The FOMO Factory Pop-Up Brings Summer Fun to Houston Galleria

This buzzed-about pop up will become The Galleria’s first foray into immersive entertainment with 17 rainbow-colored rooms of fun

This summer, escape to a childhood wonderland complete with a giant sand castle, ball-filled swimming pool, and candy-covered swings. The FOMO Factory, an immersive exhibit filled with fantastical sets from iconic childhood moments, has selected Houston as its newest location and opens its doors June 7 for a limited six-month run in The Galleria.


The FOMO Factory launched a five month run in Austin in September 2018 with tens of thousands of visitors and notable faces including singer Billie Eilish.

After nearly four months of re-imagining, FOMO will once again open its doors offering visitors more than twice the rooms and square footage in its new home in Houston.  

The FOMO Factory is the brainchild of native Texan, Rachel Youens, who was inspired by her life-changing time spent at a summer camp for grown ups where she learned about the power of play. After years spent in the corporate world with companies including Forever 21 and EA Games, she decided to cultivate an all-ages space where adults could feel like kids again.

“Our childhood theme is one that’s universal: we all had a childhood,” Youens said. “Whether yours was great and you want to relive it, or it wasn’t so great and you want to reimagine it, we’ve created that opportunity. We invite you to return to that fleeting time in life when everyone was a potential friend, every day was exciting, and magic was something real.”


Visitors to The FOMO Factory will shed their identity at the door as they shake off their worries and choose their new silly nickname before entering a fantastical world featuring 17 immersive rooms.

In addition to FOMO’s now-iconic Birthday Room with its giant cake and Playground with rainbow seesaw, the Houston installation will introduce nine new concepts. In the Science Lab visitors can don a lab coat and goggles to conduct weird experiments, snuggle into a tent to tell ghost stories in the Summer Camp Room, or grab a giant marker and draw on the walls of the Coloring Book Room.

Unlike some immersive spaces, which operate much like a self-serve photo studio, The FOMO Factory specializes in offering an experience and not merely photo backdrops. The journey taps all five senses by including a theatrical staff, smells piped into rooms, a retro soundtrack, and even tastes of childhood.

“These types of exhibits have come to be known as ‘Instagram traps’ designed specifically for likes,” said Youens, “Of course, our place is artistic and well lit, but we put the experience first. We offer the types of feelings and interactions that can’t be captured in a photo. We want you to truly be transported to our world, and not just to create a crafted photo.”


Since the launch of The Museum of Ice Cream in 2016 in New York, the immersive entertainment industry has been booming with companies like Santa Fe’s Meow Wolf expanding to Denver, Las Vegas, and Washington DC. The FOMO Factory is a first for The Galleria, which hosts 30 million visitors annually and is not only a shopping hub for Houston locals but a major tourism destination for visitors around the globe.

“The Galleria has always been innovative in its retail mix, and it’s vital for us to continue to offer customers new reasons to return,” said Chris Lane, Director of Marketing and Business Development at The Galleria. “We’re excited to give shoppers something artistic and truly unique that will make the time they spend with us that much more fun.”

A city widely recognized for its creative significance, from folk art like the Art Car Museum to modern installations such as The Rothko Chapel, Houston was the natural choice for FOMO after its successful Austin run. The installation will tap the talents of locals including creative direction from Houston blogger and influencer, Amber Oliver.


The FOMO Factory’s limited-time run start June 7 and extends through the end of 2019, with tickets available at Visitors can snag early bird prices of $23 for adults and $18 for children through the end of May, before prices increase to $28 for adults and $23, with children under 3 attending for free. FOMO will offer adults-only hours from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Wednesday and Thursdays.

The FOMO Factory will be open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., closed Tuesdays. FOMO will also be accepting bookings for private photography and special events.

photo credit: V. Sweeten