PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2014, and while it should still give you a good overview of the experience, it is also possible that it may contain some outdated information.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.
A quick note: So, you might have noticed that we’ve made 1 or 2 or 200 changes around here. Mandy and I are so excited that our site design now reflects the sophistication, style and energy of our community of Out and About Mom readers. You are all awesome! And we hope you love the new site design as much as we do. And don’t worry, we may be sporting a new look, but we’ll still be scouting your CT outing just like always…only with a little more pizazz 🙂
Speaking of which…
Thank you to Monkey Joe’s in Hamden, CT for providing my family with complimentary admission! All opinions are 100% my own.
You know those little plastic cars? The ones where you pull them back and then they automatically just spring forward and race across the floor until they crash into something? Well, if I were back in my 4th grade Language Arts class with Mrs. S, and she asked me to write a simile, here’s what I would pen: Boo is like a pull-and-release plastic race car when he’s stuck inside all day. And yes. That’s complete with the crashing into things. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to find out about the NEW Monkey Joe’s bounce arena located in Hamden, CT. Yes! A new place where Boo can crash into just about anything he wants to, with minimal collateral damage.
This Monkey Joe’s is actually part of a chain of franchises spread out across the country. But if you haven’t heard of them, it’s for a good reason. There are only two other locations in all of New England, and they are both in eastern Massachusetts–not really an area I frequent as a central CT resident. So this location in Hamden, Connecticut, which opened last June, is kind of a big deal. As you may know, I live in the Hartford area, and Hamden is about a 40-minute drive for me. Of course, it’s a really easy drive down 91 South and then 15 South. And if you’ve read some of my other posts, you know that sometimes I like a nice drive because it seems to be the only time hubby and I have more than 5 minutes to have a conversation 🙂
So, in an area inundated with bounce arenas, what makes Monkey Joe’s so special you ask? I got your three reasons right here:
1. Open play every day. That’s right. You can walk into Monkey Joe’s and play any time during business hours. No weekend closures for birthday parties. No camps or playgroups or classes that close down the facility to the public. Finally! A place you can go to let your kids bounce on the weekend without being invited to a birthday party! Because it’s not like they have any less energy on the weekends, am I right?
2. Food, glorious food (to borrow a line from the opening number of Oliver!). Monkey Joe’s has a full concession stand with all kinds of foods that kids love–pizza, hot dogs, nachos, ICEE’s, ice cream treats. So there’s no need to worry about packing a lunch on this trip. Just show up with your crew, let ’em bounce ’til they’re starved, feed ’em, and then let ’em bounce some more! (After a reasonable rest period, of course. Full stomachs + bouncing = well, I’ll let you do the math.)
3. Toddler Time. While other bounce places we’ve been to may have a toy or two for the toddler set, Monkey Joe’s has a giant, totally padded, completely enclosed (save for the entrance) play area just for your wobbly walkers. Everyone can have fun!
But that’s not all!
So are you ready to see this place?! I thought so 🙂
As I mentioned above, Hamden is a pretty easy drive from the Hartford area (and if you live in the New Haven area, even better!). Monkey Joe’s is on Marne Street, which runs parallel to Dixwell Avenue (that will ring bells if you’re a local). You can actually see it from Dixwell, you just have to turn down a quick side street to get there. Plenty of convenient (and free) parking.
When you enter, there will be stairs to your left, and a ramp to your right. The facility is very stroller-friendly, so you can certainly bring your wheels with you.
Head over to the check-in desk where you can pay your admission and fill out a waiver.
Then you can make your way over to the cubby area to shed your shoes, coats, etc. Anyone going on the bounce equipment MUST wear socks (if you forget, you can purchase a pair there). If you will not be going on the inflatables, you can keep your shoes on (although, you must take them off for the toddler area too–no shoes in there either). There’s some room for strollers here too, if you don’t want to take it into the bounce area with you.
Rules are always a good thing to know.
Notice that last one. ONLY KIDS 12 YEARS AND YOUNGER ALLOWED ON JUMPS. No, that doesn’t mean you have to let your 2-year-old climb Mt. Inflatable solo. It just means that although you are welcome to assist your children (age 4 and younger), you can’t actually do any bouncing if you are over 12 years old. It’s a rule for safety above anything else. But the good news is that there is no minimum age for bouncing. If you have an intrepid 18-month-old, let her at it.
Okay. Now let’s get the lay of the land. I thought I had taken a wide shot of the whole place, but apparently I was too excited and ran right in to start snapping pics of Boo bouncing, so we’ll have to do this the old fashioned way. To your left, the concession stand. To your right, the adult seating area and the toddler play area. Straight ahead, the main bounce area. A little to the right and straight back, the arcade and the party rooms. Got it? There will be a quiz later (just kidding 🙂 ).
Now, some pictures! This is the main bounce area. As you can see, it’s pretty tight in here. But that’s a good thing. You know why? Because you can just stand in one place and pretty much have a 360 degree view of what your kids are doing. Sure beats chasing them around a warehouse-size area.
Another great feature of this facility, is the large crash mats at the base of each inflatable. Just a little extra protection for the wee ones. I haven’t seen that at every bounce place we’ve been to, so this is a real bonus.
Of course, the flip side of that coin is that it might be tough to take your stroller in there. But you know what? At one point, I was standing there with my stroller, straining to try to find Boo (seriously, we were all ready to head out and I turned around for one second and he bolted back in to bounce!) and a very sweet staff member asked me if she could move the mats out of the way for me so I could get through. Nice, right? It’s the little things.
Boo has always been a little timid at these types of places, but these inflatables were like a Boo magnet! He was a wild man.
So, as I mentioned above, if you have a child 3 or under, he or she is welcome to bounce in the main area. However, there are two other options for these little ones. First, there is a 3 and under bounce house. No big kids allowed!
There is also this fully padded, (almost) fully enclosed play area. Boo had a ball in here too. Three years old is like the sweet spot here. You can really do EVERYTHING 🙂
There’s even a treat for mom and dad over here.
Speaking of mom and dad, look at this cozy adult space. Complete with a TV and FREE, unlimited WiFi.
When everyone gets hungry, it’s very convenient to have a full concession stand right here. There are lots of tables and chairs where you can sit and eat (no outside food allowed, though I bet no one would kick you out for opening a jar of baby food for your infant; you can’t eat pizza if you don’t have teeth 🙂 ).
You can also eat at any of several other areas with tables and chairs located throughout the bounce area (so you can still keep an eye on those kiddos and avoid having to eat your pizza slice while sitting opposite from Miss Pouty Face who doesn’t want to wait until mommy is done eating to go back to bouncing…).
A little bit hidden in the back (which may be a good thing), there is an arcade area. You can purchase tokens with cash (25 cents each) for the games.
Boo was too enamored with the bouncing to care much about this area (I bet the older kids love it though). He had a quick look around, hopped on the Spiderman car, played a few games, and then took his 10 measly tickets to the prize counter where I was A. thrilled that he could even get a prize for so few tickets (temporary tattoos), and B. happy that they didn’t make me go back to that ticket counter machine to trade in my tickets (they can count small numbers of tickets at the desk, but for larger amounts you need to visit the “ticket eater” to redeem them).
The birthday party rooms are back here too. I love that they have those big windows. Plus, there are private cubbies back here for guests’ belongings.
Of course, our little tour wouldn’t be complete without our signature restroom shot 🙂 There are two sets of restrooms. One set is located near the concession stand. These are family-style restrooms and both the men’s and women’s rooms have a changing station. On the other side of the facility, there is another set of restrooms, but these do not have changing stations in them.
We had been there about an hour and a half when Boo started exhibiting the classic “I’m overtired but I don’t want to leave” symptoms–whining, crying, stamping of feet. Actually, it was music to my ears, because it meant Boo was guaranteed to take a good long nap when we got home. And that kind of made me want to jump up and down too 🙂
Have you been to this or another Monkey Joe’s location? Tell us what you thought by commenting below.
Still have questions about this venue? Leave a comment with your query and we’ll do our best to find you an answer.
Thank you to Monkey Joe’s in Hamden, CT for providing my family with complimentary admission! All opinions are 100% my own.
Ph. (203) 230-9922
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Hours & Admission
You can walk in ANY TIME (during normal business hours, of course) and play at Monkey Joe’s.
Holiday hours may vary. Click here for details.
Only children 12 years of age and younger may bounce at Monkey Joe’s. Prices are per child and do not include tax (no charge for adults); unlimited bounce time during regular business hours as long as you remain inside the facility (you cannot leave and then come back).
Friday, Saturday, & Sunday $14.99
2 years and under (if playing) $7.99
Frequent Jumper Cards (10 admissions) available:
Frequent Jumper Cards (3-12 years old): $105
Frequent Jumper Cards (2 years old and under): $65
NO CHARGE FOR ADULTS
Click here for the most up-to-date information.
Tips & Things to Bring
- ADULTS CANNOT BOUNCE. They can only assist children ages 4 and younger on the inflatables (so you can go up and down the slide with your little one, help them into the bounce house, stay in there with them, but you can’t jump around with him/her. This is for the safety of the children bouncing and it makes it a more friendly (and safe) environment for small children.
- No minimum age for bouncing (you know if your kid is capable), but no one older than 12 may bounce on the inflatables.
- No time limit for bouncing.
- Wear or bring socks! You cannot go on the equipment without socks on (no shoes, obviously). If you forget, socks are available for purchase there for $2 plus tax.
- Parental supervision is highly encouraged, but there are also staff members supervising throughout the facility.
- You can definitely bring a stroller in with you. It might be a little tight to try to take it into the bouncing area, but you can definitely stand right near all the equipment and supervise your little jumpers quite well from there.
- No outside food or drink except for those with allergies.
- Concession stand offers pizza, hot dogs, nachos, etc. as well as assorted soft drinks, ICEE’s, bottled water and coffee (yay, coffee!).
- FREE WiFi
- Major credit cards accepted (Visa, MasterCard, Discover).
- Restroom with changing station located near concession stand.
- DEAL ALERT: Facebook Fridays–Half off admission before 3:00 pm when you say the “Secret Word”, which will be announced each Thursday on their Facebook page.
- Find out more about their birthday parties here.
Meet Our Sponsors!
- NEW – 4D Vision Gym – At 4D Vision Gym, a vision training center in Cromwell CT, Dr. Juanita Collier MS OD and her staff show members how to utilize Vision Therapy to correct visual issues and make learning and playing easier and more fun.
- The Annie Fisher Montessori Magnet School – AFM offers children ages three to twelve years old a free, public Montessori education implemented to the highest standards set by Association Montessori Internationale.
- NEW – Bright Horizons at Village Place
- The Independent Day School – Located on a rural campus in Middlefield, CT is a private pre-school, elementary and middle school, serving families from over 20 communities.
- Kathryn Deane Photography – Kathryn is a natural light photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, child, family, and senior portrait photography.
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