By SARA GRANT, email@example.com
1:51 PM EST, December 23, 2013
Parents, rejoice. A new 10,000 square-foot trampoline park in Hartford has opened so that your kids can bounce off somebody else's walls.
The indoor park, called Launch, features an open-bounce court, a foam pit, two basketball hoops, a separate bouncing court for small children, a large game arcade, and two dodgeball courts, one that is flat and an "Xtreme" court with peaks and sliders.
General Manager Bronson Venable says Launch, owned by former New England Patriots and New York Jets cornerback Ty Law (who pops in from time to time), draws all ages. Teens love the extreme dodgeball court and dunking on the basketball hoops. On Fridays Toddler Time allows parents and children under 5 to jump for two hours for just $10.
But this park isn't just for the kiddies. Other programs include adult-fitness classes that can burn 1,000 calories an hour; birthday parties; and Glow Wednesdays, when the lights are turned off and the whole park fills with colored lights, lasers, etc.
"Overall it's a great way to get the families here together. It's something that they can do in one safe location, a good way to save a little bit of money and create a lot of memories," Venable says.
While bouncing in the foam pit, a smiling Erin Starkey, 12, of Enfield and Sarah Fraher, 13, of Somers described their first time at Launch as "awesome." The two were there as a part of a homeschool gym class.
Sarah's mom, Laurie Fraher, 46, decided to try something different for gym class. With two paying kids, the adults jump free.
"I was a little leary because it's trampolines and you have to sign a waiver and everything," says Fraher, "but I feel it's very safe. The staff is really good. They're right on the kids if they do something wrong, and we've gotten ton of exercise today."
Strict rules and regulations ensure safety, and a waiver is required for all participants and spectators. Court monitors at each feature are trained in first aid and carry first-aid backpacks at all times. Venable calls them "lifeguards of the trampolines."
All trampoline beds are checked regularly, and all tears are replaced immediately. The beds are also redundant, so if the first one rips, there is a second underneath to catch the jumper.
The extreme dodgeball court is one feature that separates Launch from many other trampoline parks. It also houses one of the largest arcades in Hartford, with more than 25 games that include prize redemption on a game card that can be built up on return visits for bigger prizes. If you work up an appetite, and you will, the park offers a snack bar with pizza, nachos, smoothies and soda.
>>Launch, 91 Brainard Road, Hartford, is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m.; Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Cost: $8 for 30 minutes; $14 per hour, each additional hour is $10. Group rates for 15 jumpers or more start at $12 per person; birthday parties start at $219. Information: 860-246-5867 and www.LaunchCT.com.
Flight Trampoline Park, 140 Productions Court, New Britain, is 13,000 square feet with more than 50 trampolines, launching decks of varying heights, basketball hoops, foam pits and dodgeball courts. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Prices are half hour $9; one hour $13; two hours $23. Six and under pay $8 for one hour; and $15 for two hours. Parties available for various rates. Parking is free and group discounts are available. Information: flightct.com and 860-505-8218.
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