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Neighborhood taken over by giants escaped from inflatable fairy tales – find out how to see them

A neon lizard and a giant beanstalk are just some of the quirky installations that have taken up eight buildings around Croydon.

Croydon BID, working with pioneering design company Designs In Air, has created Unexpected Croydon, an inflatable 3D street art gallery featuring a range of ‘unexpected’ sights.

Taking over the London borough until August 18, the eight huge installations have been designed to draw people of all ages back to the city’s high street for a week of entertainment, fun and frolic.

The colorful inflatables first invaded Croydon in October and have reappeared this time in even more monstrous form.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Where is the Unexpected Croydon exhibition?

    (Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)    (Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)

(Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)

Here’s where you can spot the critters around Croydon until Thursday 18 August:

  • Brush – Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, CR9 1DG

  • Love Rocket – AMP House, Dingwall Rd, East Croydon, CR0 2LX

  • Lizard – Ruskin Square Car Park, Dingwall Rd, East Croydon, CR0 2NB

  • Grim Fingers – LSBU Campus, 3 Wellesley Rd, Croydon, CR0 2NW

  • Eyeballs – Barclays Bank, High Street, North End, CR9 1SX

  • Pencil – High Street, North End (between Central and Whitgift shopping centres)

  • Beanstalk – Croydon Town Hall, Katharine St, CR0 1NX

  • Tentacles – Optivo, Grosvenor House, 125 High St, Croydon, CR0 9XP

Why are there monsters in Croydon?

    (Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)    (Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)

(Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas, who run pioneering inflatable design company Designs in Air)

Matthew Sims, chief executive of Croydon BID, said: “Our high streets need something different. They need creativity, innovation and reimagining. Unexpected Croydon brings together a series of incredible art installations, bringing key parts of our town center to life to attract people with a free trial that will captivate all ages at a time when we need a little relief.”

Luke Egan, director and designer at Designs in Air, said: “Our main reason is to make the world a more surreal and colorful place.”

He adds: “Our sculptures are often site-specific and instantly transform everyday scenes into strange new ones. We hope to make people look up from their feet and phones and raise a chuckle or at least an eyebrow! Our sculptures can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, and although our designs are highly technical, it’s not high art, it’s UP high art! The great thing is that everyone can see our work for free.”

What’s more, if you spot an escaped monster and post on Instagram tagging @checkoutcroydon and #UnexpectedCroydon, you could be in with a chance of winning £100 to spend at Boxpark.

If that’s not an incentive, we don’t know what is.