What is a Ball Pit Bar?: Bar / Recreation
Where is it? Ballie Ballerson, London
How much does it cost? £15 Evening / £38 Bottomless Brunch
How long do I need? 2 hours
A friend told me about the ball pit bar in London some months ago. I wish I was exaggerating when I say I thought about it constantly, but I’m just not. After visiting an ice bar in Argentina, the idea of a glow-in-the-dark ball pit bar complete with bizarre cocktails reassured me that, no matter what happened over the next few months, I was going to love the hell out of London.
Ballie Ballerson is the childhood fantasy you forgot you had. With some 250,000 balls to wade through and LED reacting lights, it’s fair to say you’ve never in your life experienced a ball pit quite like it.
Ballie Ballerson invited us to their Dalston location. The inside was backlit, the walls mirrored and covered with neon murals. It was just 6 pm when I showed up, and my friend was running behind schedule. I’ve heard you can’t go to an adult ball pit both sober and alone, so my first stop was by the bar.
The space-themed cocktail list was out of this world (sorry). Nothing so simple as a gin and tonic crowded the menu, and instead, the drink list was comprised of things that glowed, blew up, or at the very least, were colors never found in nature. I was drawn to the Uranus, a tequila cocktail with a mysterious pill clipped to the side of the glass. The instructions read: “First try Uranus, ensuring you lick the rim. Uranus is very sour. Then chew the space pill, letting it dissolve on your tongue. SWALLOW. Now go in for sweet seconds on Uranus.” This is what my friend Maire might call a “single entendre”.
As I sipped my way through the sour-then-sweet cocktail, Maire showed up. She asked the bartender for the best thing on their menu and ended up with the Jupiter – a smokey sparkling cocktail of Appleton dark rum, Southern Comfort, lemon, passionfruit pulp and Hibiscus tea. The catch? A lit firework. You’ve got to wait to fizzle out before changing locations.
Sufficiently buzzy, we walked down the stairs to coat check, then climbed into the Glowy McGlowerson ball pit. What started as an empty pit when I first arrived had actually grown into quite the party. The 90’s queens were running the show with group dives into the ball pit (for Boomerang, of course). The vibe was so contagious, we couldn’t help but take a dive ourselves.
We took turns sinking into the ball pit and extracting each other when the other got in too deep. It was almost like being in a bubble bath where the point was absolutely not relaxation. We even tried to dance at one point, though in this case, dancing was more of an upper-body sport.
I imagined Ballie Ballerson would be kind of a one and done, but I must say! I can totally imagine going back. The cocktail list is long and completely unexpected, and I’d be glad to take another dive into the ball pit some late night.
If you’re looking to get balls deep into the weird things to do in London, make Ballie Ballerson your first stop. Here’s what the experience looks like.
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This post is in partnership with Ballie Ballerson. We received complimentary admission in exchange for our honest review, but come on. You can’t make this stuff up.