I talk about this a lot, my son and his issue with jumping. He still is unable to jump off the ground. I am determined for him to master this skill! Bounce houses are not doing the trick, so I finally decided to try the perfect setting: a trampoline park! And fortunately for us, there is a great one right in Hartford!
I decided to check out the Toddler Time at Launch Trampoline Park in Hartford. I figured being around other kids jumping up and down on trampolines might give the boy some motivation to figure out this whole jumping thing! What I liked about the idea of this Toddler Time was that it was just for kids under age 5. So, we could jump freely and learn some skills without being overwhelmed by the big kids!
Toddler Time at Launch Trampoline Park is held every Friday morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (They do sometimes cancel if there is a school vacation or holiday break so make sure to check their calendar before heading over). If you like to plan ahead, you can buy tickets for the Toddler Time online, or if you live an unpredictable life due to toddlers, you can also drop in. They recommend buying tickets in advance since they can sell out. I am not sure how many people they allow at a time, but I do know that they were really busy on the Friday we went! I had never seen so many toddlers in one place! But we had no issue getting to jump (and we actually showed up half way through Toddler Time).
Launch Trampoline Park is located on Brainard Road near the Hartford-Brainard Airport. It is extremely easy to get to from the highway. (Exiting from the parking lot was a little more challenging, especially at the lunch hour. Brainard Road is a very busy road, especially if you are turning left out of the parking lot!)
The entrance to Launch Trampoline Park is in the back of the building, where you’ll find a substantially large parking lot. There was no issue with parking here.
When you first enter the building, you will be shocked by the enormity of it. It’s a huge open warehouse! On the lower level, you’ll find the front desk, along with computers to complete the waivers; there is also an arcade with games, a snack bar, bathrooms and the party rooms. On the upper level, you’ll find the entire trampoline park.
The first thing you’ll want to do when you arrive is complete the waiver. They have a few computers available so you can complete the form; or if you like to plan ahead, you can complete and submit the form online before your visit. All jumpers AND spectators must have a valid waiver on file to participate at Launch Trampoline Park.
After you complete the waiver, you’ll head over to the front desk where you’ll pay for admission.
The 2017 admission for Launch Trampoline Park’s Toddler Time is $10 and includes one child and an accompanying adult. (If you are attending during any other hours, please make sure to check their website for the cost, as it may be different than the special rate for toddler time.) The cost covers the full two hours of Toddler Time. So if you have a very energetic toddler, you basically pay $5 per hour to fully wear them out! We are not quite ready for more than hour of continuous playtime, so we were happy to show up at 11 a.m. and stay for just one hour! If you prepaid online, you just need to check in at the front desk. Upon paying, you are given a wristband that you must wear while in the park.
You also have to buy Launch Trampoline Park’ssocks (you can not wear your own). The socks have a special grippy sole to prevent sliding on the trampolines. They cost $2.50 for each pair. But they are yours to keep. So don’t lose them, and make sure to bring them with you every time you return!
He was either not too sure about the socks… or he was annoyed at the fact that they matched his outfit (I swear, I did NOT plan that!). I made sure he was wearing something comfy and loose, that would keep him cool! You will want to dress accordingly too; this is one heck of a workout!
They offer lockers and cubbies at the front for you to store your items. They also have locks available at the front desk. We came in with a small bag and our coats, but we also had boots on so we ended up hogging three lockers!
Once he had his socks on, I had a hard time controlling his excitement! He was off like a man man to find the trampolines! The entrance to the trampolines on the upper level is accessible by ramp.
At the top of the ramp (and actually all over the whole place), you’ll find a slew of rules and safety regulationsfor Launch Trampoline Park. Trampoline jumping is an extreme sport, and can be dangerous! They absolutely encourage little ones, especially during toddler time, but you need to make sure to follow the rules. There are a lot, and honestly, I didn’t even realize some of them until one of the monitors pointed it out. For instance, I didn’t realize you shouldn’t jump on the same trampoline as your child. Since I’m trying to teach him how to jump, I was confused at this one, but then the monitor explained that when you (the parent) jump, they (your child) will go flying (think about when you drop yourself on a mattress, the other side goes up)…. and that makes absolute sense! So, take time to read the rules, and remember they are put in place for a reason!
At the top of the ramp, you’ll also find an explanation of jumping times and how it coordinates with the color of your wrist band. As I mentioned above, when you check in, you are given a wrist band. The wrist bands are different colors depending on your check out time. They announce throughout the hour when your time is up based upon the color of the band you are wearing. Since we were wearing white wristbands, we were given warnings just before noon. It is important to pay attention to the color of your band, as well as the announcements over the radio and on the television screens so you exit the park on time. .
They also have additional storage cubbies on the upper level in case you want to keep your things nearby. People also brought in strollers, and stored them in this area.
Right on the other side of the entrance ramp is Kids Court. This is a small jumping area for children under 42″ tall. Children of all sizes are welcome to jump in the regular trampoline areas, so long as they can follow the rules. If they are unable to follow the rules, they may be asked to stay in the Kids Court area for their jumping time. Since this was Toddler Time, most of the kids were in the large open area. We did jump on the trampolines in the Kids Court for a little bit and they definitely are much gentler (you don’t seem to bounce as high!).
Just past the Kids Court you will find two trampoline basketball nets! You will be guaranteed that slam dunk!
At the end of the open area is where you will find the large, open trampoline area. It is massive! Trust me, these pictures don’t do it justice! There is so much space to jump, bounce, hop, and so. It’s really fun for the kids (and the adults!).
As I mentioned, there are rules everywhere, and especially right outside the trampoline court.
The squares are smaller so you will definitely want to make sure you keep to the one person per square rule! They also are a much higher bounce. The green padding in between the squares is a divider and while it’s kind of soft, it’s still not something you’ll want to slam onto or fall into! So be super careful when jumping. He had some trouble getting his balance on these trampolines, and spent most of his time on the orange and green barriers.
We honestly did not spend as much time as I expected on the trampolines. He really just does not want to learn to jump! Instead, he chased balls around the dodgeball court…
There are two dodgeball courts. When we visited, just one was open for use. Obviously since this was toddler time, there was no actual dodgeball being played, but those balls certainly provided endless entertainment for some of the kids, mine included!
The last area of play is the very popular, and very fun, foam pit!
The foam pit is located up a set of stairs, overlooking the front foyer and admissions desk. The foam pit is pretty deep and stuffed full of foam blocks.
The pit has its own set of rules, including no diving, no flips and staying in your own lane!
My child has issues with jumping off the edge of anything. Instead, he tends to have a controlled fall. Fortunately, they had an awesome monitor working that day at Launch Trampoline Park and he demonstrated how to jump for my boy. And my child took an immediate liking to him! He kept wanting to go back to the foam pit to visit his new friend (I think the fact his new friend wore glasses helped too!).
He still didn’t quite get it, but that’s okay!
He spent a full hour running back and forth between jumping on the trampolines, chasing and putting the dodgeballs on the top of the court wall, and falling with his new friend in the foam pit. When it was finally our time to leave, he was NOT happy about that.
As a result, I had to spend money on arcade games. The arcade is hard to avoid. I tried to escape without spending money on games he doesn’t know how to play but those colorful lights drew him in!
If you do decide to play any arcade games, you’ll need to purchase a Launch Trampoline Park game card that you fill with either a credit card or cash. The card machines are located on the opposite side of the waiver computers. Most of the games we looked at cost $1 per game.
If you do play enough games and win tickets, they have an arcade counter where you can turn those tickets in for prizes!
Sadly, I did not win the Minion plush doll while playing the claw game. And once the four dollars I put on the card ran out, we moved on.
We had lunch plans so we had to get going. But right near the arcade counter is the Launch Cafe which sells drinks, ice creams, and lots of snacks. If you do plan to stay for a while at the park, you can stop and have a snack!
The last thing I checked out was the birthday party room, which is located just past the arcade on the lower level. The room is large, and has plenty of space for a big group. You can find out more information about parties at Launch Trampoline Park on their website.
Launch Trampoline Park is a great place to visit when the weather is cold and snowy during the winter, or even when it is hot and muggy in the summer. The toddler time is also a great activity for the younger kids, and provides a safe two hours of playing for them.
We had a really great time jumping! I was thoroughly exhausted after this visit, and so was my child! He didn’t learn how to jump but we will have to just keep practicing! He’ll eventually get there. And then I’ll never be able to keep him off the trampoline!
This about sums it up…
91 Brainard Road – Hartford, Connecticut
Toddler Time Hours:
Toddler Time: $10 per child. Parents are free with a paid child.
Socks: $2.50 per pair
(See website for additional pricing)
- Large open trampoline area, 2 dodgeball courts, foam block pit, basketball hoops, kids jumping area.
- No shoes allowed – Launch socks required to play
- Parking is available for free, in large lot
- Bathrooms available, including changing tables
- Cash or credit card accepted
- Waiver must be signed before jumping (either online or upon arrival)
- Sessions can be booked or you can walk-in
- Lockers and storage cubbies available
- Food available for purchase
- Arcade and games available to play for additional cost
- 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!