My children adore trampoline parks, even my "too cool for school" teens. It's a great treat for all ages and the perfect way to bounce off some excess energy and keep fit but is it a safe activity during these strange times?
I took some enthusiastic testers aged 12,14,15 and 24 (yes, adults can bounce too!) along to Jump In at Elstree at the weekend to check out the measures they have taken to keep visitors safe. (GIFTED, AD)
Actually the safety precautions start before you even leave your house. You have to read and sign a waiver for each potential participant and make sure they watch an amusing but effective safety video designed to help them avoid physical injury during their session.
There's a video too outlining their commitment to safety whist still enabling fun during COVID-19 which you can watch before booking a session. (You can watch that video here.)
From the moment you arrive it's clear that the Jump In team takes safety seriously with a number. of adaptations to limit the risk of illness as well as injury.
There are screens in front of the staff checking you in and hand sanitising stations in reception as well as throughout the venue.
Masks are required when moving around from area to area although not while actually on the trampolines or while seated in the cafe. There are limits on how many people can be in the trampoline play zone which is managed by the requirement to book online before attending and even limits on how many people can be in the toilets at one time.
Trampolines are 3m wide and trampoline sharing is not allowed so social distancing is built in while bouncing.
Hydration is important during such a physical activity but the shared water stations have been removed so it's wise to take your own water bottles.
Don't worry if you forget though as there is a nice cafe which has been organised to keep customers distanced and safe. We ordered via a QR code. You just hover your phone over it with the camera app open and the ordering site will pop up.
Now as a mother of 7 I have spent a lot of time in cafes attached to soft play centres and the like and let me tell you, this is one of the better ones. The menu is limited but there's a nice selection from pizza and hot dogs to jacket potatoes.
I was still dubious but when the food arrived it proved to be much better than I expected to be honest, and we all really enjoyed our lunch, especially the children who were starving after lots of fun on the trampolines, dodgeball court, drop slides, interactive wall and giant air bag.
Little ones are catered for too with a soft play zone right next to the cafe and a mini jump area.
There are a variety of options for jumping from a straight forward hour-long open jumping session in the trampoline park to a fun-filled Friday night takeover and under 16 club nights which include a hotdog and slush drink.
They also do relaxed sessions aimed at children with additional needs who would appreciate soothing or no music and soft lighting.
There is also the opportunity to book rebound therapy with trained instructors which can be very enjoyable and have many benefits for people of all ages. When my youngest son was first diagnosed with autism we were given some exercises derived from the therapy to use on our own trampoline which proved very calming for him. I'd love to go back and try one of the Jump In sessions with him.
Got someone with a birthday coming up? You can still book a VIP birthday party which complies with current social distancing rules* depending on whether you are visiting a location in England (6 party guests max) or Scotland (6 guests from two households plus children under 12) * correct as of September 17, 2020. Book before September 30 2020 and enjoy a 15% discount on any 2020 party.
Jump In is one of a group with sites in ten locations across the country. Prices vary depending on what time or day you plan to visit - check the website for details of your nearest location.