We knew The FRIENDS™ Experience was an absolute must do for fans of the ‘90s show. Featuring set replicas, memorabilia, photo-ops and merch all inspired by the hit series, the experience has charmed cities throughout the U.S., Canada and across the pond in the U.K. and Europe. Everywhere it’s been, the adventure has captured the hearts of FRIENDS™ fans, with all its interactive activities and easter eggs.
While we were aware our journey would be nothing short of nostalgic and exciting, we had no clue what it would look like. So we decided to check out The FRIENDS™ Experience at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills — and we’re here to tell you about it.
Our journey started at the entrance of the venue, where we were greeted by a vibrant arch of The FRIENDS™ Experience balloons. Excited to embark on the FRIENDS™ adventure, we ventured inside… only to find the one and only fountain. Of course, we had to sing “I’ll be there for youuuuu” off the top of our lungs (we had to do it justice, you know) and snap as many photos as we could. It was the perfect way to start the experience, since it felt like the beginning of a FRIENDS™ episode IRL!
That’s when it became real: we were about to step in the shoes of our favorite characters! And the next room proved us right.
Rows on rows of FRIENDS™ memorabilia stood before us and we had no clue how to act. We’re talking original costumes, exclusive BTS content, actual scripts and concept designs! Everything made us feel as though we were in the show itself, and seeing how everything operates behind the scenes of such an iconic sitcom was the coolest thing. A fun fact that surprised us: the amount of wigs Monica went through in the 10 seasons of FRIENDS™.
After staring at all those strands of hair, we made our way to the legendary couch moment from The One With The Cop in Season 5. It was hilarious screaming “PIVOT!” like Ross did trying to hoist that piece of furniture up the stairs. We also recreated Joey’s “could I BE wearing anymore clothes” moment, and both made for the perfect photo-ops. The staff of the experience came of great assistance, volunteering to snap our photos and even giving us the option to get them professionally printed at an extra cost!
After smoothly avoiding a piece of cheesecake on the floor, we made it to Rachel and Monica’s kitchen. The purple and teal space made us want to move in (who hasn’t dreamed of living in the iconic FRIENDS™ building?) so we had to cut it short and head over to Central Perk before getting any ideas…
And the legendary FRIENDS™ coffee shop left us completely shaken. After all, it is one of the key spots in the show, and seeing it recreated in all its glory felt so nostalgic and a tad emotional. We spotted Phoebe’s musical equipment and almost hoped she would come out to perform “Smelly Cat”! We ended our experience at the merch section, where we stocked up on exclusive accessories and hilarious games.
Overall, it was an amazing journey that transported us right back in time, and we’d highly recommend it to anyone who’s a FRIENDS™ lover (and to their lobster!)