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November 13, 2008

House of Bounce is hopping

Remember the House of Bounce? That's the kids play place filled with inflatable bouncy features like slides, "moon walks" and games.

Kids$20gym
Well, Sue and Ed Hiatt opened on schedule Monday in the commercial park by Northern Power & Tool Supply along the U.S. 14 West frontage road.

Now you have a place to haul all of those visiting kids after Thanksgiving.

I wish them better luck than the space's former tenant had.

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This place is almost guaranteed to be a success. Can't wait to bring my kids.

My 5 year old already has 2 birthday parties for kids at school planned here. I think it will do fantastic.

So glad to see the Rochester *finally* offers something like this for the kids. I took my daughter to a similar place about 10 years ago in the Twin Cities and it was PHENOMENAL! I've been wishing for something like it ever since..

Can't wait to visit it with my 4 year old!

Whats the price tag? kids birthday partys can be expensive. maybe they will be resonable?

The more activity we can offer kids in the winter, the better! I wonder if this will compete with the Apache McDonald's Playplace :)... yeah, probably not.

I took my 3 1/2 year old opening day. It was great the offer toddler days ( mon and wed from 9to 12.) its only for 2 to 6 year old so you don't have to worry about bigger kids knocking down your little one and for only $4!

My husband and I took our two kids (ages 8 and almost 3) to the Friday night "Parents Night Out". It cost $19 and change total and they provided pizza and drinks, a kids movie and of course the bouncies. It was a little hectic getting them signed in and paid for as it was busy and they don't have everything set up fully yet, but it was probably the best $20 bucks that we've spent in a long time.
We picked them up at around 8:45 and we hung out with them inside for a while and they were having so much fun! The staff and "my fwiends" according to our little girl (2 1/2), were very friendly and safety seemed to be a priority which we really appreciate.
I hope the company does well and we we'll certainly return (soon!)
Tracy (StewartvilleMom)

I took my kids there on Saturday. We were turned away at 11am,because it was already full. We came back at 7pm and we bounced for 2 hours. The kids loved it and it was a nice way for them to get some exercise. The owners seemed a little frazzled and better organization at the front desk area is needed. The front area and party rooms are very small. I wish them sucess.

My main concern would be how it is kept clean and sanitized for all the kids they have ( especially going into winter). Maybe someone has an answer.

I look forward to seeing it!

I had a party there this weekend. It was a very bad experience. The owners were behind the registration desk & were completely overwhelmed. Many of our invited guests had to wait in line outside in excess of 20 minutes. Before the children could play on the equipment they had to listen to somone "read" an extensive list of rules. Within an hour all of the children were sweating and near over- heating. There was no drinking fountain available for the children. I tapped into the drinks I provided for the party - which then left with nothing to drink with the cake. I could go on and on, but I think you get my point.

Great concept, poorly executed. Because of how the facility is layed out, I doubt much change will/can be implemented.

did anyone else see the special on WCCO last night about these places? great concept but i feel as soon as the "novelty" wears off, it will be a free-for-all....unless they clean the equipment every few hours, no way that place can be clean

Back in the day:

Kids played outside
In the dirt
On grass
In trees
Rode bikes without helmets
Roller Skated without knee and elbow pads
Played ball without helmets

Had a good time
Didn't all die or get ill

I agree with AnnonymyousToo that we as a society are getting WAY to paranoid about germs. I've seen the WCCO segments lately, and to hear them tell it, going near a shopping cart or a vacuum cleaner is CERTAIN DEATH for you and your loved ones!! Come on. We can't live in a bubble people. Just remember, only 10% of the cells in your body belong to you. Check out the book Human Wildlife: The Life That Lives On Us by Dr. Robert Buckman, then tell me if you are really worried about that shopping cart handle. Just don't read it while you're eating.

I dont get how poor planning on the parents part can be the fault of House of Bounce... you should have planned ahead. what if you had been at a nature park? its not like there is a drinking fountain every 3 feet for the little darlings... you just need to plan for it and bring extra water. So they had to wait in line... and so they had to (OMG!) listen to the rules... if they hadn't, someone would be complaining that there aren't any rules.

i guess i just don't get your point turkeygirl.

I guess you might be right, I'm with the DJ. My expectations were set too high. Go to their web site and it is easy to see why I was thinking the way I did.

On another note, how long will you will stand outside for another child's birthday party before your patience wear thin?

well i suppose it would be a good time to for a lesson in waiting patiently by setting a good example... and if they started acting up then we would go home.

and i'm not trying to pick a fight or anything turkey girl. i just don't understand how it turned out to "be a very bad experience".

I'm with the DJ - "poor planning on the parents' part"??? Are you serious? If you were not there, you can't understand. Absolute chaos to enter (entry area and check in desk in too small of an area); shoes and jackets strewn everywhere due to a lack of an organized area to hold that amount of shoes and coats; undersized party rooms;lack of ventilation in the bouncing area - leading to a hot, humid environment; little to no security system in place and understaffed to boot - it is only a matter of time before a child wanders off or is taken from this business (and no, you can't put this on the parents who are holding a birthday party and are charged with keeping track of 6-8 young children in absolute chaos).
Unfortunately, this looks like the classic great idea, under-capitalized, not completely thought through start-up business. Which is unfortunate as the concept is outstanding - the execution, though, is lacking.
And the comparison to a nature park is ridiculous - this is a pay-to-play retail environment (like JET Gymnastics or the RAC). Any reasonable person would expect access to drinking fountains or at the very least, adequate staffing of a concession stand - they had neither.

Those that were there:
I hope you talked to the manager or someone to make suggestions or give them some input.
If not, I hope you will take the time to talk to them and give suggestions and opinion.
Might be helpful.
Hopefully the problems will be fixed.
Most new businesses appreciate input.
Thank You

I think we need to put positive attitudes forward. This is a new place with average folks trying to bring something new to the area. Let's embrace it as if we can be a part of helping make it better. Let's not bad mouth everything. How about ways they can improve? Things they did well? I wish them the very best. It's a great service to our fine city, and the kids are excited to go for the first time.

Also, if you want to make sure you get the best experience, you may not want to schedule a birthday party during the early days/months a business is open. There's always lots of lessons to learn early on.

I wish them best of luck! Congratulations on being "too busy"!

my "poor planning" comment was in regards to not bringing enough beverages... not the chaos that ensues part.
that you're right with rochdad, i wouldn't have an idea about since i wasn't there that day.

Downtownemployee: I am bringing forth my unbiased experience. Facts.

My experience was less than stellar, and I know that I am not alone. It is fair to share my point of view.

I did speak with the manager. She heard what I said but did not understand what I said.

If you are considering holding a party at House of Bounce: Hold off until you hear some positive comments. Your deposit is non-refundable.

If you already have a party reserved there: I sincerely hope you have a better experience than I did.


Normally as all businesses do have opening "pains". Everyone wants to go see what it is about. The staff is overwhelmed because they are not used to "live" action. Just wait a month or two before you seriously consider throwing a party at a new business.

"Because of how the facility is layed out, I doubt much change will/can be implemented."

Judgement. Unfair.

Downtownemployee:

Have you been to House of Bounce? Have you seen the entry? Have you seen the registration desk? Have you seen where the jackets and shoes are stored while the children play. Have you seen the party rooms?

It should be illegal to blog if you are ignorant.


I also attempted to take my kids there this past weekend and was suprized at the chaos in the entry area. We arrived 10minutes after their opening time and were told that they had already reached capacity so no other kids could get in.

We were told to check back at 3:30 when the birthday parties should be departing, however we were not able to reserve a spot as it is first come first serve. Since it was obvious that the staff was too overwhelmed with the amount of people visiting, I gave up on the weekend visit.

I called them during the week to find out when would be a good time to bring the kids back. I was basically told that on weekends unless I was booking a party, good luck getting in. They did say that they were thinking of changing their advertised weekend "open bounce" to only include the last few hours at the end of their day instead of being open all day.

I hope they get the bugs worked out. I've got some pretty disappointed kids who would love to go back to jump.

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