It drives me nuts to have to post yet another sign. We have bounce rules, facility rules, food and drink rules and rule rules. Hah! The concept of not posting any sign at all is what a person would find in Utopia. As we are not there, or anywhere close, we have to post signs about rules.
The rules for jumping and using the facility have mostly come about by watching our own little ones and seeing what kids will do that are unsafe. You see, they have tried most of the things we have rules about. Jumpy rules are posted at the front desk and down in the bounce area, as well as by the water pitcher and drink area. Most of them look pretty self explanatory, but many people actually need reminding of the basics. Leaning over the outside of the inflatable may cause a very uncomfortable exit and landing. Kids love to wrestle – especially the boys! So we have to ask that we don’t touch each other. Sliding down the slide head first is basic and one of the hardest rules we have to enforce. Neck injury could possibly occur. The sock rule is ours. We always prefer that folks bring in a clean pair of socks for the kids to bounce but rather than play in bare feet, it is much healthier and cleaner to be in socks. Besides, the biggest complaint is that the kids can’t climb UP the slides. …. Uh…. the correct way to use a slide is to slide down and actually the socks reduce friction and help the trip down the slide be more fun and faster!
Rule #5 is one rule we have so much trouble with … occurring in probably half of our poor Yelp! reviews. Here’s the deal. We have this great flooring made of recycled tires. It’s black so you all know it shows every spec of dust. Every morning we vacuum this 2000 +/- square foot area. The cleaner the floor, the cleaner the inflatables. Everything you walk on or in will be transferred via tiny socked feet to the slides and bouncys. Fact. Our rule, No Food or Drink in the lower area (on this black floor) seems so hard for people to understand. Do you take your burger and fries into the church on Sunday or the Menswear Store to buy a new suit? Do you have to be asked not to? And, if you are asked, do you challenge this or defiantly ignore and bring your food and drink anyway? Okay, this is an extreme example but believe it or not, we have had multiple episodes of this as well as people just “not seeing” our sign that advises such. Most of the time, it’s all good after we mention the restriction.
Every Thursday we (and I mean WE) come in dressed in our best cleaning apparel and spend 4 hours sweeping, dusting, mopping, scrubbing, sanitizing and polishing everything from floors, jumpys, dining areas, surfaces, bathrooms, and arcade machines. Then between customers during the week we sweep, mop, sanitize, haul out garbage and messy diapers and whatever else needs to be done to keep this the cleanest child’s play center you will ever visit. We take a special pride in our reputation for being clean. Too much? Can there ever be too much clean? Our love of children does not blind us to what little Petri dishes they really can be. Only with a constant and consistent attention to sanitizing this facility can we hold the standards we have set for ourselves for over two and a half years. When we opened, a customer said, “Yeah, it’s clean now because you are new. I give it a year and it will be like the others.” Well, I’ve got some great news for you… after two plus years, it is still just as clean! Unfortunately, some of the folks who have been here don’t see the correlation of restricting food and drink to the lower area to the success we have had in keeping our place up to snuff. It’s just a coffee and it’s in a spill proof cup! Yes, but what example are you setting for the little ones who want to bring their water cup or juice box down to join you? Why would it be good for you but not them?
It is a fact that after feeding an infant, you are going to get some spit up. Not all babies, but a good percentage will spit up. Fact. Unfortunately, with the nature of our floor’s porosity, this is one of the hardest liquids to clean. It takes a scrub brush, no lie.So, while we are not allowed to ask breastfeeding mothers to do so in any other part of our facility but not downstairs – including quiet places upon request – we just hope that circumstances and respect for the cleanliness and safety (remember the little stocking feet into the jumpys), well, we would hope you understand.
Enough said about this … If you get it, we appreciate your respect for this one important rule which seems so simple yet so difficult to enforce. We really don’t want to have to ask you to take your cup of coffee or water upstairs. In fact, the short straw has to go ask.
I feel like I’ve beat this particular metaphorical horse enough so I will move on to some other important things to know about our place.
If you have a sick child or are sick yourself, please hold off to visit until you are well. No child that feels lethargic or feverish should be exercising this much anyway and we try to not spread any germs here. You would appreciate it if you were well and the shoe was on the other foot so…
A few others:
- Policy on Sagging: Under 3 is okay but we are a family oriented facility and no one really wants to see your underwear so please respect this rule.
- Adults are always welcome to join in the fun. Socks are mandatory (we have some for sale under the counter) but we have lots of small kids playing as well. Keep this in mind as you jump (too high), lean over the bouncy to grab your one year old from your wife, rock the slides, or otherwise get too crazy in the inflatable. You are a kid at heart, we know, but be an adult about it, please.
- We are somewhat lenient with outside snacks during Open Bounce time and we have a variety of healthy snacks and drinks for sale here as well. Please note that there are no cupcakes, birthday cake or presents allowed in our facility without a birthday reservation. We offer a non-private party for up to 10 children during Open Bounce as well as our Private Parties. We are not being mean not letting you celebrate a birthday without cake and presents without a reservation, it is what we do here. You must have a reservation to do so.
- When we opened, we decided that Soda Pop, Energy Drinks and Alcohol would not be allowed in our facility. There are multiple reasons for this, the two biggest being the fact that kids really don’t need all that much sugar and it makes an awful mess when spilled. Most of our customers are happy with this rule, but we have had some with issues. As we are a private facility that you pay to enter, we feel it is within our rights to request that you leave your soda in the car until you leave. You are welcome to enter and exit during your time here as long as your child/children are being supervised. The rule is intended for the interior of our facility. Just so you know, even we go outside if we come to work with an energy drink or big gulp of Dr Pepper. There is no negotiation on this rule.
It is really not as structured as it may sound. We have built a comfortable and safe facility for your kids to play and play and play. You don’t have to worry about them wandering off, stepping in something unknown or wondering what that gooey stuff on their pants may be. We strive to have an atmosphere that could pass for your own home where the kids can blast around, play until they drop and you get to pick them up, strap them in their car seat as they fall asleep on their way out of the parking lot leaving behind any sign of the chaos they just created.
Bouncefarm is a fantastic place for play dates! We even can help you out with your morning coffee sessions with your group of moms or dads as we have a full espresso bar complete with your favorite flavor of Latte or Mocha and a wonderful variety of tea.
In visiting this place we have come to love with all of the kids running around squealing with delight, we only ask that you respect the fact that there is a reason for all of our rules. Please don’t covertly sneak your child something to snack on in areas designated No Food/Drink. We love it when our folks appreciate the fact that we are clean. We struggle daily to keep it so and are proud of the fact that we have succeeded thus far. If you have any comments or ideas, we consider our place a “Work in Progress” and enjoy bouncing new ideas around. (No pun intended) Just talk to us and let us know what you are thinking.
In reality, it is such fun visiting with our customers and watching these little ones grow. We have been blessed with a kind of extended family. We hope to be here for a long time to come.
On the new news front, we have one more band to schedule for our summer concert series. My next blog will be full of news about this!