5 Years and Going Strong!

This month we celebrate 5 years as #bouncefarm. Some said we’d never make it two! Well, we are still here and doing great. Our summer was awesome with the presentation of our Saturday Night Summer Concert Series. Our first concert with Mama Foxxy began the series with some of my favorite country music and the magical voice of Ashley Velez backed up by the Whiskey Gypsy Rebels.


New this year was the addition of beer and wine sales brought to us by Guitars Not Guns of Contra Costa County and some generous donations from Markstein Sales Inc. 100 percent of the proceeds for the sales of this went to GNG and their program to provide free guitars and lessons to local kids, at risk youth and other deserving children. We were also treated to a set by the Breedloves with Jay Kirkland40075815_10156591476349699_4532776285105029120_n-2 and Barbara Gorin (GNG) opening our first concert and at our second concert with a performance by GNG’s most recent graduating class!

Black Visions played our second concert with Swoon. Opening for them was Arrows and Lauren Johnson. Folks were a little cooler for the second concert versus our super hot first performance. This year we set up in the top of the lot outside the facility which gave the kiddos full access to the bouncies. We had tables and chairs for the audience outside as well as some great BBQ by Signature Smoke BBQ, People’s choice at the King of the County BBQ Festival in Martinez two years running. Rob’s brisket and pulled pork just melt in your mouth with some killer flavors and his coleslaw is one of my favorites!

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Of course, our favorite face painter, Miss Viva was here making her magic on our kids and some of our grown up’s! We love it when Viva comes to visit! She is available for parties as well. And Liz of Massage Minded set her chair up for some much needed massage by staff and guests.

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Summer came to an immediate end in August with our outstanding line up for our last concert, Overland. Playing just before we had the pleasure to hear from Mourning Mountains and opening for the show was One and Done, who just happens to be a regular customer for parties as well as our Thursday Night Pizza Night. With this family friendly venue, we got quite a few fans who found bringing their kids along to play and enjoy the music was the best of all worlds and what we cal the best Family Date Night ever!

New this year, we were sponsored by some great folks including SnipIts Kid’s Hair Cuts and Massage Minded. We are already planning next year’s concerts!


If you’ve come this far, you will be excited to see this weekend will be our anniversary celebration with a fantastic effort to fill our food bin for the food bank. Here’s the flyer if you have not seen it. It has over a thousand photos we have taken through these 5 exciting years doing birthday parties and playing with all our kids who have grown up around us and more coming in every day!






Life’s Short, Jump High!

It’s been a year since I’ve posted. Time sure flies! We celebrated four years here at our #bouncefarm. Our place keeps transforming thanks to our staff , California Arcade (who supplies our games) and just the way the wind is blowing. The more it changes, the more it stays the same, though. We remain the “Happiest Place in Martinez” according to our “littles”.


We have some new games to play while you are here, including our new Photo Booth! Check out this awesome video our friend Joe made for us! Many thanks for all of the time he spent capturing our facility and producing this!

ToTT time is, as always, a hit with the 4 and under crowd. We must have been found by a local Nanny association as we have lots of Nannies meeting up and scheduling play dates. Plenty of Moms and Dads are bringing their kids in for playtime as well. Our multi-bounce passes are very convenient, not to mention a great savings for sharing with nannies and grandparents for bounce sessions.

Birthday Parties are so awesome! We have done this about 1000 times over and have the schedule and timing down to a science. Our local vendors have provided us with outstanding bakery and pizza offerings for our customers. Even when the driver got in a car accident (luckily, no one was hurt),  Pacifica Pizza made the extra effort to get us taken care of.  Carrie’s Cakery has been providing us with premium bakery items since the first party and never disappoints.  It always puts a smile on our faces when parents leave the party expressing such gratitude for our services and seamless parties. Better yet, the smiles on their children’s faces as they leave with all their goodies and exhausted from having so much fun, what’s not to love? And then we get to enjoy it all over again when the kids come back in for open bounce or a party and find themselves on the wall of Birthday Stars!


Our Summer Concert Series is becoming more popular and we are always happy to have live performances here at #bouncefarm. Looking to 2018, we are tentatively scheduling three Saturdays for the concert series. We are currently booking bands. We have begun some Thursday night acoustic sets that are so awesome. This building is just made for “bouncing” sweet music off our walls. Our friend and client, Jonathan Ayers of Omnisonas Media LLC produced this video last year which shows one of our bands, Iko Yaya and how the kids got to interact with them when they brought extra instruments for them to play with the band.

Concert Posters

Last years’ posters. As you can see, we offer a variety of genres.

Coming in February 2018, we are looking forward to our President’s Day Hot Cocoa and Tea Party. With the schools out for the holiday, this event should be the go-to party for all the kids! We will post more info to as the day gets closer. We’ll offer tickets online in our store for advance purchase. Our last couple of parties have been sold out so if you see it coming, either on our Facebook page or on our website and you want to bring in all the kiddos for hot cocoa and mini muffins, take a minute to make a reservation.

So, if you haven’t been here in awhile, come on down and see the changes or if you were here last week, we are still always thrilled to see you. One of the best parts of being here this long is being a part of happy kid’s lives and seeing them grow and meeting their new little brother or sister! We have so many families which have become part of our #bouncefarm family, it is always a pleasure to see and visit with all the moms, dads, grandmothers and grandpops! Aunts and uncles are always included as well. Every day someone new comes through the door and we look forward to knowing them too.

We, here at #bouncefarm, wish you a wonderful Holiday Season, no matter how you celebrate. Our tree is up and lit and always open for a family shot. Especially on a Thursday Family Pizza Night when it shines and sparkles!

May Santa slide swiftly down your chimney, the lights shine brightly on your Menorah, your Kwanzaa festival be bright, Winter Solstice find a happy moon to light your dance and a very, very happy birthday to Baby Jesus. Buon Natale and Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi Mhaise Duit. – Our heritage, Merry Christmas in Italian and a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my Irish side!


Here is to Good Health, Prosperity, Peace, Love and lots of Fun for 2018.

From all of us at #bouncefarm!

That Time of Year, Again?

The tree is up and decorated, thanks to Cortney. We are all boughs and bows and sparkly reds and greens around here. Because it’s that time of year again!  I absolutely love it. The holiday jazz station is playing on the Pandora and kiddos are squelching with joy playing on the bouncies. We have begun a new tradition here this year. We are collecting toys for local shelter kids. These are the kids who don’t have much to celebrate this time of year and we have teamed up with the Martinez Music Mafia to collect for Shelters, Inc.  They will then distribute the gifts to local shelters and make some kids pretty happy for Christmas. 20161212-dsc_6817

We are offering an entire week of 1/2 price bounce with a new unwrapped toy donation per child and Sunday the 18th of December will be our big party. We are featuring 3 bands, face painting, performance art and of course, bouncing and play in our facility all for $5 per child with the donation. Adults are welcome to join in the parking lot fun where the bands will be playing. The guys from the Chop Shop will be here doing some free hair cuts for the kids while Overland, Pity the Foo and Well Secluded play, hopefully some cool holiday tunes and such throughout the day. Some of our favorite party vendors will be here, Viva La France will be face painting and DreaLusion will do a performance in our picnic area for the kids. It should be a great occasion!

The next week, December 19th through the 23rd, we will be open regular hours and we are closed for the weekend for Christmas. The following week before the new year hours are regular as well with New Years Eve closed. New Years Day you can bring those rambunctious kids in to bonce from 10 – 2. You may need an escape for their entertainment and we are here for you. It’s also Dad’s Day as it is the 1st Sunday of the month, so with Dad or Gramps in tow, you get 15% discount on bounce per kid. Not a bad deal, huh?

Here’s the flyer for the Toy Drive with all the details. Please feel free to share this info to anyone you think may be interested. We are hoping for a big turnout so we can fill the barrel and boxes with toys for the shelter.


I don’t know about you, but this season is all about giving in my mind and how nice would it be to know you are giving to local kids who really could use a Christmas?

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a wondrous holiday no matter how you celebrate. Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All.  Life’s Short, Jump High!

Wow! Three Years!

   Who woulda thunk it? When my daughter came to me with this idea that we could do this thing… this kid center, birthday party, bounce thing, I was skeptical to say the least. Now, it is three years later and we have over 570 birthday parties under our belt and an increasing data base of bouncing kids dropping in daily to enjoy this facility!


This month we are hosting our third anniversary party along with our friends at Mountain Grounds Coffee and Roastery at the #bouncefarm. We will be offering food, coffee, bounce, live music and lots of fun with some special surprises on Saturday, September 10th from 10 am until 2 pm. Oh, all of this for half the price of regular Open Bounce ($10) as well! Please, this is for you, the folks who have made it possible for us to be here for three years (so far!).


The Summer Concert Series ended with a bang with Well Secluded and Bully West rocking the bounce house last weekend. I can’t believe the summer is over. School is back in session and for those moms who have been complaining that the only day they can come, we are closed, we have great news. Beginning September 1st, our weekly hours will include 5 days! Thursday evening we will be open for Family Night from 3 pm to 7:30 pm, but we will be open at 10 am Monday – Friday! Please, don’t make me get up any earlier, but now you can come on Tuesday or Thursday or whatever day Monday through Friday you like. Here is the actual schedule if you happened to miss it on the page.

  • Monday                              10 am – 4:30 pm
  • Tuesday                              10 am – 4:30 pm
  • Wednesday                       10 am – 4:30 pm
  • Thursday                           10 am – 7:30 pm
  • Friday                                 10 am – 4:30 pm

1st and 3rd Sunday                   10 am – 2:00 pm

Specials are as follows: 1st Sunday is Dad’s Day (15% off with Dad or Gramps in tow)          ToTT Time is Wednesday from 10 – 12 entry. $7.50 for the 4 and under crowd (all ages welcome)                                                                                                                                                           Thursday Night Family Pizza Night from 3 pm-7:30 pm – be there by 5:30 to get all your bouncing in – 2 Kids for $30 (includes large 1/2 Pepperoni/ 1/2 Cheese pizza delivered hot from our friends at Pacifica Pizza one hour after you arrive. You may add up to 2 more children at a cost of $5 each to total 4 kids. We have a few families that make a play date for this and share while the kids have a blast and go home tired.

We had our first ever Tea Party in July celebrating National Blueberry Muffin Day and had a great turnout! This kind of event is due to pop up this fall. We are thinking something to do with pajamas, hot cocoa and s’mores for a nice cold fall day, what do you think?


After all, we are just big kids able to make those dreams of sugar plums maybe come true for your littles! At least long enough to guarantee long and peaceful naps, eh?

Happy Three Years! More to come….


Signs, Signs…everywhere are Signs

via #bouncefarm

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 Jumpy Rules.jpgwe 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.20160413_122740

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.20160212-DSC_4508-2

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!





DIY at the #bouncefarm

As we are a certified Green business, we try to re-purpose and make good use of things otherwise meant for the landfill. We started this business three years ago as a dream. A goal of having a fun, safe and clean place for the kids in our area and the surrounding communities. Now, sitting in my office – we call it command central – writing this blog, I am smiling. Looking out the window to our lower jump area, I see kids sliding, jumping, playing air hockey and laughing. I know they think it’s just a giant playground but it is so much more! Moms and Dads can watch from comfy benches or join in the fun and get in some exercise for a bonus. It’s a happy place and I am proud to be a part of making it so.

I have always said it is a work in progress. And so it is. Most recently, upgrade to our lighting with an Edison chandelier in the coffee bar area and our lovingly restored and repurposed 100 year old barn door turned counter. So, in honor of the work that has been done and the work to come, here is my Pinterest* worthy blog update. From the beginning…


Donated furniture was rusty and in need of repair and cushions.


We wire brushed, sanded and painted and cut wood bases for the seat and then covered them for our reception and seating areas.


Garage sale finds! It was a good day.


Craigslist find was vinyl sticker scene but peeling off, so we just hand painted the scene onto the wood.


Lockers from the scrap yard. $25 and a couple of cans of paint and some old fashioned elbow grease.


Emily and Dorothy working on our murals. Notice the fencing for our picnic area., thanks to Jason.


100 year old tomato flats revised as our Birthday Star Gallery

As luck would have it, we are a crafty bunch to start with but this endeavor was beyond our DIY previous experience. It is fortuitous that we live in an age of the internet. What we didn’t know was at our fingertips in a plethora of posts. We discovered Pinterest. Not really sure if that is good or bad as we have become the people who stop someone at their driveway asking, “Are you going to junk that?” The key to DIY is to only do a maximum of two projects at a time. One is better, but unrealistic in my mind. You can gather materials and thoughts for additional projects but don’t start until you finish the others.

Other than the murals on our walls and fencing for our dining area, most of the original elbow work was floor painting and prep work to open the facility.

Once this was accomplished, we started on our continuous beautification plan. We wander today about this warehouse turned playground and are astonished by the numerous found furnishings we have transformed. From the lockers to the shelf which holds our cups, these items began this incarnation as broken, rusty and bent.

Our latest effort is in preparation of opening some kind of snack area for daily customers. You are always able to order a pizza from Pacifica any time you visit. We make a special offer on Thursday from 3- 7:30 for a dinner special we call Family Night Pizza Night. It includes a 1/2 Pepperoni, 1/2 Cheese pizza and 2 entries for just $30. Our families come in, bounce for an hour and sit down to a hot, freshly delivered pizza, eat, wash up and bounce until the end of their two hours! We are also working on a daily snack offer, but for now, we are just gearing up. Here’s a look at some of the projects we have worked on to make our upcoming cafe part of our bounce home.

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When we are full, we will have to find more space to design and construct! We do have such fun! Not just being a super cool play space, but making it feel so homey and comfortable for all of our parents, grands and nanny’s! We love our kids here and all we do is with their best interest at heart. Please, if you have not been, come on over and check us out.

Never Underestimate the Power of Free Listings on Craigslist

Last Friday during a particularly quiet moment at the #bouncefarm, I spotted an ad in the free listings on Craigslist. I immediately posted to the owners, “Want! ” and beat subsequent takers of a wonderful, very large board with our farm scene and holes for little faces to be photographed. You know, the kind you might see at the county fair or a petting zoo.

This is what we brought home. The

This is what we brought home. The “bones” were very good, it just needed love.

20150824_155203 20150824_190229 20150825_162056 20150826_190156 Long story short,  my husband and I took straps and tools in my truck on Sunday and brought it home. This was built for a 1 year old birthday party with particle board and vinyl stickers. It sat outside for a month and the sticky on the vinyl had started to peel so, it was not really useable in it’s current state.  I saw the diamond sparkling beneath and put my all into a full restoration. Today is Wednesday and we put the finishing touches to the paint as the light of day faded. All the vinyl is now gone, replaced by acrylic paints and, of course the #bouncefarm logo. We added some touches here and there and all that remains is to seal the paint and build the brace to begin to see all of our bouncer’s grinning smiles through the holes. Of course, my grandkids, the original #bouncefarmers were first. Come on in and see the final product! Don’t forget your camera or phone because you are going to want to take a picture!

The first #bouncefarmers!

The first #bouncefarmers!