Boston Kids, Jump On In!
So, you’ve heard about all the fun kids have at Jump On In, but the locations outside of the city in Woburn, Haverill, or Lowell are too far. Or your child wanted to have a birthday party at a bouncy place, but none of his city-dwelling friends’ parents would schlep out to the ‘burbs. Well now you're in luck: Jump On In has opened in Boston! And there’s more good news: In our experience, the place did not disappoint. After an afternoon of Open Jump, my sweaty, tired kids gave it a 10 out of 10 on the fun scale. To find out more about Jump On In and to get some tips for making your visit easy and enjoyable, read on!
What is Jump On In, exactly? it’s a place filled with inflatable structures (a.k.a. bouncy houses), where your kids can climb, slide, jump, crawl, and bounce until they’re exhausted. To have this experience, you can sign your kid up for an Open Jump time ($12), you can schedule a birthday party ($240-$330), or your group can rent the gym ($200 for first hour). They offer schools a field trip package, and they will be offering a three-hour school vacation program for kids (ages 6-12) called Jump & Learn. For all the details on birthday parties, gym rentals, and field trips, take a look at the Jump On In Party Packages page.
Whether you choose Open Jump or a party package at the Boston Jump On In, the set-up is basically the same. Everyone goes into the first gym for a set period of time, usually 45 minutes. The kids take their shoes off and explore the bouncy structures. In Gym A, there is a huge slide; an obstacle course with a climbing wall, where two kids can race each other; a bouncy house with a bunch of soft obstacles and two slides; and another simple course. There is a Referee watching over the group, facilitating and making sure everyone is following the rules. Thankfully, the rules are simple and easy to follow, and our Referee was pleasant and helpful. We have had experiences at other places where the staff watched the kids like hawks and constantly yelled at them. This was a very different experience. In fact, I felt compelled to walk around and keep an eye on my kids to make sure they were doing OK. For non-helicopter parents, there are benches to sit on and rest while the kids let loose.
When the time is up, the Referee blows the whistle and ushers everyone into the other gym. The second gym has another big slide and a basic bouncy house (where my son spent most of his time). There is an obstacle course that proved too overwhelming and complex for the really little kids, but is perfect for older ones. Finally, there is a Cannonball arena, which was a favorite of kids of all ages, but was my least favorite, and these are the reasons why: Only four kids are allowed in at a time, and there is no time limit, so allowing someone else a turn is completely self-regulated. The kids have to wear goggles (that some other sweaty kid just had on) because there are little balls shooting out of small cannons as fast as the kids can load them. The idea is to shoot the ball into nets, but of course, the kids mostly just shoot them at each other. But, as I said, the kids loved it, so who am I to judge?
Overall, we thought the place was terrific. The facilities are gorgeous – they are brand new, after all. The equipment, bathrooms, and party rooms are clean, festive and bright. The two party rooms have a full size fridge, a microwave, and a sink. If you’ve ever hosted a birthday party away from home, I’m sure you understand just how nice it is to have those features. The two party rooms can also be opened up into one large room for bigger parties (more than 25). There is a water fountain (which was heavily utilized by the thirsty, breathless kids) and a hand sanitizing station mounted to the wall outside the gyms. If your party guests arrive early, they can hang out in a waiting area where cartoons are playing on a flat-screen television.
All the kids and the parents at our Open Jump session seemed to be having a wonderful time, and one of the moms said that her kids would sleep very well that night. When the Referee asked my kids how they would score their experience on a scale of 1-10, they both said “10”. I asked them later if they were just being nice, but they told me no, they really would give the place a 10 (silly me, for thinking that kids would lie to be polite – that doesn’t really happen until they become adults, does it?). I’m sure we will be visiting again, especially when the winter weather pulls us indoors more often and the kids have excess energy to burn. I’m even considering having a birthday celebration at Jump On In for one of my kids, but shh, that’s a secret for now!
Tara’s Tips – for maximum bouncy fun:
I saw a couple of babies at Open Gym who seemed to be having a perfectly lovely time, but I would say that the ideal age group for Jump On In is 3-10.
If you bring younger children (under 6), plan to be involved in the fun. We saw a few parents of little ones coaxing their kids onto the structures – and ultimately climbing and sliding with them. You may also need to negotiate turn-taking and make sure your tiny tots are not overwhelmed by the bigger kids, especially if you are at an Open Jump or at a mixed-age party.
This is not the place for kids who are sensitive to sound, nor is it a good place to hang out and have a conversation with other parents. Between the whirring of the inflatables, the piped-in music, and the joyful screeches of kids, the place is LOUD.
Make sure your kids are wearing socks that cover their ankles. My daughter was wearing low-rise socks, and she got a couple of nasty skin burns on her ankles from the friction of the slides.
The fun part gets going much more quickly if everyone in your group has a completed Waiver Form when they arrive. You can download and print the forms right on the Boston homepage. If you’re hosting a party, the waiver form is part of the printable invitation (which you can also download from the homepage).
Location: 100 Holton Street, Boston, MA 02135
Contact: 617-789-5867 or email: Boston@jumponinfun.com
Cost: Birthday parties range from $240 to $330, Open Jump is $12 per kid for 1.5 hours.