EDITOR’S NOTE: Bounce Around in Aurora is now closed as of October 2016, but its owners say it is moving to a larger location at 286 E. Geneva Road in Wheaton, and that unused discount cards will be honored at the new location. They say to keep an eye on the business’s website for updates on an opening date, hours, etc.
Just in time for the snowy, slushy weather, contributor Rebecca Greco checks out a new “Indoor Play” option — Bounce Around, located inside the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora.
Q. Name of the Indoor Play Place:
Bounce Around is located at 195 Fox Valley Center, in the Fox Valley Mall, just west of Route 59 on the east side of Aurora.
Q. Is there ample parking? Can you park close?
This is located inside the mall, so while there is plenty of parking, it is still going to require quite a bit of walking. It is located on the upper level. The Vision Works entrance seems to be the closest.
Q. How much does it cost?
Children 3 and up are $10, children 2 and under are $5. This cost is for unlimited playtime, you will receive a wristband and you can leave and come back.
Q. When is it open?
Bounce Around is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Any special mall or holiday hours apply.
Q. When is the best time to go? When it is the least crowded?
We went the week before Christmas on a weekday and it wasn’t terribly crowded. It isn’t as large as Airtastic so I imagine that it gets very busy on weekends. But I think going on a weekday (especially when most kids are in school) is a safe bet.
Q. Was it crowded when you went? About how many kids were there when you visited?
There were about 10 to20 other kids there during the time we were. It’s a large enough facility that it wasn’t too bad.
Q. Are there public bathrooms? Is there a changing table?
Yes, there are bathrooms and there is a changing table in the hallway outside the bathrooms.
Q. Is there a private space to nurse?
There is not a specific room for nursing but there is a small lounge area near the entrance with comfy chairs and you could definitely nurse there.
Q. What was your child’s favorite part of the play area? Least favorite?
Both my daughters loved the larger slides, they spent the majority of the time climbing up and going down them. There really wasn’t anything they didn’t like there!
Q. What was your favorite part? Least favorite?
I loved the ability to come and go, I’ve been to a lot of play places where you pay by the hour. I also like that there is a cheaper pricing for younger kids. The location inside the mall makes it the perfect place to go, play for a bit, get some shopping done, and be able to go back inside and play more.
The only negative thing I saw was the size. Since it’s in a mall storefront, it is smaller than a lot of bounce places we’ve been. Going on a weekday probably won’t be an issue, but I suspect it does get a bit busy on weekends.
Q. Is it clean?
Yes. Bounce Around is fairly new, it opened over the summer, so everything is in good condition. I witnessed the employees cleaning the equipment while I was there.
Q. Was the staff friendly and attentive?
Yes, there were two employees who were both very nice.
Q. Are you allowed to bring in outside food and drink? Is there a designated snack area? Is food sold there?
I brought along a coffee and no one stopped me. There is a birthday party area with tables that I’m sure you could use to have a snack as long as a party isn’t taking place, otherwise there are counters and stools outside that you could use. No food is sold here but there are plenty of food options in the mall and with the unlimited play, you can come and go. We left and ate lunch and walked around a bit before coming back to jump some more.
Q. What ages to you feel this play area is best for?
My daughters are 2 and 5 and both had a really great time.
Q. Is there a designated area for babies/toddlers?
There are a few smaller toddler-friendly bounce houses and also an area with large squishy blocks and play houses near the lounge area.
Q. Is there anything else you’d like to say about your family’s experience?
Both my girls had a great time and we definitely got our money’s worth. This was a great treat for them while allowing me to get some shopping done. Just make sure you bring socks!