By now you probably know there's a new trampoline park in town - the Flying Squirrel, located in Gloucester right across the street from Costco. It's a giant place, and they claim to be the world's largest indoor trampoline fun park. I've never been to a trampoline place with the kids before, so we decided to check it out last week as an end of summer activity.
If you've never been to a trampoline park before, it's basically a large space with wall-to-wall trampolines of all shapes and sizes. Flying Squirrel also has a snack bar, tables/chairs, games, foam jumping pit, a rope swing, basketball and dodgeball games, and a small fenced-off toddler area.
You pay by the hour ($20/hour) and "toddlers" (children under 6) pay $10 if you go at certain times of the day. They also have "neon lights" glow-in-the-dark jumping on Friday evenings (9-12pm) for $25.
It's pricey, but we arrived at 10:45, which meant that we paid for 11am - 12pm but got to jump for the extra 15 minutes (they charge by the hour every half hour, so you may get some bonus time depending on when you arrive.)
I didn't think one hour would be enough time, but my two girls were TIRED by the end. I certainly felt like we got our money's worth!
There were people of ALL ages there, from teeny little toddlers to moms and dads jumping around. I chose not to pay to jump, as the pelvic floor is just not what it used to be ;) Plus, I wanted to check things out before I decided to join in on the fun.
There were couches and chairs everywhere for parents to sit, as well as the tables/chairs in the snack area where we could eat the snacks we had packed.
My girls are 4 and 7. My 7 year-old was good to go pretty much everywhere, but my 4 year-old mainly stuck to the smaller trampolines and the huge foam pit. The games of dodgeball, basketball, slack line and battle beams were a bit out of her league. I'm glad I only paid $10 for her, as I feel that a place like this is better for older children. That said, there's a small toddler area where the wee ones can bounce around without any danger of being knocked over by bigger kids - it was just a bit TOO small for a 4 (almost 5) year-old.
Everyone is "required" to watch the safety video before they start jumping. It plays on loop while you wait in line to pay, so you're naturally drawn to watching (even though technically you could just ignore it). It gives advice for proper/safe jumping, as well as rules and regulations.
There are staff located throughout the facility, and I noticed several times they approached jumpers to ask them to avoid certain areas or to stop an unsafe activity. However, they all seemed really friendly about it, and I even saw one employee suggesting an alternative (safe) way to do a fun flip.
That being said, both my kids got hurt. I think this is pretty typical of trampolines (I don't own one, but I've heard of SO many kids spraining ankles, breaking bones etc.) My daughter jumped into the foam pit at one point and then twisted her ankle because she landed at a weird angle. It seems fine, although she's still complaining about pain one week later!
My younger daughter tried to balance on the slack line, and fell right on top of it. I guess it knocked the wind out of her a bit and hurt her chest. Needless to say, both kids were done jumping before time was up because of their injuries. They rated the experience as fun, but said they didn't like getting hurt.
All in all I'd say a trip to Flying Squirrel is totally worth it. Next time I think I'd try some jumping too!
However, I may wait another year until my little ones are just a tiny bit older and more capable of navigating all the fun activities.