Trampolines are some of the huge activity growth areas over the last 10 years. It seems most family gardens have a trampoline (ours did until a couple of years ago when near year storms threw our 14 foot one over the fence it was attached to and destroyed it), and despite the horror stories of injuries, children aren’t going to stop bouncing any time soon. There’s also been a growth of trampolining centres – where you can just go and bounce for an hour at a time. Bounce Milton Keynes was one of the first in the UK and on a recent stay in the area, N spotted it across the road and badgered me to take him before we went home.
Like soft play, there’s a knack to getting a good session at Bounce, especially in school holidays. It was a beautiful day when we went, but be prepared for it to be busy if it’s raining. Go at opening time.
[bctt tweet=”There’s a knack to enjoying softplay or trampolining centres, especially in school holidays… Arrive as it’s opening” username=”etusty”]
Sounds ridiculous, but so many people turn up an hour after opening, or after lunch, and it’s hell. Just why would you do that?
Anyway, we headed to Bounce before heading home. So we were there at 9am just after opening. Unfortunately they weren’t quite ready for us, then we had to wait for other people to pay before the induction video.
Bounce isn’t cheap. For an hour session we paid £11.95, plus £1.99 for Bounce socks for N. You have to have their socks, so even if you have trampolining socks from another company, that’s no-go. Adults can bounce as well – I decided against it due to my knee and achilles but it did look fun, and the other 2 parents who brought children, went on.
Non-bouncers pay too – £2.99, but this is credit against purchases in the coffee shop/café, so it wasn’t really additional cost as I’d have bought drinks anyway. A hot chocolate and 2 waters cost me 61p once the £2.99 was taken off, so it’s not expensive to buy there. If you pay in advance you can get a slight discount, as well as going off peak, or buying into the deals. A second hour is cheaper as well.
After completing the waiver and sitting through the short rules video, it was time to bounce, and N was straight in there without looking back.
Bounce has different areas – dodgeball, under 7s, basketball, foam pit (you have to be over 1.2m to go in there and they were checking people), and the main arena. With only 3 children and 2 adults bouncing, they had plenty of time to do what they wanted until more children piled in around 10.
It turned out the foam pit was N’s favourite and he enjoyed trying to throw the basketball in the hoop while bouncing. After a couple of drink stops, and a fleeting bite of some crisps, he was back up making the most of his hour.
Once it gets busier, they put out benches on the platform for parents to sit, because there’s not much space in the café for the number of people they have in at one time.
Although we paid for an hour, N stayed bouncing for longer until I thought I should get him off. The staff hadn’t asked him to finish his session so I don’t know how it works in busier times. I’d presumed given they had different colour wristbands, that it would be like big swimming pools where they ring a bell or announce the colour that needs to leave. But by 10.20 it was getting much busier, with a party having also turned up, so it was time to leave.
I think at peak times it would be too much for N. I don’t know how many people is capacity, but if people aren’t leaving as others arrive there didn’t seem to be a check point for that. I can see popular and smaller areas like the foam pit would mean a lot of queuing once it was busy.
N had a great time at Bounce, and I’ve picked up a loyalty card – after several visits you have a free session. He’s determined to return so maybe in future I’ll be able to persuade him for a trip to Milton Keynes in exchange for a trampolining session.
Have you experience of trampolining parks? Are your children fans?
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