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World's Largest Kaleidoscope

After hiking up and down nearby Tremper Mountain, I decided to celebrate by doing something nearby and also unique. Since I was smack dab in the middle of the Catskills in the town of Mount Tremper anyway, I decided to head up to the Emerson Resort & Spa on NY Route 28 and check out the World's Largest Kaleidoscope. I have driven past the kaleidoscope a number of times before and had wanted to check it out.

The kaleidoscope is housed in a silo that is connected to a barn built in 1860 on the former Riseley Flats farm. The silo itself is 56 feet tall and 38 feet in diameter and is connected to a group of gift shops called the Shops at Emerson. The kaleidoscope itself is part of a kaleidoscope gift shop called the Kaleidostore and it opened in 1996. It has been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest kaleidoscope. It was designed by award winning kaleidoscope artist Charles Karadimos, with video designed by psychedelic artist Isaac Abrams and his son Raphael.

If you are visiting the World's Largest Kaleidoscope, you can pay a $5 admission (but for children aged 11 and under, it is free) and get treated to a 10 minute kaleidoscope show in the silo. There are a few different shows that are run throughout the year and I got to watch an outer space themed kaleidoscope show.

The kaleidoscope show is an interesting visual and sound experience. When you are inside of the silo, you are also entering the World's Largest Kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope’s main presentations utilize video playing off a three dimensional, three mirror system that creates a pyramid tapering from 15 feet at the bottom to five feet at the top, which reflect a constantly evolving virtual sphere with a 50 foot radius. With the use of projected moving images and mirrors from the top of the silo, the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope replicates the kind that you hold against your eye and manipulate by turning your hand. During the show, you can either lie on the floor (don't worry, the silo has been modernized, carpeted and is climate controlled) or lean on one of their standing chairs, which may work better if you are not too tall.

There are a few hands-on kaleidoscope exhibits within the Kaleidostore as well, including one where you can look at a plant through a kaleidoscope and another kaleidoscope where you can stick your head inside and take some photos of yourself inside a kaleidoscope. There is also a "Kaleidobar" where you can look into some nice, but expensive kaleidoscopes. The world's largest kaleidoscope is certainly a fun experience and a great way to spend time if you are in the Catskills.

Watching the kaleidoscope show.


Some of the kaleidoscop exhibits.

Inside a kaleidoscope.
The Kaleidobar.



Sources and Links:
Emerson Resort and Spa - World's Largest Kaleidoscope
Atlas Obscura - Kaatskill Kaleidoscope


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