One thing T loves to do – and I mean LOVES to do – is bounce. Yep, bounce houses is where it’s at and where it’s been at for a long, long time for T; in fact, T still talks about the HUGE dinosaur bouncer he had at his third birthday last year (thanks again to Party On! Rentals for one of the best at-home bouncer deals in the Los Angeles area!). He also will ask someone with a birthday coming up, “Are you going to have a jump?” No, his great-grandma didn’t have one for her 92nd birthday last year; T was so disappointed.
Thankfully for T, he doesn’t have to wait for the next birthday party to get his jump on, as bounce businesses are booming in our area. Here are two of T’s favorites:
Frogg’s Bounce House in Fountain Valley, CA, is probably T’s favorite bounce spot. Frogg’s has a variety of bouncers, including slides, race mazes, and standard preschool-themed jumpers (i.e., jungle, sports, etc.), and a nice amount of them. They also have train tables, large playhouses, a karaoke hut, and riding toys for the younger kids to enjoy. T could spend all day here if I let him, and we have spent three hours here easily (C has gone with us a few times also and rather enjoys it himself!). This place in particular impresses me because the owners take pride in the cleanliness of their business by hiring someone whose job is just to clean all day long. Seriously, if the cleaning person doesn’t have a mess to clean up, they are scrubbing away at something: a bathroom, a bounce, or a group of tables. It’s appreciated so much given that, well, kids are just innately kind-of germ-filled and ignorant about how to contain those germs a lot of times. So thanks to Frogg’s for putting cleanliness next to bounciness.
Frogg’s appeals to kids from around one- through eight-years-old. I’ve not seen many kids older than this the times we’ve been, and by the time children are “tweenagers” they will likely tire of the younger-themes abundant here. But we truly love it here, especially for a mixed-age play date or for meeting up with a friend of T and their younger siblings. Frogg’s also does a great job appealing to moms of two or more kiddos in that it’s a safety-gated play space with monitoring cameras all over the facility for when toddlers slip out of sight. They also wristband every single parent and child together as an additional safety precaution in case you need help finding your child in one of the bouncers.
Frogg’s has open bounce hours daily and sells day or monthly passes (see website for details). Also be sure to think of Frogg’s when considering your next birthday party; while we’ve not been to a party here yet, they have a HUGE party room available in the back of the facility that is only opened for private parties (contact Frogg’s for details).
Bounce U has more than 50 locations throughout the country and a couple of locations right here in Southern California (Huntington Beach, CA, is our local spot), so it is a larger operation than Frogg’s. When T was two-years-old, Bounce U was a little hard for T to get into after being such a Frogg’s lover, but lately and as he’s gotten older, he’s starting to enjoy it more. This is good because it’s recently become one of the more popular choices in our circle for birthdays and other celebrations; in fact, T attended two parties there just this past week! But along with all the bouncy festivities, safety is foremost at Bounce U. Every attendee must sign a waiver and check in with front desk staff upon entering (you can even download a PDF of the waiver and do this in advance!), and then staff directs every party-goer to sit and watch a safety video before even entering the bounce area. No video, no wristband; no wristband, no bounce.
Parties have a definite flow at Bounce U; like a play with three acts, Bounce U breaks your party into three parts in three different spaces. You start in their first room of inflatables, which at this location contains a huge double-slide, a preschool bouncer, and a “sport” bouncer (balls with hoops, obstacle booms, etc.). About halfway through your bounce time, staff moves you through to the second room, which contains a race obstacle course, a “boxing” bounce complete with oversized boxing gloves and padded helmets, a tall, steep slide with rope-ladder access up to the top, and a basketball game center. Some coin-op games are scattered in each bounce room for additional fun (air hockey, hurricane simulator), but the focus remains on the bouncers. Finally, parties conclude in one of two food rooms where pizza, hot dogs, and/or cake and punch are served to party guests. The guest-of-honor gets a special Bounce U throne to sit in during this time of the party, which makes for nice photo opps for family and friends. Parties usually last two hours, no more, no less, with about 75 minutes of that dedicated to bouncing.
Open bounce hours at Bounce U are harder to come by than they are at Frogg’s, but as I said parties are their focus. In fact, parties are so much of Bounce U’s business that at any given time five parties could be circulating through the facility and each group would be none the wiser to that fact (one in the pre-bounce safety area; one in room one; one in room two; and groups wrap it up in one of the two food rooms). But even with this amount of traffic, Bounce U staff always manages to put your party first by always providing enough hands-on “Party Pros” both in the bounce areas and inside the food rooms. As C witnessed his first Bounce U party last week, he said to me, “An engineer came up with this concept, it’s so efficient… I like it!” Given that Bounce U does run amazingly efficiently for a kids’ place, but still with that personal touch, it’s no wonder the place stays packed full of bouncers morning, noon, and night.
Bounce U does a great job to appeal to all-ages. They host special “Preschool Play Dates,” which are open bounce times for the preschool set (five-and-under), and Bounce U is eager to get the entire family in on the fun with special Family Bounce times. To check for open bounce times and pricing at Bounce U for the Huntington Beach location, or for more information on booking your next party here, visit their calendar). Here you can find the Bounce U near you.
Time to bounce, RMT’ers… PS: Don’t forget your socks!