You Should Experience a Ball Pit at Least Once in Your Lifetime and Here’s Why

We all have memories from childhood that involve blindly jumping into what feels like a million small colorful plastic balls. The excitement of a ball pit has always been infectious and guarantees laughter for anyone willing to dive in. The older we get, the more distant that memory becomes, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be distant forever… In this post, we’ll “jump in” to a behind-the-scenes look at the iconic Color Factory ball pit. 

The History of Ball Pits

For the past 50 years, ball pits have been a fun yet simple source of entertainment. They have been a staple at various fast food restaurants, carnivals, and even birthday parties, adding a pop of color to any event. So, who coined this idea? 

Ball pits can be traced back to Eric McMillan , an english man who spent his life creating interactive play environments for children. As a child born during World War II, McMillan relied on play to stay happy and active as a child. After attending a trade school, he began traveling and expanded the work of creating new toys for children. In 1976, he and his team created the first ever ball pit in San Diego, California. The idea was inspired by looking at a jar of onions and wondering what it would be like to play in something similar. This quirky idea began the production of something that later became a staple of play for children. 

Throughout the following years, ball pits became a common addition to childhood play. Over the past few years, these joy-filled experiences have developed into something even bigger, not limited to only children to enjoy. Ball pits have become increasingly present on social media, at events not limited to children, and as a way to remind adults that it’s never too late to get in touch with their inner child! 

Color Factory’s NASA-themed ball pit in Houston, Texas.

Our Ball Pit 

The ball pit has been a staple at Color Factory since day one, when we first opened our doors in San Francisco. Exploding in an all-yellow room, the ball pit immediately became a favorite of all who came to visit. Although we closed our California doors, we knew the ball pit needed to stay with us. In New York, a bright blue room is filled with hundreds of thousands of plastic balls, adding a surprising ending to the Color Factory experience. In partnership with NASA, our Houston location switched it up by creating an “out of this world” experience, filling the ball pit with opaque circles contrasting dark walls. 

Each pit contains 500,000 balls and is about 3 feet tall.

In a recent survey taken by Color Factory visitors, the ball pit was ranked as the most enjoyed experience in both New York City and Houston. 

Color Factory’s original, yellow ball pit in San Francisco.

So, what sets us apart? 

Aside from creating the BIGGEST ball pits, we set ourselves apart by making sure we maintain top quality and cleanliness. 

Here’s what makes us different: 

1. We use GermBLOCK ball-pit balls. These incorporate bio-static technology that successfully repels over 50 common germs (as well as mold, mildew, algae, and fungi). The protection never wears out and lasts for the full lifetime of the ball. 

2. We deep clean EVERY DAY with a Hygenie Ball Washer machine, which kills 99.9% of bacteria. This includes a 3-step cleaning process that scrubs the entire surface of each ball while washing it with antibacterial detergent and exposing it to ultraviolet light sterilization.  

3. We’ve installed PüreSpace machines into our ball pit rooms. This potent system disperses food-grade antimicrobial vapor to decontaminate every surface in the room. So, while guests are moving around the ball pit, they’re actually exposing more surfaces to the vapor, and helping to keep each ball sanitized. 

4. We’ve updated our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system with new, short-wave UV lights (known to destroy airborne microorganisms including viruses, bacteria, and mold). Our HVAC fans are now running at all times, so that CLEAN air is constantly flowing throughout our rooms. 

5. In between guest visits, our Operations Teams sanitizes the inside and outside of the ball pit so that every surface stays as clean as possible.

Because of these additions, you can be sure to have the best experience possible, so jump right in! (Want to see our employees in action? Check out this TikTok!) 

Cleaning the blue ball pit in NYC.

At Color Factory, we want everyone to laugh, enjoy themselves, and even find their inner child again. By ending each experience with some time in the ball pit, we know everyone will leave with a smile on their face. What brings joy? Let us know in the comments below. We hope to see you soon! 

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