Last year the café also became home to the Museum of Happiness, a volunteer-run organisation running daily events designed to cheer and inspire guests.
The Museum of Happiness was visited last year more than 7,000 people for their three-day pop-up which featured a silent disco, dance classes, mindfulness sessions and a massive ball pit. The giant ball pit, named JumpIn!, proved to be such a success that the Happiness Team has reprised the JumpIn! for the upcoming festival.
Holding 24,000 balls and standing almost a metre high, the ball pit will feature for four weeks during the Winter Happiness Festival, taking place from 21 January at the Museum of Happiness on Hanbury Street in East London.
Visitors can book a 15-minute slot, with the option of booking the entire pit for their group of friends. Plus there’s even the option for businesses to book the pit for a team happiness meeting.
Other events include free talks from influential speakers about happiness, yoga and mindfulness, as well as a gratitude tree where visitors can share what they are most grateful for. You can even have a go at some mindful colouring or dispose of unhelpful thoughts and attitudes in the ‘Let It Go’ bin.
Although the aim of the Winter Happiness Festival is to encourage fun and play, there’s a bigger issue at its heart. Owner of The Canvas Café, Ruth Rogers, explains the importance of events like this, and their greater impact: ‘Research has proven that adults need play and relaxation to boost their mental and emotional health. London can be a disconnected place, which is why The Canvas Café and the Museum of Happiness are dedicated to providing a space for our community to feel welcome, to connect, and to have fun.’
The Museum of Happiness’ co-founder, Shamash Alidina, adds: ‘Winter can be a particularly depressing time in London. We’re not here to force you to feel happy, but we want to create a space for you to meet with other friendly Londoners, reflect on what is going well in your life, savour the moment and have a bit of fun along the way. And who knows, you may just find yourself feeling a bit more upbeat too!’
The Winter Festival opens on 21 January and runs for four weeks. You can sign up on the Museum of Happiness’ website to receive a ball pit ticket link soon.