Cristina crafts pieces on travel, parenting and lifestyle. Connect with her at www.editorialcreatives.com or www.facebook.com/pages/Editorial-Creatives/147954298617175 and @CristinaDimen on Twitter. WN mentor link: www.weekendnotes.com/profile/37614/
Published August 17th 2011
Ask any parent or caregiver and they'll tell you that their little ones seem to have boundless energy. Their need for movement is usually satisfied by running around city parks, or swinging from bar to bar like little monkeys at playgrounds.
Jumping castles come in many forms. Here's a bouncy obstacle course.
But, if you're looking for an alternate activity, worry no more—jumping castles may be your answer. In the U.S., jumping castles are better known as bounce houses or bounce castles, which come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. They commonly occupy Manhattan's concrete jungles at street fairs, school festivals and fundraisers, private parties and other kid-friendly events.
Outside the Big Apple, folks with backyards can buy or rent bounce houses and other gigantic inflatables from retailers, such as Celebration Entertainment. Open every Monday to Saturday, the Brooklyn venue also provides numerous party services, various age-appropriate bounce fun houses, obstacle challenges, plus water or dry slides and more.
Celebration Entertainment 1202 Avenue N, 1st Floor Brooklyn, NY 11230 718-775-3957
No patch of land to claim as your own? Don't fret. It's New York after all, and there are myriad brick-and-mortar choices within a walk or bus, cab or subway ride away.
Renowned for its competitive gymnastics programs, NYC Elite Gymnastics (SoHo) is also a go-to party venue. Aside from gymnastics and dance, an inflatable slide and bouncer are among the numerous activities offered during their hour-and-a-half-long birthday parties. Guests enjoy refreshments during the last 30 minutes. Party packages include paper products and balloons for 10 children at $650. If you're hosting, don't forget to provide your own birthday cake, food and beverages to replenish your guests' energy.
NYC Elite Gymnastics (SoHo)
100 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013
NYC Elite Gymnastics (Upper East Side)
421 East 91 Street
New York, NY 10128
For an indoor venue with a wide selection of bounce houses and other gigantic inflatables available daily, board an "N" train or the B16 bus and head to the Fort Hamilton Parkway station (corner of 62nd Street) in Brooklyn. A short walk to 67th Street and 9th Avenue, will bring you to BounceU of Brooklyn, which is the biggest of four New York locations.
The glass doors open up to a fun and cheery indoor play center.
The 12,000-square-foot space houses two party rooms, a waiting area, a couple of arcade games and BounceU merchandise for sale (including socks in case you forgot to bring the required pair), and of course, a multitude of jumping castles and rides.
Watch your child break into a smile as she gazes up two freestanding colossal slides. Soon enough she'll maneuver her way through the obstacle course, and nimbly ascend to the top of the spider climb where an attached slide awaits for her glide back down.
Sign up for the Cosmic Bounce and sway to the beat as the kids bounce under the cover of darkness, intensified with lights and music.
Grownups don't have to feel left out—they're free with their child's admission. BounceU also hosts corporate events, such as holiday gatherings. Prepay for your reservation—for your party, or family and individual open bounce times, and you're good to go.
6722 Fort Hamilton Pkwy, 2nd Floor
(Entrance - 67th Street and 9th Avenue)
Brooklyn, NY 11219
College Point BounceU
132-25 14th Avenue
College Point, NY 11356
3495B Lawson Blvd.
Oceanside, NY 11572
(just off Route 110)
101 Carolyn Blvd.
Farmingdale, NY 11735
For those moments when your child is looking a bit jumpy, take a trip to one of Pump It Up's four branches in Nassau County, Long Island.
Sign a waiver, slip on your child's socks and let them bounce around in one of the jumping castles. There will be some climbing, slipping, sliding and of course, jumping in the massive brightly-colored inflatables.
Host a trouble-free private birthday or graduation party for twelve guests, which include food, drinks, paper products, staff to supervise the event and more, depending on the package you choose. The venue is also perfect for fundraising events for up to 120 people.
So, the next time your child (or you) are in the mood for a good jump, perhaps some bounce time at Pump It Up is in order. Just remember to reserve a spot ahead of time, and make sure your child is at least 34 inches tall. Ready. Set. Jump.
Pump It Up
136 Washington Avenue
Cedarhurst, NY 11516
Pump It Up
225 Community Drive, Suite 250
Great Neck, NY 11021
Pump It Up
135 Dupont Street
Plainview, NY 11803