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HAVE A BALL

Ball pit bars are popping up around the world

Young adults are taking a tamer approach to nightlife than was the case in years past, as addressed in our Social Status report. When they choose to go out, they’re often seeking playful experiences, like bars with board games, and ushering in an Age Of Innocence. Further catering to this preference is a rise in bars with ball pits—a trend that’s popping up across the globe.

BALLIE BALLERSON

In recent years young adults have been gravitating towards playground-like spaces, from The Museum of Ice Cream to adult summer camps. This fascination with childlike experiences isn’t out of immaturity, but rather because modern young adults don’t care to have the hedonistic lifestyle that was characteristic of youth in decades past. Instead, they’re embracing experiences that provide youthful optimism, with London’s Ballie Ballerson epitomizing such. Following a successful pop-up, the company has built a permanent ball pit bar location in Shoreditch that contains one million balls spread over three pits, with the main area containing clear balls and LED lights on the floor. Attendees can enjoy candy-inspired cocktails and glittery drinks, completing the Instagrammable experience.

CONCOURSE DANCE BAR

Seven in 10 U.S. Trendsetters aged 14-34 believe that the notion of acting your age has become irrelevant. They see age as a non-issue and are democratizing the concept. This outlook speaks to the rise of ball pit bars, like Philadelphia’s Concourse Dance Bar. Guests can opt to enter the club by going down a slide and once inside, they’ll find a giant ball pit and pool floats. While the ball pit is the main attraction, Concourse also provides other noteworthy elements, including a wall lined with cassette tapes and DJs playing hit songs from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and the 2000s while music videos are projected on TVs.

BALL POOL BAR DIVE

In today’s hectic, always-on world, young adults are longing for simpler times. Ball pit bars deliver this as they transport visitors to a carefree, youthful state. The aptly named Ball Pool Bar Dive in Osaka, Japan does just that in providing a pit with 20,000 colored balls to play in. Unlike similar concepts in the U.S. and UK, Japan’s take on the trend lets visitors drink in the ball pool. In fact, the bar serves all-you-can-drink specials for 60 to 90 minutes depending on the day and all beverages are served in cups with lids to prevent spilling.