As if someone was reading my mind, people have realized that our area needs indoor places for kids to play, and new play spaces keep popping up, much to the delight of parents and kids. The newest space to open in Northern Virginia is Monkey Joe’s and my four year old was all too happy to check it out.
Monkey Joe’s is located in Dulles, VA. They feature large inflatables (which they call “jumps”) along with a small café and arcade. My daughter couldn’t get her shoes off fast enough to start jumping – in fact, she jumped for a full two hours before I finally lured her out with the promise of lunch. The play space features 5 large jumps, along with a smaller jump/slide and play area for the 3 and under set.
Other than the one large slide, the other four jumps were all large obstacle course/multi-section jumps with lots to do in each. Each jump had a large mat at the entrance and exit to soften landings. It also appeared that the jumps were specifically designed for Monkey Joe’s – the slide jump was similar to others we have seen, but the pirate ship was really unique (and a huge hit with all of the kids).
One of the things that set Monkey Joe’s apart from their counterparts was the staff. There was a staff member at each jump (sometimes two), monitoring how many kids were in each, enforcing rules, and helping smaller kids get in and out. This was especially nice because adults are NOT allowed on the jumps (though I did spot several moms in the 3 and under jump with their toddlers) – in fact, you have to be 12 and under to bounce at Monkey Joe’s.
This is a safety precaution, and one that I really appreciated. Another safety precaution that I really appreciated were the numbered wrist bands – parents and children get matching wristbands that are checked (and removed) before you leave.
Another thing we noticed was the cleanliness of the facility. There are signs everywhere about the Swisher Hygiene system that they use, and it was definitely the cleanest of this type of facility we’ve been to. The bathrooms were spotless and even the dining areas were clean – no small feat when you’ve got this many small children around!
Open bounce is continuous throughout the day – there’s no worry about getting there for a specific block of time. And you can stay as long as you like, which is really nice if you have older kids who can bounce for hours before they’re ready to go. There is a lounge area towards the front of the facility with comfy chairs, a tv, and computers for parents. They also offer parents free wifi.
There are also tables and chairs throughout the space to sit and have a snack or lunch. No outside food is allowed, but they do have a nice snack bar with “kid-friendly” lunch and snack options, including pizza, hot dogs, sodas, juice and icees. There is also a small arcade complete with prizes to trade your tickets in for. This wasn’t a plus for us (and I could see where you could spend a lot of money on game tokens) but I did see families who were really enjoying it.
Far and away, this is our new favorite “bouncy” place in Northern Virginia. My daughter has been begging to go back to jump in the pirate ship and go down the monkey slide. We really liked that there wasn’t a specific time we needed to be there and that we could stay as long as we liked. I also really appreciated the cleanliness of the facility. Even though it’s a bit of a drive from our home, I am sure we will be back!
Know Before You Go
- Admission is $9.99 per child ($6.99 for 2 and unders that are playing). Accompanying adults are free. They also offer frequent user cards, which give you 10 visits for $70. This is a really great deal for a larger family or if you live close enough to be regular bouncers. Open bounce is from 10am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 6pm on Sundays.
- While there is staff monitoring the jumps, parents are responsible for watching their own children.
- There are plenty of cubbies for shoes, but I didn’t see a great place for parents to put their bags outside of the cubbies and tables. Lesson for next time? Pack light.
- Outside food is not allowed. Their snack bar does offer both lunch and snack options. There is also an Arby’s across the parking lot and a McDonald’s across the street. While we didn’t test out the food, a staff member told me that they order their pizza from Papa John’s and several moms thought it was funny that they had apple juice “on tap.”
- Aside from being extremely clean, the bathrooms offer changing tables, small kid-sized potties & short kid-sized sinks. My daughter was excited that she could do everything by herself.
- Monkey Joe’s offers birthday party packages. We saw several rooms that were set up for parties that looked like a lot of fun.
- Monkey Joe’s is located close to Dulles Airport. You could make a day of it by also stopping at the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum or finding a nearby park to watch the planes land.
Photos by Mara Surridge.