Tuesday 1 November 2011

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SkyZone Las Vegas

"How can bouncing be so exhausting? Look, I know I'm not in the greatest shape in the world, but bouncing on a trampoline doesn't look like it should be that tiring. I mean, all I have to do is jump once and gravity will do the rest right?" This is the wonderful thought process that I brought in to my experience with SkyZone Las Vegas. Something that I thought would bore me and maybe entertain my kids for a little bit, turned out to be an absolute blast that has become one of my family's favorite stops in Las Vegas, even if it almost sends me into cardiac arrest each time we visit.

If you're not familiar with SkyZone, essentially it's a giant warehouse where they've replaced all the floors and walls with trampolines. You can bound across the room from trampoline to trampoline, then bounce yourself off the wall and turn around and cross the room in the other direction. It's the giant, rubber bouncy room that my parents always wanted to put me in as a kid.

While there's plenty of room to bounce freely, they curtain off about a quarter of the room into a bouncy dodgeball court. Trampoline dodgeball is an entirely different thing than normal dodgeball, as not only do the balls bounce back at you, but so do the players. You'd think that would make it a much harder game, but really it's just an excuse to bounce sideways off the wall and come out throwing, replicating moves that you've seen in every action movie ever made. A word of warning though.  If you're a Dad, don't wander on to the dodgeball court if my kids are there. Apparently all three of my kids are graduates of the "Dodgeball Annihilation Strategies 101" course (they go to private school, there's different electives there than at the public school) and it seems the final lecture must have been all about how Dad's make the best targets.

The best advice I can give you for SkyZone though, is to get there early. In Las Vegas they open at around 10am, and if you're there right then and have all your paperwork filled out ahead of time (each person has to sign a waiver, but you can download it online and fill it out in advance) you will most likely have the place to yourself. They only allow people on to the court on the half hour, so if you're the only people there at 10am, you'll have the place to yourself until at least 10:30. This gives you all the space you need to do all the crazy tricks and cross room flips that you want (I stick pretty much to the basic belly flop and bum drop, but my kids venture into the harder stuff). All that space comes at a price though.

The first time we went to SkyZone we arrived right at opening, and bought an hours worth of time to just try it out a little. After having the place to ourselves for ten minutes I was collapsed at the rest station, wondering how they had forgotten to call us off after what had obviously been at least two hours. My whole theory about gravity doing all the work might hold true if you just stand in one place and bounce up and down, but that's like standing at the beginning of a hiking trail and saying "I won't get tired if I just stand right here". It's true, but where's the fun in that?

There's a separate room for toddlers (trampoline + ball pit = I want to be 3 again) and there are benches on the side if you don't want to venture out on the court with your kids, but I highly recommend that you give it a try. Sure your kids will probably jump circles around you, but let me tell you something they don't know that could help even things out - Double bouncing your kids when you don't need to worry about where they're going to land (they're going to hit a trampoline somewhere), is a whole lot of fun. Just know that nobody is leaving here with any energy left at all, but if you're bringing your kids, I suspect that was the idea all along.