Heat up chilly winter days and cure your cabin fever by bouncing into a local trampoline park. Not only can kids jump and flip as much as their hearts desire, they can also fly into foam pits, play sports and perfect their own stunts. Read on for the scoop on parks where it literally is A-Okay for kids to bounce off the walls!
Sky High Sports
Started by two brothers, Sky High Sports has two Chicago-area locations where you can boing-boing safely. The jump spaces are covered wall to wall with trampolines, and all frames and springs are covered by two-inch-thick safety pads. We love Sky High for its attention to jumpers of all ages, abilities and needs. For example, every Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. there are jumps for kids with special needs. The music is dialed down and distractions limited for everyone’s comfort. Family Pizza Night is every Thursday from 5-9 p.m., where $40 gets you 4 jumpers, a large pizza and pitcher of soda. Be sure to visit the website calendar before visiting, because during holidays and school breaks, specials are sometimes cancelled.
Tip for small tots: There are designated sections for jumpers age six and under. Mom & Tot sessions are held Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and for $10 per child, they get to jump while you sip on free coffee.
Epic Air Park
At 30,000 square feet, this spot is a biggie. Catch air on the wall-to-wall trampolines, which are specially designated for basketball, dodgeball or gymnastics. There is a Soft Play Area where toddlers that might not be ready to catch air can romp on a padded surface, scurry through crawl-through structures, or play with toys. There’s also a separate trampoline area for jumpers 7 and under, though all kids are welcome to use any of the trampolines at their parents’ discretion.
Tip for small tots: Every Tuesday (9-11 a.m.) and Saturday (8-10 a.m.) year-round and Fridays (9-11 a.m.) they host Toddler Time, where kids six and under (maximum height 48 inches) can play on the trampolines with no fear of big kids ruling the roost.
1675 N. Lancaster, South Elgin; 847-608-0600; Online: epicairpark.com
photo: Rockin’ Jump
Rockin’ Jump trampoline parks offer large arenas for jumping, foam pits, and dodgeball courts. Will you be brave enough to challenge your kids to the X-Beam jousting attraction? Watch your balance or you could be sent falling into the giant foam pit! New to this jump spot is the Stunt Bag, where you’ll feel the freedom of flying, flipping and jumping into the soft landing pad of an air-filled stunt bag.
Small tot tip: Every Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday 8-10 a.m. and Sunday, 9-11 a.m., Rockin’ Tots gives parents the chance to bring a child for a two-hour jump for only $10. Add a sibling for only $5 more!
Jump America Indoor Trampoline Park
Jump America offers a range of “Jump Deals” so be sure to check their website for current promotions, especially if you’re bringing along a large group to take advantage of the trampoline areas and foam pit. Check the calendar for special events at the Park such as special needs nights or dodgeball tournaments.
Small tot tip: Toddlers take over the joint on Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-noon and 5 p.m.- 7 p.m. Parents can bring the tots (walking without assistance to six years old) for an opportunity to jump ’til their heart’s content.
880 Lakeside Dr., Gurnee; 224-325-5867; Online: jumpamerica.com
Elite Sports Complex
If you’re serious about evolving your skills as a jumper, head to this education-focused option. More than a trampoline park, it’s a gymnastics center that offers lessons in artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, tumbling and trampolining. As kids evolve their skills, they may have the opportunity to join teams and compete in regional, state and national competitions. Sessions last for ten weeks and start as early as age four. For those taking a more casual approach to jumping, Open Jump is offered Friday from 7:15 p.m.-9:15 p.m. It’s recommended you call ahead to reserve your spot.
Small tot tip: Kids as young as 12 months can get in on the fun with You & Me classes that introduce them to trampolines, as well as tumbling, group warm-ups and even the balance beam, as they develop.
6360 S. Belmont Rd.
photo: Sky Zone courtesy of Nabeel H. via Flickr
Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park
This growing franchise has been such a big hit, there are now 4 Chicagoland locations to choose from! Each location has unique programming in addition to the main zone, foam pit, dodgeball and basketball courts. Programming includes Skyfitness, where you can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour, Toddler Time and Skycamp. Check the websites to learn about programs offered at each location.
87 Executive Dr., Aurora; 331-207-4759; Online: skyzone.com/aurora
325 W. Lake Street, Suite A, Elmhurst; 630-478-8339; Online: skyzone.com/elmhurst
2318 Essington Rd., Unit 1, Joliet; 815-314-4890; Online: skyzone.com/joliet
66 Orland Square, Orland Park; 708-966-2399; Online: skyzone.com/orlandpark
Happy jumping, folks!
Have you tried a trampoline park? Tell us about it in the Comments section below.
— Maria Chambers & Lisa Snart