Epic Ball Pit Action

This is fantastic. As you know, I began exploring the possibilities of Industrial-Scale Ball Pittery back in 2005 but found the cost to be prohibitive. I posted a followup survey of more recent research in 2008. I am glad to see that explorations of this important concept continues.

Parody land use sign at former Vitamilk site promises huge ball pit

The sign, a parody of a Seattle Department of Planning and Development land use sign, indicates that the empty lot will be used "to construct one ground level ball pit pond containing 1,200,000 cu. ft. of rainbow plastic balls."

"Parking for for 171 bicycles, 65 unicycles, and 13 tricycles to be provided in 2 levels within the structure," the sign reads. "Existing ramp to be converted to one 40 ft. slide."

A map on the sign shows a trampoline, a concessions area and a "rescue claw."

I believe that 1,200,000 cu. ft. of rainbow plastic balls would cost around $1.6 million, not including delivery.

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12 Responses:

  1. if vast areas of ballpits are prohibitively expensive, have you considered vast depth instead? There, cost is a linear function rather than a square function.

    • Adam says:

      Because nothing says 'oh, fun!', like jumping in over your head into a giant ball pit. And then dying there, trapped and unable to get out again.

      • Are you reliving a traumatic childhood memory?

      • Adam A. says:

        Hence the rescue claw!

      • Chris says:

        it would be plastic balls, and below that, corpses!

        • DFB says:

          I would like to see evidence that fit adults can't to move up through deep ball pits. There are plenty of YouTube videos with children resting on the surface of ball pits for a long enough length of time that I am sure it's a function of body mass, fitness, and ball diameter to body surface area ratio. I'm also convinced it would be possible to learn ball swimming over time.

          Also, about all these math calculations, don't plastic ball manufacturers offer quantity discounts? The price per ball varies by an order of magnitude. And I bet you can get them at less than the listed price if you get someone on the phone and counter each offer with, "You're bustin' my balls here."

        • Dustin Miller says:

          Eventually, there would be enough corpses that no one would have to worry about the depth.
          Then, the engineers get to design a deeper pit!

  2. piku says:


  3. Ben Brockert says:

    Related, this installation ended today:

    Apparently they were giving the balloons away, which is about the cheapest acquisition of modern art you can get.

  4. Chris Davies says:

    Presumably if you're going to do this, you'd have an industrial ball moulding and cleaning plant on site to do it at a fraction of the cost. Then you'd have to solve the problem of sorting out broken balls from the thousands that go through the cleaner each day, and recycling them in to new balls. I'm picturing an assembly line of poorly paid happy fun elves.

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