as moonshine, misunderstood ginger whiskey and mill six hemp vodka. A personal favorite among party goers was the Gorgon Punch, made with dark rum, cranberry, ginger ale and for some extra spooky flare, all the specialty drinks were smoking.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
As the night was coming to an end, there was no better way to top it off than with a light show in the biggest planetarium in the Western Hemisphere, the Jennifer Chalsty Planetarium. Lights of all colors flashed above, outlining our favorite characters in their most recognizable outfits and roles. Billy’s infamous walk to the lifeguard tower was beamed across the stark black background along with other crowd favorites. While the light show and party came to an end it was the background music that continued echoing in everyone’s head,
Look at what you see
In her face
The mirror of your dreams
Make believe I’m everywhere
Given in the light
Written on the pages
Is the answer to a NEVER ENDING STORY.”
Midnight Market Vendors Not Mentioned Above