PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2012, and while it should still give you a good overview of the experience, it is also possible that it may contain some outdated information. Please check their website for the most current information, especially about things like schedules and pricing.
UPDATE 2.17.15: Bounce Town in South Windsor has made a few changes to their interior so I thought I’d post some more recent pictures. Also, they are opening a BRAND NEW location in Canton on 3/1/15! Post on that coming soon 🙂 Check their website for the most up-to-date info on hours and pricing.
Read on for more details about this location!
Back in January when I was making my list of indoor play places to check out, I came across Bounce Town’s website. It looked promising, but like TimberGyms, Bounce Town in South Windsor, Connecticut doesn’t often have open play time on the weekends due to their high volume of birthday parties. And weekends are prime scouting time because then I can enlist hubby to accompany me for back-up supervisory support (read as: he watches Boo while I run around taking pictures and asking questions).
Sometime in February though, I got tired of checking Bounce Town’s website every week to see if there would be open play the coming weekend (they update their homepage with that info weekly). There never was.
Then, a miracle happened. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly a miracle. But it was an invite to a birthday party…at Bounce Town!
For some reason, whenever someone says “South Windsor” to me, I automatically think of the area around The Shoppes at Buckland Hills or Evergreen Walk. Then I think that anything that is not a private residence and has a South Windsor address must be right there next to the malls. It’s ridiculous, I know. Anyway, it’s a good thing I decided to pull up the map on my iphone as we were walking out the door because let me tell you, Bounce Town is definitely not near the malls. Oops.
It is, however, still very easy to find (be sure to use the handy new “get directions here” feature that we’ve started adding to our posts) provided that you know what you are looking for. Because like Stay and Play, Bounce Town is located in what appears to be an industrial neighborhood of warehouses.
Of course, it makes total sense when you think about it. Where else are you going to find 7500 square feet of open space plus two-story ceilings? But when you’re driving through that neighborhood looking for the great big building with the itty-bitty sign, it helps to know that yes, you are in the right place and no, it doesn’t immediately look like a place to bring your kids.
We could already hear the music thumping as we drove into the parking lot.
I think Boo heard it too because he was a little hesitant about this place at the start. There was even a mini-tantrum outside the door. Of course, it was 5:00 p.m. so that could have been caused by fatigue, hunger, the fact that we no longer let him take binky out of the car with him, his aversion to shoes, the direction of the wind. It likely had nothing to do with Bounce Town. And luckily for us, it dissipated quickly. In we go!
Let’s get the lay of the land first. Straight ahead is where you can check in for the parties or pay to play. The playscape is to the right and the party rooms are to the left. Spacious family restrooms with wall-mounted changing stations are right near the front door.
Now, on to the area with the inflatables. There are five of them, and they are all in this one big open space. Bounce Town’s website does a good job of showing you what each inflatable looks like, but it doesn’t quite give you the scale. They are HUGE. And for little ones, perhaps a bit scary at first.
I have to be honest. Boo was a little tentative at the beginning. He found this giant bouncing ball, you know how he loves those, and pretty much just clung to that for about 20 minutes. Oh, and he’d scream if we tried to put him on any of the inflatables. Good thing it was pretty loud in there to begin with.
Of course, Boo didn’t care much for it. He seemed happy enough to watch from the sidelines.
I was really disappointed that Boo didn’t seem to like these things at all. He loves trampolines, not to mention jumping on the couch, the bed, these springy floor pillows we have in the living room. I thought this place was going to be such a hit. I was just about ready to give up and put away the camera when I heard my name being called from what sounded like very far, far away. I looked up to see my Boo (and, thank heavens, his daddy) at the top of this monster slide.
From the look on his face going down the slide, I braced myself for hysterics. But all I got when he slid to a stop at my feet was the biggest smile I have ever seen! Sorry, I didn’t get a picture of that because I was too busy A. being terrified that my itty bitty boy just flew solo down that great big slide; B. giving him a great big hug; and C. trying not to cry because of all the irrational pride I was feeling at that moment (yup, I was proud of him for going down a giant inflatable slide; isn’t it amazing what makes us feel pride when it comes to our kids? 🙂 ). And then he was off to go again.
Now, just to be clear, hubby did have to help Boo climb up the ladder to the slides. It’s not really manageable for a 19-month-old. However, we did see quite a few 3-year-olds deftly scale all the various inflatables.
That obstacle course is actually pretty challenging though. You can’t really tell from this awful picture I took of the inside (above), but there is a lot of climbing involved, including a pretty steep ascent to reach the slide that functions as the exit. That’s probably asking too much of a toddler. The adults at the party, now, they were having a grand ol’ time with this one.
The Batman inflatable (the one on the left below, as if you couldn’t tell by the giant Bat-Signal) is a good compromise for small kids. It’s got a little obstacle course, which you can’t see here but its entrance is to the left, and a big-ish slide.
All of the inflatables are large enough to accommodate adults, and there were plenty of grown-ups playing just as hard as their kids. However, for those of us who prefer to observe, you may have noticed some tables and chairs in the photos of the castle bounce house. That’s a nice feature for parents with children who are old enough to navigate the inflatables on their own. Also for older children, this neat rock climbing wall.
Since we were there for a birthday party, we didn’t have to pay anything, obviously. There is a fee for a regular open play session, and at $10/child (no charge for adults), it is one of the more expensive options for an indoor playscape. But it is definitely unique and clearly the most athletic activity (read as: guaranteed to get a good nap after this one) we’ve sampled to date. The good thing is there is no time limit on open play, and although outside food and drink is not permitted, Bounce Town will allow you to order in a pizza (at your cost, of course) while you’re there, so that at least means you can make a whole morning/afternoon of it. They even have tables for you to use.
Last month, Bounce Town ran a Groupon for half off open play admission, so hopefully they will be doing that again. And, if you happen to go to a birthday party there like we did, you will also be given a voucher for half price open play.
Speaking of birthday parties, I wanted to take a moment to tell you what a stellar job Bounce Town did hosting the party for Boo’s friend. First, there was the spacious private party room with plenty of cubbies and coat hooks. Then there were the two staff members (“party coordinators”) who were assigned to the party. They stayed in the play area and helped supervise the kids for the first half of the party (about an hour). Then they came back to the party room and helped serve pizza and cut cake during the second half of the party (about 45 minutes). They helped corral the wrapping paper and even made a list of which guest gave each gift as the birthday boy opened his presents. Now that’s service! Definitely going to keep this place in mind for Boo’s future birthday parties.
In the meantime, I still can’t believe that my little baby braved those giant slides. And by the look on his face, I’d say Boo’s just as proud of himself as I am 🙂
Tell us: Have you been to Bounce Town? What did you think?
97 Commerce Way, South Windsor, Connecticut, 06074
Get directions here:
Hours & Admission
Open Play Hours:
Monday, (closed Tuesday), Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. AND 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (closed from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.).
Wednesdays tend to be the least busy day (unless it is raining or there is school vacation, then all bets are off).
Open Play Admission:
$10/child; no charge for adults ($8/child when you are with a group of 10 or more paying children)
FREE for children under 2 when accompanying an older, paying sibling.
Check their website for information about discount open play passes.
Tips & Things to Bring
- No shoes allowed. Anyone playing on the inflatables MUST be wearing socks (i.e. no bare feet).
- Remove (or better yet, leave at home) all dangly or sharp jewelry as it is not permitted on the inflatables for safety and other obvious reasons (pop! goes the giant slide).
- Major credit cards accepted for all purchases.
- There are coat hooks and cubbies available for shoes, bags, etc. However, you won’t really be able to see them from within the play area so you may want to consider locking your valuables in your car.
- You are welcome to bring your baby in a stroller into the play area.
- There are spacious, family-style restrooms with changing stations.
- Parents or caregivers must stay with their children. No drop-offs.
- Bounce Town’s recommended ages for play are 2-12. Children older than 12 are not allowed to play on the inflatables UNLESS they are accompanying a child under 12 (so you can recruit your oldest child/niece/nephew/babysitter to come along for additional supervision; there’s no admission charge for a teenager who is there to help supervise small children). As for the younger set, use your best judgement as to the abilities of your child. At almost 20 months, Boo was able to play safely on the inflatables with A LOT of parental supervision. I would say though, that your child should be quite an accomplished walker and climber before taking him or her to Bounce Town.
- Technically, adults are only allowed on the inflatables if they are accompanying a child under 12 on the inflatable. We did not see that being strictly enforced, but it is probably a good rule to follow for the safety of all the playing children, including your own.
- No outside food or drink allowed, but Bounce Town does have snacks and drinks available for purchase. You can also request a pizza to be ordered for you by the staff (at your cost). Pizza and other food items are delivered from Bella Pizza. Also available on site for purchase: crackers, fruit snacks, chips, juice boxes, water bottles, and other assorted snacks and beverages.
- Host your child’s next birthday celebration (or group play date) at Bounce Town. Book early (ideally, a few months early) as time slots fill up fast. Click here for more information as well as a food menu.
- Click here to see the answers to other frequently asked questions.COMING UP:
Mandy’s rounding up March. And don’t let the chilly weather get you down. I’ve got another stop on my playground quest.