London: ArcelorMittal Orbit

As always… I’m always on the lookout for interesting things for us to do, at 11pm scouring some sites… There it was!

On 5th April, the ArcelorMittal Orbit which forms part of the 2012 London Olympic Park celebrated it’s first birthday.

To mark the occasion, they filled one of their viewing platforms with 2,500 balloons for kids ( and adults alike) to play about with whilst admiring the view.

We quickly bought some tickets online for £11.95. ( it’s more on the door) On arrival the lady kindly offered us the option to upgrade our tickets to Annual Passes at no further cost which we did.

Once in we were given a bit of history and taken up in the lift.

The Orbit stands at 114.5 metres high with the highest viewing platform at 80 metres ( 22 metres taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty) and has 455 steps ( if you’d like to take the stairs down) …you can of course also pay to abseil down if the stairs are far too dull.

On a clear day, you can see a 20 mile radius and the Orbit itself was made from 2,000 steel tonnes ( 60% of which was recycled). It’s red colour was picked because of it symbolises luck in some eastern cultures.

The balloons definitely add a playful feel and even as an adult you can’t help but get involved.

The concave mirrors add an interesting dimension and are actually here all year round. ( unlike the balloons!)

After a while we walked down to the lower viewing platform and the lovely balloon modeller taught us how to make balloon dogs!

After a while we then opted for the stairs as our method of descent. Along the way there are sounds which are all related to the area and the Olympic park, all with an explanation. I’m sure it only took us about 15 minutes ( if that! ) and of course with my annual pass – I shall be back!

The exhibition is open until April 19th with the Orbit itself open all year round with the balloon modeller there 1-4pm on all dates.

Get your tickets from:  ArcelorMittal Orbit Tickets

On Friday 17th April, we decided to return to the Orbit with our annual passes in the evening as we were told there were going to be a few hundred LED balloons, some music and a bar, well why not!

We arrived at 7:30pm just as the sun was setting…


Remember if you have your annual passes you need to show some form of ID.

Once up on the highest viewing platform, it was more a party atmosphere with it being darker and music being played.


Apart from the sudden noises of balloons bursting every 5 minutes, it was great to see the stunning view go from day to night…


The whole LED balloon element was a lil disappointing, with the balloons bursting, a considerable amount of LED lights were now on the floor and hardly in the balloons, sort of took away from the moment!

So down a level to the bar we went. I’d call this the sophisticated floor!

Not a great selection at the bar, red, white, rose, beer, orange juice or water. A lil sign with prices wouldn’t have gone a miss ( I’ve managed one too many bars in my time …lol)

I also think something could have been done with the decor, a few poseur tables would’ve been perfect, people desperately wanted somewhere to rest their drinks…

If there’s perhaps a special event here I’ll make a point to return I think…

Here’s some photos from outside looking at the Orbit at night!


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