A couple of weeks ago the kids and I were lucky enough to be invited along to Planet Bounce in Nottingham to see what we thought of their brand new inflatable park. If you’ve ever been to Planet Bounce before you’ll know that it used to be a trampoline park, but with similar places popping up all over the place they decided to stay one step ahead of the game and offer something that no one else has. And I have to say, I think it’s really going to pay off!
I just want to quickly apologize in advance for the poor quality photo’s. It was really hard to get pictures that weren’t blurry with so many people bouncing around beside us. I think they show just how much the kids enjoyed their day though. I’ve also included a little video at the end of my post so you can get more of an idea of what it’s like inside.
So, Planet Bounce is situated in the Glass House on Huntingdon Street in Nottingham, which is literally a two-minute walk away from the Victoria Bus Station. I think it’s a great location for having an inflatable park as it’s easy for everyone to get to, no matter where you enter the city from. You can either book your tickets online in advance (which I’d highly recommend doing as they work out a little cheaper) and then collect your wristbands when you arrive, or you can pay for your session at the cash desk on the day.
We went along to one of their ‘Jump’ sessions, which run from 11am every day during peak season, and from 12pm every day off-peak. Jump sessions are suitable for anyone aged 4-65, and they give you access to the main inflatable area, which is huge! A standard jump session lasts for an hour, which I thought was just the right amount of time for Oscar (who is 4) to enjoy. But you can also book a consecutive session if you want to spend more time in the park. I think Stacey and her friend Reanna would have happily stayed another hour.
As soon as we entered the inflatable area Oscar’s face lit up, and the first thing he did was run to Luna Landing, which is very much like a bouncy slide. I think you can see from the excited look on his face in the picture above that he thoroughly enjoyed jumping off the top and sliding down really fast! One thing I noticed early on was that all the inflatables have names that you’d associate with outer space, and the colour-scheme matches just perfectly. It’s little things like this that I appreciate, and it made my visit even more magical.
All three kids enjoyed playing on Luna Landing and came back to it time and time again during the hour we were at Planet Bounce. I even had a go myself, and was really surprised at how quickly I flew down it after jumping off the top! Oscar tried several times to reach the top without using the steps, but each time he just slid back down again – which he thought was hilarious. They also enjoyed playing on Air Mountain, which I can only describe as being like bouncing around on a big blue jelly. Oscar needed a little help from the girls to get up on there, as he’s still quite small. But that didn’t bother him in the slightest.
As well as being able to slide down Luna Landing, Planet Bounce have an awesome Helter Skelter Rocket Slide, which is super cool! Oscar whizzed down this quite a few times during our session. I wasn’t quick enough to get a photo of him coming down in though. Typical! I liked that he could use the Helter Skelter Rocket Slide safely by himself, and it seemed to be very popular with the younger children using the park.
As with most indoor play areas, Planet Bounce have included a Ball Pit for the kids to enjoy. And Oscar spent a lot of time in here during our visit. It was just deep enough for him to lay down in and cover himself with balls! I did think it could have done with being a little bit deeper though, as Stacey and Reanna took a run and jumped into it when there were no other kids around, and they ended up hurting their feet a bit as they weren’t expecting it to be as shallow as it was. It’s still lots of fun though. I mean, who doesn’t love a good ball pit?!
Both Stacey and Oscar enjoyed racing up the Crater Climber! Stacey was brave and climbed to the top before jumping off, but Oscar seemed to think it was another slide and would climb a few steps and then slide back down again. But I guess that’s the beauty of visiting an inflatable park like this – you can use the apparatus however you want without having to worry about hurting yourself. After all, you’re guaranteed a soft landing wherever you are!
Oscar thoroughly enjoyed chasing his big sister through the Gravity Flares at Planet Bounce! He also used them to do a little boxing, and enjoyed bouncing through them as well. I think he liked being in this bit of the park as it was a lot quieter than some of the other bits, and he’s not a big fan of large crowds.
The only time this area really got busy was when some of the older children finished the Rocket Man Run, which is a super cool obstacle course. Sadly, I didn’t get any photos of the Rocket Man Run as Oscar wasn’t big enough to go through it. I think it’s safe to say it was Stacey and Reanna’s favourite part of the whole park. They told me it was fairly dark inside, and you had to make your way through the course and finish by sliding down a big bouncy slide. It sounded really cool! There are loads of pictures of this over on the Planet Bounce Facebook Page if you want to take a closer look.
And last but certainly not least, all 3 kids loved trying to keep their balance on the wibbly wobbly Gravity Pods! As you can see from my pictures though, they managed to get there in the end. I think playing on these got the biggest giggles of the day as every time one of them managed to get up on one of the pods they’d suddenly lose their balance and fall off. There were 3 pods in total, and trying to jump from one to the other without falling was a big challenge. The girls managed to do it just before we had to leave, and were really proud of themselves.
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Planet Bounce, and the kids have already asked if we can go back. I feel like it’s a lot more inclusive now it’s an inflatable park rather than a trampoline park. When it was a trampoline park there was no way I could have gone in and enjoyed bouncing around with the kids as I have scoliosis and find it difficult to jump around constantly. It’s much easier to keep my balance on an inflatable floor and I feel it’s a good way of getting some gentle exercise as I could jump as much or as little as I wanted to. There was a much better atmosphere too. Stacey always felt like the staff were on edge in case of accidents happening before, whereas they seem a lot happier now. This suggests to me that an inflatable park is much safer overall.
One thing I will say is that all that bouncing around is sure to make you hungry. But never fear, as there is an on-site cafe where you can grab some refreshments and ‘refuel’. The cafe area is a lot cosier than it used to be, and I love that they’ve continued the space theme throughout. Snacks and drinks are reasonably priced in the cafe too, which is great.