‘Bucket List’ Company, Forward Motion, Brings a Ball Pit Bar to San Francisco

by: Antony Hampel

In March, ‘bucket list’ dream-makers, Forward Motion, threw the event of the year. You might not have heard about it, but you’ll wish you could have been there all the same. The event, held over two days, combined one of the most popular adult pleasures with one of the most exhilarating childhood activities.


The unique ‘ball pool pit bar’ was held at San Francisco venue, Romper Room, and it featured a whopping 40,000 plastic balls. Lucky ticket holders were invited to enjoy their favourite tipples, while ducking, diving, and swimming in an oversized ball pit.

It is just one of a series of regression type events to have swept both the UK and the US in recent years. And with millennials now waiting longer to have kids, buy their first homes, and tie the knot, perhaps it not so surprising. Then again, who wouldn’t relish the chance to enjoy a cocktail and a ball pit fight with friends?

The Romper Room event was dreamed up by Forward Motion founder Ryan Lum. According to Lum, the hardest part of making it happen was actually getting hold of enough plastic balls. After a number of unsuccessful crowdfunding events, he decided to start selling tickets and pray that enough money would be made to allow the ball pit to materialise.

It took longer than expected to raise the cash, but the event sold out. And, it was such a massive hit with attendees that a second is being planned for this month. Once again, tickets are in high demand, so anybody interested in getting in touch with their childish side should think about picking some up soon.

From the sounds of it, the inaugural ball pit bar was the start of big things. Lum describes his delight at seeing people turn up in all kinds of fancy dress. He points out that everybody left with huge smiles on their faces and a flurry of questions about how soon they could get back in to the pit. There were games of limbo, a spontaneous conga line, a group karaoke session, and some fiercely funny ball pit fights.

In a world where growing up has become something to avoid, it makes sense that this kind of event would resonate so deeply with people. There is surely a lesson to be learned here for companies trying to tap in to the ‘millennial’ market. Make it big, make it bold, and don’t be afraid to look silly while you’re doing it.

by: Antony Hampel, Event Planner of Alive Events Agency