When a building starts to sway, it's generally a sign of stiff winds or poorly maintained architecture. At Pump It Up, however, it's merely an indication that another energetic child has occupied one of the bouncy fortresses. The facility boasts a climate-controlled indoor playground, complete with inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and, of course, houses that beg kids to safely bounce off the walls. The staff invite parents and kids for open playtime and also help host private birthday parties and camps that combine playtime with arts, crafts, and pizza.
Kids often drive their parents up the wall, but at Urban Air Trampoline Park, they can just climb up the walls alone. At four locations throughout Texas including Mansfield, Frisco, Southlake, and their newest location opening in Rockwall in May 2014, trampolines line the floors and walls of enormous open spaces, providing several zones for visitors to jump, flip, and fall softly into hunks of foam. Activity areas may vary at each location, but they range from the Apex?a wide, sprawling space for freeform leaping?to the Bowl?a narrow pit designed for plenty of off-the-walls mayhem. Many parks also have spaces for toddlers to venture out safely as well as slam-dunk arenas and dodgeball courts, where both kids and adults can compete in familiar games without being weighed down by gravity's boring rules. This rich variety of activities has earned Urban Air Trampoline Park a bevy of attention and awards, including back-to-back "Best Trampoline Park" wins from Fort Worth Child magazine and a mention as one of Shape magazine's "Coolest Clubs in America."
Beyond the everyday action, some nights see the trampolines glow with neon lights as DJs spin, while toddlers take over the entire park on certain mornings for pre-school jump sessions. Groups can also reserve the trampolines for special events and parties, whether they're celebrating a kid's birthday or commemorating a coworker's retirement by bouncing him into orbit.
Great Play's trained instructors have two goals: help kids develop motor skills and ensure they have a blast. At Great Play, tykes from 6 months to 10 years build the foundational elements that can help jump-start early athleticism and self-confidence. Rather than endlessly repetitive drills, coaches keep kids engaged with fun-focused lessons that incorporate games and activities specific to little ones' ages and abilities.
Of course, learning only starts with the right environment, and at Great Play that's been designed as a truly unique space called the Interactive Arena. The 3,000-square-foot room features eight projectors, a directional sound system, and over a dozen sensor systems that detect kids' movements. All this advanced equipment allows kids to step into a video game where their physical skills come alive digitally. Kids learn to throw, for instance, by hurling a ball at a projected shelf, lined with digital bottles that break upon impact. Kids ready to tighten their throwing techniques can pitch into an animated strike zone, as the Arena's walls transform into a stadium filled with cheering fans. Younger kids develop their skills through imaginative play like limbo on a sunny beach, freeze-dance sessions where the best poses get captured and projected on the big screen, and jumping lessons that take place in wintry hills.