Get ready to step into the world of your favourite tv show at STRANGER THINGS: THE EXPERIENCE! Located in Downtown Toronto, this new immersive experience brings fans of the hit series all the way to Hawkins, Indiana for some strange and exciting fun. Although Toronto has played host to more than one immersive entertainment experience, there is truly nothing like this! I was lucky enough to visit the experience for The Extra Mile a day early and you’ll NEVER believe what happened....
The experience is divided into two portions. The first is a story-driven immersive experience much like an escape room or virtual reality that takes place inside of Hawkins Lab. The second takes place in The Mixtape, a collection of various sets and restaurants from the world of Stranger Things! Despite the two halves of the experience differing in tone and execution, it’s impossible to say which part we preferred. The entire experience is one fans will remember forever!
Your adventure begins outside the doors of the infamous laboratory where Eleven was raised and experimented on by Dr. Brenner. You are residents of Hawkins who have willingly participated in a sleep study within the institution walls. What could go wrong? The production behind the experience within Hawkins Lab is brilliant and mind-blowing. It’s almost as impressive as the storytelling. You see, this immersive experience does not shy away from truly immersing you into the world of the show. Not only are you walking through an exact replica of the sets used to film the show but you are inside the show itself. Similar to an escape room or virtual reality game, your participation is what moves the experience along. You’ll get to solve puzzles and codes, tap into your telepathic powers and even use them to progress through the rooms in the lab! Due to the narrative nature of this portion, there are no cameras allowed to ensure there are no opportunities to spoil the experience for others. In that spirit, we’ll spare you the details of exactly what happens inside the lab. Apart from using your powers to break through doors and fight off dema-dogs, you may just run into a few familiar faces.
Once the first part of the experience was finished, we exited the lab and entered the Mixtape! Let me just start by saying we could have stayed in the Mixtape all night. Hosted in a giant room filled with the best food and drinks Hawkins has to offer! Along with a few more replicated sets from the show! This place truly has everything. We started at the cocktail bar cheekily named The Upside. It has a full drink menu (including cocktails, mocktails and beer) that are all Stranger Things themed! The bar was lit with neon lights, played oldies from the 80’s and had a vintage arcade game in every corner. This was easily one of the highlights of our experience. We were lucky enough to try a few different drinks, which were all totally different but so delicious. For our first round, we drank The Rifter and Friends Don’t Lie. After that, we took so many photos and played pinball and Joust while enjoying our cocktails. This was the most fun I’ve had on a night out in Toronto since last summer. Although we could’ve stayed playing games at The Upside all night, we headed over to Surfer Boys Pizza (from Season 4). They also had multiple menu options including pizza, corn dogs and california wraps! For dessert we hit up Scoops Ahoy! Yes, you heard that right, we ate ice cream from the very shop where Steve and Robin spent their summer working away—while also solving Russian radio riddles. We sat in a red booth and took even more photos. This time with our ice cream!
Along with the food and drinks, there were more than a few replicated sets from the show to take photos in! We posed with Vecna in The Upside Down, in the Byers’ living room, in front of the A.V. Club bulletin and even in Rink-o-mania! The photo opportunities in the Mixtape are truly endless. After taking all the pictures we possibly could, we blew our bank accounts on the awesome Stranger Things merchandise. We had to continuously stop ourselves from buying more merch. I would turn around, wondering where my friend Gabe is, and he’s back in the merchandise store buying something else! Between us both, we could’ve cleared the place out. I ended up purchasing two unreal posters, some shirts and a Hawkins magnet! But there are so many different kinds of merchandise… it was truly difficult to choose. By the end of the night, we were so spent from using all of our fake powers and spending all of our real money, we decided it’d be best if we left before falling into bankruptcy. But I have no regrets (I’m typing this as I wear my new Eddie Munson t-shirt).
Stranger Things:The Experience is truly the coolest immersive entertainment experience to ever come to Toronto. I will definitely be going back to beat Max’s high score and go on another adventure alongside my fellow fans. I recommend dressing up like I did. This will make your photos turn out even better! Going as a group will likely heighten the experience and remember to stand in the center of the action as much as you can! Show everyone (but especially the bad guys) that the new main character in Stranger Things is you!
Tickets Info for Stranger Things: The Experience in Toronto
Prices range from $50-$64 (not including tax)
Standard Group Bundle (recommended): $56 per person – you save $8 per ticket
Includes admission to the Hawkins Lab immersive experience
Includes access to Mix-Tape medley of locations
Prices range from $78-$98 (not including tax)
VIP Group Bundle (recommended): $86 per person – you save $8 per ticket
Includes priority access
Includes admission to the Hawkins lab immersive experience
Includes access to Mix-Tape medley of locations
An exclusive VIP Collectible and tote bag valued over $35 CAN
Complementary signature cocktail or regular size drink of your choice
Group Bundles: 6+ tickets at a reduced price (recommended)
Wednesdays–Fridays: 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturdays–Sundays: 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Duration: Visiting Hawkins Lab takes 45 minutes. There is no time limit on how long participants can enjoy The Mixtape portion of the experience.
Location: Cinespace Marine Terminal Studio – STAGE A
Parking: Available on-site and reservable in advance via website
The venue is wheelchair accessible.
This experience contains sequences of flashing lights which may affect guests who are susceptible to photosensitive epilepsy or other photo sensitivities.
This experience contains mature language and graphic imagery and effects. Children under 5 will not be admitted. Anyone under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.