Jump, jump, jump! When I heard we were getting a trampoline park in Champaign, my first thought was YES!
A new indoor play spot to hit no matter what time of year it is. And since my kids both have their birthdays during colder months, our birthday party options are sort of limited in Champaign-Urbana. Up until this point, we’ve mostly stuck to parties at our home, but we decided to take the leap and celebrate our about-to-be 8-year-old son’s birthday with a party at Elevate.
It was relatively easy to pull up the birthday party scheduling tool on Elevate’s website and see what party times were available. It seems like they can accommodate a large number of parties simultaneously so we had our pick of time slots when scheduling. You select the number of jumpers you’d like to bring (in addition to the birthday child) from their package options, from 10 to 3o guests. We were bringing mostly 7- and 8-year-olds, with a few kids older and younger, along with some parents, so I felt our included two large pizzas wouldn’t be enough food and added another pizza for what seemed to be a reasonable price.
Things the party package included that appealed to me were the party attendant to take care of everything (except for candles and cake), the required grippy jumping socks included for each kid and what seemed to be a generous amount of jumping time.
They encouraged us to have kids fill waivers out ahead of time to streamline things on party day, but in a couple cases I found this difficult to coordinate with parents. When I filled out my guest list about a week before the party, I realized I didn’t know some of the guests’ last names (or proper spelling) and I then had to find ways to get in touch with parents to find out if they’d ever completed a waiver before. Be prepared to be in touch with the parent of each of your guests to get this sorted out before party day.
Upon arrival, we were directed upstairs, completely bypassing the counter for open jump. Our party attendant was waiting for us with a sign for our son printed clearly on a cart. There were SO MANY parties happening at the same time ours was and I felt they did a good job of keeping this organized. Once you checked in and they verified you had a waiver on file, the child was given a pair of socks and a wristband. You don’t get a party “room” as all the parties share the same large room, so you hang coats and stash shoes out in the open on the second floor. Just be aware of this so you have another plan for valuables if you are going to be jumping.
Our party included 90 minutes of jumping time and 45 minutes of party room time, which was plenty. In the past when we’ve gone to trampoline parks, we’ve jumped for just an hour, so I knew 90 minutes would be plenty. As kids checked in, they were released to go downstairs and start jumping.
This is where, as a parent, you want to get your game plan in place. We were responsible for many of the kids at the party as their parents dropped them off and left, and while we couldn’t keep eyes on all of them, all the time, we wanted to do our best at monitoring them. So my husband stood upstairs “on the lookout” with another parent and I was down on the floor with a jump bracelet so I could go anywhere (and have some fun, too). If the kids needed to go upstairs for anything, I pointed my husband out to them so they knew there was an adult up there, too.
Everyone had a blast. It was also VERY crowded. Realize, especially if your birthday party is on a weekend like ours was, it is going to be a bit of a madhouse and that your kids are going to keep disappearing. My daughter is 5 and she’s about as young as I would be comfortable taking to a birthday party here. If she was any younger, I’d want to be right next to her in the middle of all that.
Three pizzas turned out to be plenty for our group and the adults were able to enjoy some, too. My husband rated it as pretty good pizza — and not just for “birthday kid party pizza” at that. Our wonderful attendant made sure everyone was full and had plenty to drink after burning all that energy.
Things to keep in mind when initially booking your party and evaluating the cost:
- adding extra pizzas or any other food items to your party
- paying for parents or siblings who may want to jump (we didn’t include ourselves in the party count and had to go down to the open jump counter to pay at the start of the party)
- tipping at the end of the party
These costs do add up. That being said, Elevate has so much to offer and has seemingly done a great job of training their party attendants, kitchen staff, and whole staff in general in being knowledgable on birthday parties to make it a really smooth experience. Clearly, this was well thought out when they designed the space prior to their opening in fall 2018. We don’t have anywhere else that can offer a party quite like this, and I think it is a fantastic option for our older kids as they celebrate another trip around the sun!
You can get the full scoop on party packages and pricing at Elevate Trampoline Park by visiting their website here.