In the past 12 months, my 7-year-old daughter attended 3 birthday parties at Bounce U in Rockville and had a blast at every single one. Bounce U is an all-in-one party place that is convenient for parents who do not want to bother with much if any of the party planning details. Besides, what child does not like jumping in oversized moon bounces and sliding down large inflatable slides?
Bounce U is suitable for ages 3 to adult. Walkers up to 3 years should have an adult accompanying them since the equipment is quite big. At one party, I saw many toddlers and their caregivers enjoying a very large bounce house with basketball hoops. Non-walkers and young toddlers are not recommended to go on the equipment.
During each of our 3 visits, we had the same consistent experience. The Bounce U facility was clean and well-maintained. The staff were young, energetic and eager to do a good job. Before the party began, parents checked-in and signed a waiver. All participants must wear socks. If you forgot, you can purchase a pair at the front desk for about $3.00. A staff member welcomed the kids and showed them an orientation video that covers the rules. There was a portable bin designated for the birthday child’s gifts. Once the video finished, the children were given antibacterial gel to clean their hands as they entered into the first playroom. Antibacterial gel was also dispensed to them before they entered the party room for refreshments.
The Rockville location has two fun-filled rooms of oversized inflatable slides, structures, and bounce houses. The space is climate controlled and at times I thought the music was a bit loud. Guests spend about 1 hour total in both the playrooms. Half-way through the hour, the children gather their shoes and move onto the second room. The rooms have different inflatables but the only real difference seems to be in the second room where there was what I refer to as the “spider web”. It is a structure with a several layers of web strapping that the children climb up to the top before sliding down an inflatable slide. I would caution young children or any child who is not a skilled climber from using it. At every party we attended, at least one child slips and either hurts himself and/or inadvertently hurts another child. I think I have seen more tears and frustration than happy kids coming out. If possible, I would assign an older child to stay in the structure to help the children. That worked very well at one party we attended.
I also suggest participants wear pants and long sleeve shirts to avoid skin abrasion. There are pieces of fabric to sit on while going down the slides but often the kids are so distracted that they forget to grab one. It is possible to get a skin “burn” if you happen to go down the slide the wrong way. My daughter had such an experience at a similar facility. One very nice thing about Bounce U is that you can watch the kids ascend most of the inflatable slides. I have been to another bounce place where the kids were often out of sight for awhile as they ascended the high steps of the inflatable slides.
At one party we attended, the host upgraded one playroom with the Cosmic Bounce option. The room became glow-in-the dark for a period of time. This feature is recommended for children 4 and older but even with glow-in-the-dark bracelets, the room is a bit to dark for a party of 6-year-olds. The space and size of the equipment is already overwhelming. Darkening the room just made things a slightly more confusing. However, older children would probably enjoy it very much. Cosmic bounce is best during the evening party hours and costs $25 for one room or $39 in both rooms.
Once the hour is up, guests are escorted to one of the party rooms for refreshments. For the most part, Bounce U staff really run the party serving food and drinks, giving refills, initiating the birthday song before cake, and taking care of party clean-up.
Party packages are available for 10 to 25 participants, including the birthday child. The 25 person limit applies only to those participants who are going to play on the equipment. Parents are welcome to participate but would count as part of the 25. If they choose not to participate on the equipment, they are welcome to stay and watch. However, there is not a lot of extra seating in the bounce rooms and the party rooms cannot comfortably seat more than 40 people.
Regardless of the number of participants, the party package includes 1 hour total between two separate bounce rooms and 45 minutes in the party room, 2 Bounce U party pros, invitations, paper products and souvenir for the birthday child. At the parties I attended, I have seen staff assisting children on the equipment if needed. However, they can only be in so many places at the same time. If you have children on the younger side, it is a good idea to have a few parents or older children help monitor and assist the kids.
The price of the party packages without food options depend upon the number of participants and day of the week. Weekends (Fri, Sat. Sun.) are more expensive. Prices are as follows:
- 10 participants $189 weekday. Not available on the weekend.
- 15 participants $229 weekday and $299 weekend.
- 20 participants $259 weekday and $329 weekend.
- 25 participants $279 weekday and $349 weekend.
- Additional guests can be added to the levels above for $10/each.
No outside food or drinks are allowed except for cake or ice cream. If you want to serve anything else, you must use their menu. Bounce U has relationships with local restaurants to cater food and the food is delivered hot when the party is leaving the bounce room. Paper products are provided for food items purchased through Bounce U. Otherwise, you need to bring in your own to accompany food brought in by you.
If you would like Bounce U to provide food, there are several bundled add-ons. They can be as comprehensive as the “Spectacular bundle” which includes pizza, beverages, party favors, cake, and balloons or it can be as simple as just adding pizza and beverages. Pizza by far has been the food of choice at the parties we attended. However, other food options include sandwiches, wings, fruit and veggie trays. The number of add-on options can be a bit confusing. You can go over the options with a manager or visit the website, for pricing and further information.
In addition to birthday parties, Bounce U hosts fundraisers, team parties, or private parties for just about anyone. They have Parent’s Night Outs and Open Bounce sessions. This summer they will offer two camps, Create and Bounce Art Camp (Ages 4-11) and Bounce U Technology Camp (Ages 5-12).
If you are looking for an active party for kids at a location that can take care of all or even some of the details, Bounce U Rockville is a good choice.
- Party reservations can be made online or by phone. Cash or credit card is accepted. Gratuities for party hosts are welcomed and appreciated.
- A $100 deposit is required to secure a reservation. Deposit is refundable if you cancel your party at least 30 days before your event, less applicable service charge.
- No eating or drinking is allowed in the inflatable rooms. There are water fountains located near the bouncers as well as one located near the restrooms.
- The restrooms are clean and have changing tables. Stools are available at the sink.
- No outside food or drinks are allowed at Bounce U except for cake or ice cream.
- Bounce U contacts the host about 3 days before the scheduled party date to confirm head count. You can place an order for food and other add-ons at that time.
- No messy or dangerous party supplies can be brought into the party rooms. If these items are used, you may be subject to a clean-up fee. Decorations can not be taped onto the walls.
- Bounce U is in an industrial area. The entrance to Bounce U is around the side of the building and difficult to see from East Gude Drive.
Photo courtesy of the Bounce U website.