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Founded in Arizona by a couple wanting a safe space for their child to frolic and exercise, BounceU has grown to a national chain in 17 states, touting super-sized family fun in the form of giant, colorful bouncy “inflatables.” (Think a backyard bouncy castle but way bigger, and with gym-inspired fluorescent lighting and a kiddie Jock Jams-like soundtrack thumping in the background). While reservation-only open-bounce sessions are offered, the specialty of the franchise is supervised private parties, which include an hour and fifteen minutes of private play time and 45 minutes in a party room, where the guest of honor sits in a special purple, red, and gray Bounce-U throne and pigs out on pizza, drinks, and Hershey's ice-cream cake. Each BounceU has two rooms for inflatables, with equipment varying slightly by location. The 12,000-square-foot Brooklyn BounceU—housed in an old movie theater—boasts a 25-foot-tall slide, a boxing ring, and an obstacle course where kids can race in pairs. The 9,000-square-foot Whitestone location, meanwhile, has inflatable dodgeball area and a 17-foot web climb with an attached slide for aspiring young Spider-men. But kids aren't the only ones that can pretend: BounceU has hosted fundraisers and even (non-alcoholic) bachelor parties for grown-ups.Extra
No shoes are allowed on the inflatables, but be aware that everyone is required to wear socks. Bring your own, or purchase a pair from the concession stand in the lobby, where you can also pick up candy and fun inflatable toys.