Open Play at Bounce Town

These past few weeks have been difficult. When you have a small child that does not understand germs and being sick, or the concept of being “snowed in”, it can be challenging. They can’t understand why there has been no playgroup for two weeks, or why storytime was canceled, or why they can’t play in the snow for eight hours straight. They need to play and burn off their energy. And they have an endless supply of energy that must find a way out, or else.

Or else what, you ask? 

This. 

And this. 

Tantrums. Over everything. His bowl was orange. He hates grapes today. His Dory cereal offended him.  I said it was bath time. I said he couldn’t eat the raw cake batter. He wanted to eat a whole tub of blue frosting and I took it away. And oh my goodness, I told him it was bedtime. What was I thinking?

I know tantrums are just par for the course with a toddler, but when you coop them up in the house during the winter, it makes it even worse. So since we finally seemed to have a break in the 20 plus inches of snow that hit us in less than a week, I knew we NEEDED to get out of the house and burn off some energy!  We needed to go somewhere he could climb, jump, crawl, run and tire himself.  So we went to a bounce house! 

More specifically, we finally checked out the Open Play at Bounce Town in South Windsor

Bounce Town was surprisingly close to our house. When we arrived there in like 15 minutes, I was questioning myself as to why we had not been here yet! Since I am pretty familiar with the area, I knew how to get here (and didn’t even need to use the GPS!). I did not realize how far into the industrial park it was, and in fact, I did at first miss the street it was on; so I ended up doing a u-turn in the parking lot of Maneeley’s Banquet Hall. Maybe I should have turned on the GPS, or actually written down the address. I was a little too confident. 

Bounce Town is located on Commerce Way, in the John Fitch Business Centre. 

When you approach the building, it does not look like what you would expect for a bounce house. But honestly, after visiting a few other bounce houses around the area, it seems they never are what you expect. Honestly, the fun is on the inside, isn’t that what really matters? The sign outside is also small so if you are not looking (or you don’t have the address like me), you may miss it. 

The parking lot is not overly huge, but that may be due to the mounds of snow that seems to be taking up every square inch of the State of Connecticut. Since we were visiting during a Wednesday morning, we had no issue parking right near the door. I am not sure how crowded the lot may get during school breaks or a big birthday party. 

The front door is directly underneath the sign on the building. 

Like I said, the outside does not seem like a kid’s play house, but the inside… 

The check-in desk is immediately in front of you when you walk in. Since we were there for open play, our admission was $10 for my child. I was free. This rate is the same during all open play hours, whether you attend the morning or afternoon session, or if you go on a weekend open play session (which can be rare, because they fill up their weekends with a lot of birthday parties!). Open play is for children ages 2 to 12. Children over the age of 12 are not permitted unless they are accompanying a child under 12; and children under 2 are free if they are with a child that is 2 or older. 

We received a punch card and our first punch for today’s visit. The card states that you should bring the card with you to open play and you get your eighth visit for free! They also have a current promotion where you can receive 6 visits for the price of four. If you do buy this package, your visits do not count towards the punch card deal. 

While at the front desk, I also had to sign-in for open play (this included my name, my child’s name and my phone number). 

I took a minute to scope out the front play area, quickly since my child was about ready to take off with his sneakers, coat and hat still on. They have a small arcade area, some tables where you can eat lunch (during open play), two single stall bathrooms with changing tables, and a small area with snacks for sale. 

Food cannot be brought into Bounce Town (so you can’t come in with snacks or lunch). You can bring in coffee (since that is one thing they don’t sell). Otherwise, you can grab a snack, ice cream or cold drink from their small snack area. The prices were reasonable- I actually grabbed a bottle of water for $1 (Chips were $1, ice cream was anywhere from 75 cents to $2, and juice boxes were 75 cents). 

They also can order lunch for you from a nearby restaurant – pizza, wings, and mozzarella sticks are on their menu as options. If you go to open play during the morning session, you can stay for four hours, order a pizza, break for lunch and then continue playing! They offer tables in the front area for eating. 

Also towards the front are two party rooms that can be rented for birthday parties and other events. You can rent the facility during a weekday or on the weekend. The prices vary from $180 to $320 depending on the number of children and day of the week. They provide paper goods, invitations, and tablecloths.  You can also add on food and drinks for extra.The only outside food allowed is cake and ice cream, and fruit and vegetable platters. More information on their party packages can be found online here

My time was limited and my child was excited, so we finally dropped off our coats and shoes in the cubbies provided. I did not come in with my purse or wallet, and you may want to do the same. There was very few people there when I visited, so there was not a safety concern, but I just find it so much easier to leave that stuff in the car. I can store keys and my phone in the pockets of my coat, so I just did that. I saw other moms bring their purses into the play area with them, as well as diaper bags and strollers. 

I took a quick second to read the rules that are pretty standard with most bounce houses:  No shoes (wear socks!!) or jewelry; no food, drinks or gum; no crazy gymnastics (like somersaults, diving, flips); no climbing the slides; look before you go down the slide; feet first down the slides on your bottom (yeah, he tends to break that rule, sorry).  You’ll also find additional safety information on each inflatable. 

I could not hold him back any longer. Can you blame him? Look at this awesome place!

He was immediately drawn to the huge firetruck! Inside this was basically a giant slide

Wear your socks, mom and dad, and make sure you get in there with the kids! It’s completely exhausting, but so much fun to play with your children in these kinds of places. You actually have permission to jump and play and slide your heart out, so do it! Take a break as needed (we are getting old, and we don’t have the energy of a toddler), but absolutely climb that ladder and go down the slide! I was not the only crazy mom in the bounce houses! 

Here we go! 

They have another giant slide located across from the firetruck. This one is a little easier to climb since it is not as steep as the firetruck. 

As you can see, my 2 1/2 year old has no issue climbing these things! So if you have a young toddler like I do, they will absolutely enjoy this place! 

It has an awesome dip in the slide when you go down! It was fun! 

There are two open bounce houses: one with a small slide, and the other just a strictly open jump bounce house. 

Tweety is just a big open bounce area. At first he was hesitant about this one, but once another little girl came in to play, he had a lot more fun! 

The Hello Kitty bounce house has a big open area for jumping, as a well as a slide and a few things to climb on and under. I did not go inside this bounce house, and he only tried this one once. He was too infatuated with the firetruck! 

If you find yourself getting exhausted, feel free to take a rest at one of the small tables located next to the Hello Kitty bounce house. A few other tired moms were parked there with me off and on! There is also a bench located near the giant blue slide. 

After a much needed water break for this mom, and a forced water break for my child, we decided to conquer the last two bounce houses. These are obstacle courses.

The first one is located under the giant Ninja Turtle. It involves a tunnel, climbing around and under and over weird inflatable things coming at you from every direction, then climbing a ladder and going down a slide. I did it once. That was good enough for me! This boy went through it at least a half dozen times, if not more. He really loved it! 

The other obstacle course was a little challenging for him. It seemed to be designed for bigger kids and definitely would be fun for the parents. This is a double sided obstacle course, so two people can race through this together. There are two entrances, two courses, two rock walls and two slides. You could really have fun on this one if you turn it into a contest with the kids! 

You enter through a small circular opening, and they actually had a step stool in front for the little kids. Even with the stool, he had a hard time reaching the entrance. So we only did this one twice, and both times I went with him.

You can stand up in this one, and walk through the first part of the obstacle course. He crawled through part of it, and it seemed tough for him to push through certain areas, walking through it was much easier. 

When you finally reach the slide, you have to climb a rock wall. He did surprisingly well at that! Well, it’s becoming less shocking since he is becoming quite the rock wall climbing pro lately! I have a monkey for a toddler- he is a climber that is for sure! 

What goes up must come down!  

As an adult, I thought this one was great. For my boy though, I think it was a little too much. He loved the rock wall and slide, but the obstacle course was a bit too challenging for him. Maybe in another year he will enjoy it more! 

We spent over a good hour and a half going through all six bounce houses over and over again. He especially loved the fire truck slide, and that was probably how we spent the majority of his time here! He also spent a lot of time playing with this… a giant Connect 4 game. Only my child is in a room with giant bounce houses, and he plays Connect 4 instead. And the craziest part was that he couldn’t even reach the top so he just spent his time stacking the rings on the peg holders. The simplest things entertain them at this age! 

On the day we visited, the rock wall was not open. The rock wall is typically only open during weekend open play or school vacations. You can also add that on to your party packages (at an extra cost). It looked fun! He was not old enough for it either way, so it was probably a good thing it was not open! 

We had a really fun time at Bounce Town! There is great variety to keep your children entertained for hours, but also not too much to be overwhelming. It is also just enough if you only want to spend an hour or two there (like we did).  There was some crying involved when it was time to go, but it was lunch time and closing in on nap time as well. He got over it pretty fast when I found an apple in my purse (food is always his solution).  I wish I could say he slept for hours and hours that afternoon, but that’s not my child. He did give me a two hour break, and I took what I could get! I, on the other hand, slept awesome that night! 

I love that this place is so close to us, and I will absolutely plan to go back soon! 

If you are also feeling the strain from being trapped inside during this lovely New England winter, make a trip to Bounce Town and let your children jump off all that energy! Maybe they’ll nap better that day, or maybe not, but I can promise you one thing: we have not had a full blown meltdown in almost 24 hours and it’s been wonderful! Mission accomplished! 

 

This about sums it up…

 7 Commerce Way – South Windsor, Connecticut

Website

Open Play Hours:

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Friday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed most Tuesdays during the school year

Open Bounce is usually on weekdays (and weekends only when available). Please visit their calendar  online  for up to date information regarding open play hours. 

Parties can be booked any day of the week. 

Prices: 

Open Bounce: $10 per child, ages 2 to 12.  Parents are free with a paid child.  Children under 2 are free if they are with a child over the age of 2. Children over 12 are only permitted if they are with another child under the age of 12. 

Features:

  • 6 Bouncers including 2 bounce houses, 2 slides and 2 obstacle courses
  • Lots of climbing, lots of slides
  • Arcade Games available 
  • No shoes allowed – socks needed to play 
  • Parking is available for free
  • Bathrooms available, including changing tables 
  • Food available for purchase 
  • Party rooms available for rent
  • Food and drinks are not allowed inside the play area

A few additional tips:

  • Wear comfortable clothes and plan to get a good work out!
  • Remember socks! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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