Nothing says ’90s like slime. Slime was part of what made Nickelodeon’s “You Can’t Do That On Television” so popular. It was also one of the best catch phrases of Houston’s own beloved reporter Marvin Zindler when he would exclaim with wild abandon during his restaurant sanitation reports, “Slime in the ice machine!” It was also the inspiration behind a character from “Ghostbusters.”

Now, the goopy emulsion is making a resurgence in Houston with the Sloomoo Institute, a destination that celebrates joy through sensory play with a mission to embrace the power of satisfaction via vivid color, the sense of scent, tactile compounds and captivating visuals and sounds.

“Sloomoo is an immersive experience based around slime, ASMR and tactile sensory,” said Donald Landry, guest experience manager. “Our biggest thing is bringing back the nostalgia of the 90s, so slime falls with giant slingshots, there’s a giant wall you can put slime on and have fun being joyous. It’s just recognizing that retro experience and updating it to the 2020s.”

Located in the Marq-E Entertainment Center at 7620 Katy Fwy Suite 360, the Sloomoo Institute is a full sensory exploration of the somewhat slippery, pleasantly odiferous plasma that people just cannot keep their hands off of. But don’t worry, there are sanitation wipes in every room to help wipe it off.

And, apparently while it is a fun dive into science experiments for children, the adults love it too.

“We do have programs to where we go out and perform science lessons in the schools,” Landry said. “But honestly, one of the best parts of working here is the joy. I love seeing the children and the adults when their faces light up, and they say, ‘Oh, it smells so good.’”

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There’s not shortage of the gooey substance to keep curiosity piqued.

Photo by Sam Byrd

Upon entering the building guests are treated to a cornucopia of slime-themed delights. Patrons start by engaging in a tutorial about how to work with the slime, and then they pick a name based on the non-traditional way the Sloomoo spells everything.

The word sloomoo came from a funny, viral trend noticed in the slime community (yes, this is a thing) in 2017. Slimers captioned their posts with this saying, “replace the vowels of your name with ‘oo’ and that’s your new slime name.” Thus, “slime” became “sloomoo,” and a revival of the icky, sticky stuff was birthed.

But the squishy fun does not stop there. Stations dot the building where patrons can immerse their hands in all types of goop. Different smells, different colors, different textures…it’s all there in the building. There’s also an area to drop off the kiddos and let them explore the wonderful world of slime.

Another feature is the world’s largest DYI Bar to design customized ooze. The 150-foot DIY bar allows for a whopping 4,320,000 unique combinations.

For those so inclined, guests can get completed dowsed from head to toe in the gunk, which makes for the ultimate Instagram post.

“The slingshots are fun, and you hear the crazy screams when someone gets slimed,” Landry said.

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One brave soul got slimed from head to toe.

Photo by Sam Byrd

But for the unsuspecting guest who might get a splatter of the funky stuff, rest assured that cleanup is not difficult. The Sloomoo Institute even sells slime remover for those who want an insurance policy against tracking any unwanted substances to their car or homes.

“The cleanup is not too bad. The great thing about our slime and our recipes is our slime is anti-microbial. It doesn’t hold germs. That’s a big reason why we don’t allow like food and drinks other than water because it cuts down on having any germs within the spaces,” Landry said.

The Houston location marks the fourth permanent Sloomoo Institute, following New York City, Atlanta and Chicago. The company’s website mentions that a Los Angeles location will open soon.

Landry emphasized that the experience is one created for all. Landry said, “I can’t stress it enough that Sloomoo is for all ages.”

The Sloomoo Institute is open noon– 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sundays, 7620 Katy Fwy Suite 360 in the Marq-E Entertainment Center. For information or tickets, visit sloomooinstitute.com. $39 – $69.

Sam Byrd

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