The Balloon Museum Opens in London

The Balloon Museum, Which Brings Everybody to the Child's Age, Opened in Old Billingsgate, London on Wednesday.

Dec 28, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Balloon Museum
Photo: @edward_wichard / @julienln


The Balloon Museum recently opened in East London. There is this giant multi-colored ball pit, which is the focal point of the museum. Pop Air was a pioneer of this idea, firstly introduced in Rome. After this, inflatable display variations started going around the globe. Around three million visitors managed to see the exhibition, including in cities like Paris and New York.


The Balloon Museum for People of All Age

The Balloon Museum
The ball pit is the main draw at the museum. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian


Now it’s London’s turn with EmotionAir. “The idea is that the balloon brings everybody to the child’s age,” she said. She also added there are works by 20 artists which includes enormous bouncy bunnies, bubbles, and giant beach balls. There are also Large orbs with patterns in black and white stretched from the roof, ready for tossing. The balls are bouncing against one another and sending a few smaller children flying.


Another room was equally popular. This room has child-sized inflating eggs that resemble the iconic toy Weebles from the 1970s and techno music that was pumping. The show is only one of several interactive cultural events that are open to people of any age. But, Instagram accounts seem to be the true consumers. At most galleries visitors can’t use cameras, but this gallery encourages it.


The Balloon Museum
Ready for ricocheting havoc. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian


The sign tells visitors: “Tag us! Your experience is important to us, share it”! The ball pit, where everyone wants their photo shot, is the centre of it all. This ball pit looks like a swimming pool, furnished with ladders and a massive ball that has noises and visuals beamed onto it. This projection got the most visitors.

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“It’s very Instagrammable, for sure”

The ball pit. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian.


In line to enter was London-based lawyer Aadishi Agarwal, 25, who spotted an advertisement for the show on Instagram. “I think I saw the ball pit and thought I’d love to jump in”, she said. Her friend added: “It’s very Instagrammable, for sure”. Overall, The smallest visitors, who are oblivious to the ‘gram, enjoyed Kaleidoscope. Karina Smigla-Bobinski designed this room.


The space has transparent plastic that is pliable and can be probed, as well as tables coated with coloured lighted fluid. Nico, two, became fascinated with it and crawled all over them. His forty-year-old mother, Ellen Pires, an advertising professional, noticed the advertisement on Instagram. She thought it looked more fun than a normal soft play. “It’s more interactive with more colours and sensations for him to enjoy”, she said.


A young visitor in the Kaleidoscope room. Photograph: David Levene/The Guardian


For adults who want to feel like a kid again – or families who want a soft play with more glamour and without the stench of stale chicken nuggets – it makes for a fun day out. But it is not cheap. Tickets are from £32 for adults or £18 for under-15s, while a family ticket starts at £90. The exhibition runs until 18 February.














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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.