Looking for a way to get your kids to burn off some energy when it's too cold to play outside? Local indoor play areas packed with inflatables have become a hot spot for birthday parties, but they also offer open play time, providing active fun for kids and a place for parents to chill while their children bounce around. And don't forget to wear socks!
• Pump It Up, 1230 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg, (847) 885-7867, pumpitupparty.com
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Hours: 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. Wednesdays; 9:30 to 11 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays
Price: $7 per child
Part of a nationwide franchise with more than 200 locations, Pump It Up has been operating in Schaumburg for two years. Parties are the focus with the whole facility regularly rented out to groups. Kids rotate through the facility's attractions, which include an obstacle course, a 20-foot slide, a bouncy basketball court, an area for jousting and a 20-foot rock-climbing wall that has room for up to three kids at a time. There are also two smaller inflatables for toddlers. Partyers bring in desserts, and Pump it Up provides pizza in their party room for an extra charge. Depending on party schedules, more open play times may be available, so check the Web site for updates. The spot also plans on offering fitness classes starting in March. Parents often join their kids in play and Pump It Up even hosts parties just for adults.
"Our inflatables are so large everyone can have fun," said co-owner Veronica Boyd. "We cater to all ages."
• Airtastic Play Land, 850 S. Frontenac St., Aurora, (630) 851-7525, airtastic.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday
Price: $8.50 to $10.50 per child
The indoor playground has 10 inflatables in two areas divided by height, though smaller kids are welcome to play in the big kids' area. Activities include obstacle courses, gladiator jousting, big slides, dodgeball, basketball and a crawling area for little kids. A concession area offers drinks and snacks and a parents' lounge features a big-screen TV and free Wi-Fi. Guests are welcome to drop in for open play at Airtastic Play Land whenever the family-owned facility is open, though it offers private rooms for parties.
"Parents can bring their kids here when it's convenient for them," owner Chris LeBreck said. "We have three boys ourselves, and we know what it's like to need to bring your kids somewhere to play, regardless of the time of the year."
• Monkey Joes, 266 E. Geneva Road, Wheaton, (630) 653-5867, monkeyjoes.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Price: $7.99-$9.99 per child
The play area at Monkey Joes is divided into sections for children ages 2 to 12 and kids younger than 3. The whole spot is packed with inflatables, including slides, jumps and obstacle courses. A concession area sells soda, pizza and other snacks. While the kids play, adults can relax in the lounge, which features wireless Internet access, computer stations, flat-screen televisions and recliners.
• Jump! Zone, 731 N. 17th St., St. Charles, (630) 444-1422, jumpzoneparty.com
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday
Price: $8 per child
The 12,000-square-foot facility features eight huge inflatables and four party rooms. Attractions include giant slides, a Batman-themed obstacle course, bounces, a soccer and dodgeball area and inflatables shaped like a castle and a fire truck. Toddlers have a separate area filled with toys. Parents can challenge their kids to a game of air hockey or just relax in a lounge featuring a big-screen TV. If you are planning a party, Jump! Zone can supply an ice cream cake, goodie bags, pizza, drinks and balloons.