Camp “Esperienza famigliare” reseller opens in the historical centre

Chicago
By Chicago 3 Min Read

Chicago is about to open its first Camp store—not a place for outdoor supplies, but an experiential emporium that invites kids to play and their parents to shop.

Camp, which bills itself as the family experiences company, opens Wednesday in a 7,500-square-foot space at 651 W. North Ave. It combines elements of a toy store and party venue with a little mystery: a “magic door” that opens to seasonal family attractions.

Behind that door, starting August 19, will be a multi-colored mini theme park of activities by Doodles, a digital entertainment company behind the non-fungible Doodles token art collection favored by celebrities like Steve Aoki and Justin Bieber.

Patrons can play in fluffy “cosmic clouds,” enter a “flower forest” to do arts and crafts, play arcade games, and create Doodles characters.

Camp’s Chicago operation will be its ninth US location. The retail store is open to the public, but admission to Doodles will cost $28 per person.

Doodles should be around until early 2024 before giving way to something else, said Camp co-CEO Jenica Myszkowski.

He promised a couple of exciting operations emphasizing “truly wonderful imagination and the value of creativity.”

The store sells toys, clothing, and accessories, and has interactive features, including a slime-making station, “splatter room,” and live event space.

It’s a version of retail as entertainment that’s being tried elsewhere, including outlets on Chicago’s North Michigan Avenue like the Museum of Ice Cream and the “Harry Potter: Magic at Play” experience.

Myszkowski said Camp chose to open on North Avenue, where Lincoln Park meets Old Town, because it “has such an amazing density of young families.” He said the shop’s main market is people who live nearby who are likely to be repeat visitors.

It is also one of Chicago’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Disposable income is a prerequisite here.

Myszkowski said that, counting admission to the Doodles, families are likely to spend an average of about $150 per visit.

“We are one of a kind in the kind of immersion we create in a physical retail space,” said Myszkowski.

He said the location cost about $2 million to install. The camp has closed a couple of venues nationwide but is hoping to expand, Myszkowski said.

Camp is located on the ground floor of the North+Vine condominium. Customers can get free parking on the lower level of the building’s garage.

A rendering of the Doodles experience opening August 19, 2023, inside the Camp store at 651 W. North Ave.

A rendering of the Doodles experience opening August 19, 2023, inside the Camp store at 651 W. North Ave.

FIELD

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