Now Reading: Neon Signs and Ball Pits: Adult Playgrounds are Taking Over Instagram


Neon Signs and Ball Pits: Adult Playgrounds are Taking Over Instagram

May 1, 20193 min read

In the midst of Coachella shots and spring OOTDs, there seems to be another new trend popping up in the feeds of millions of users: The Adult “Instagram” Playground. These fun-coloured, childhood nostalgia filled pop-up shops are peaking the interests of many young people in urban areas. The city of Toronto has already seen two major installations in the past few months.

So what exactly does an adult playground entail? Some are different than others, but typically they are similar to modern art installations – but with a more playful twist. They often have bright coloured rooms, with blowup couches, bubbles, confetti, ball pits or anything else that you can imagine would be fun or quirky.

For many people, these playgrounds are an opportunity to get a fun and unique Instagram shot– in fact, one might argue that is where the playgrounds get most of their appeal. The widespread social media obsession, however, has also proven to be a genius marketing technique. On some level, it’s strange to believe that people would go to such great lengths to get a killer Instagram shot… but then again, is it? Even though tickets for these installations can sit around $30, many people don’t seem to mind when they’re getting numerous unique backdrops for shots.

Certain playgrounds, however, are more than just for channeling your inner Instagram model. Happy Place, an exhibition that started in 2017, “was created because we BELIEVE that our world today can use a lot more happiness. To make this DREAM come true, we set out on a journey to create a special place where anyone who walks in is surrounded by all things HAPPY.” With this in mind, Happy Place includes Rubber Duck installations, Confetti Domes and a Rainbow with a pot of “happiness”.  Happy Place originated in LA and is currently on tour in Boston. Similar to Happy Place, the city of Toronto is currently home to HideSeek, an experience designed to stir childhood nostalgia and encourage adults to loosen up.

It is certainly questionable as to whether adult playgrounds are on their way to becoming a permanent fixture in our society (such as actual children’s playgrounds), or if they simply are yet another Instagram phenomena. But hey, who’s to say adults can’t have fun too?

Featured Image via Forbes

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Sarah Abernethy

Sarah Abernethy is a seventeen year old writer from Toronto, Canada.