Trampolines and energetic children go together like peanut butter and jelly!
When I was growing up, we had a trampoline in our backyard. I remember spending hours on there, loving the feeling of weightlessness. So I was excited to learn about Sky Zone a few years back when my boys were little. An entire place full of trampolines? Sounded like a mom’s dream come true! I attended one of their toddler jump mornings at the Sky Zone in Columbia. Though the kids had a good time, I decided we wouldn’t be going back for a while. The cost was very expensive and I wasn’t allowed to be on the same little trampoline square as my just-learning-to-walk toddler. I understand this is an important safety feature at Sky Zone, but for me it wasn’t worth paying such a high price when my child was that young and still needed me to hold his hand. Fast forward a few years, and my now elementary age boys have been invited to a few birthday parties at Sky Zone. Obviously, they don’t need me to hold their hands anymore (*sob*), and are quite independent now when we go to these sort of places. I’ve attended some of the birthday parties with them and to be honest, been a little jealous of all the bouncing fun they were having. So, this past President’s Day holiday I decided it was time I try out Sky Zone with them.
A new Sky Zone location recently opened in Bowie and I had heard from friends that it was awesome. I went online that morning and reserved a 60-minute jump time for when they opened at noon. Special Sky Zone socks are required for everyone jumping and cost extra ($9 per child and $12 per adult), but luckily the boys already had some from the birthday parties they’d attended. Tickets for a 60-minute jump cost $20 per person (plus an extra $1 per ticket “convenience fee”). They also offer 90-minutes for $25, or 120-minutes for $30. So your first visit to Sky Zone can be pretty costly when you’re having to buy the tickets and socks.
I made the mistake of assuming since we’d attended other Sky Zones before I didn’t need to fill out the waiver again, but when we arrived I was told you have to fill out a waiver for each location. I got into another line to sign the waiver on their computers. While waiting, I ended up just doing it on my phone. We then went back to the check-in line and got our jump passes quickly. Since I was the only one there with the kids I didn’t want to leave our belongings unattended, so I paid for a locker. I’m not a fan of their locker system though. You can either pay $3 for a one-time use, or $5 multiple uses. Since my kids are famous for closing the locker door prematurely, I paid for the multi-use option. But it’s all electronic with only one keypad, so if there’s a line of people paying to rent lockers, you have to wait to use the keypad to be able to open your locker.
Since we were some of the first guests there, we hurried around the whole place to try everything at before it got crowded. It’s a great layout, in my opinion. The first level where you enter has a restaurant for food, vending machines, lockers, restrooms, and a few arcade games. I noticed a lot of tables and seating options near the main trampoline area, which would be great for keeping an eye on your kids in there. There’s also a Warped Wall with two heights for climbing. Then the second level has all the other activities, including their main Freestyle Jump trampolines. I thought the staff were doing a good job of making sure smaller kids stayed in one sectioned off area and that everyone was jumping safely.
There’s surprisingly a lot more to do than just jump on trampolines! There are four different foam pits; one for jumping into from trampolines, one with a balance beam where you can ‘joust’, one with a suspended rope ladder for climbing, and one with a rock-climbing wall on the far side of it. They also have a few dodge ball trampoline ‘courts’, three basketball trampolines, and a very cool Ninja Warrior Course and Wipe Out attraction. The Warrior Course includes a few different obstacles that are good for all different levels. My five-year old and seven-year old were able to do quite a few of them. The Wipe Out activity was by far our favorite. The boys and I did it a couple times and laughed till our sides hurt. The large foam ‘arms’ that you have to either duck under or jump over are soft enough that they didn’t hurt if you missed and got ‘wiped out’ by them. There didn’t seem to be much of a system though for how long you could be in there. We all tired out pretty quickly though.
The third level was primarily for their party rooms, but also had a balcony that encircled the entire place. Along the balcony rail there were tables and chairs overlooking all the activities on the second level. I think this is a great feature for parents wanting to keep an eye on their kids below.
Overall, we had a great time. It started getting very crowded by one o’clock, which is when our jump time was supposed to expire (your sticker has the time printed on it of when your pass expires). But honestly, even though we ended up staying till a quarter after doing a few more activities, none of the staff mentioned that our jump time had expired. I’m curious if that is something they normally enforce? I imagine it can get very overcrowded if they don’t.
I’m sure we will go again, as it’s a great way to get some energy out on a cold (or too hot) day!
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, has two sons, and baby daughter.