Kids indulge their castle craze during Tucson’s hot summer days
“Stop jumping on the bed!”
Not a child’s favorite words.
Jumping is never a problem at Celebrate!, a Tucson business that encourages all that bouncing.
Celebrate!, 7830 E. Wrightstown Road, is an indoor playground with inflatable jumping castles, slides, obstacle courses and basketball hoops in two large rooms.
“Kids always want to jump on the bed, and this way they get to do it for hours on end,” said Lenore Padilla, one of the Celebrate! owners. “And it’s a great workout.”
“I’d call this an exercise place,” said a sweaty Ross Donaghay, 14, who was visiting from California. “I play football so I like to knock over that clown in the obstacle course.”
Celebrate! is designed for children 3-11, but Donaghay had fun there with his sister and cousins.
“I love that the children have the freedom to have a great time and use up all that energy and I don’t have to worry about it,” said his grandmother, Sharon Foster, who came in with her six grandkids and daughter-in-law. “It’s very safe.”
The two women watched from a table as the kids had the run of the place.
“I like it because our kids range in age from 4 to 14, and they are doing an activity they all love,” said Stacy Foster, whose stepson Daniel, 6, careened down the slippery slide.
In the bounce room next door, 38 kids from Fountain of Life Lutheran Church summer program bounced and played.
“This is a great place to run around and be indoors,” said Richard Gremel, who brought the kids. “They’re having a blast.”
“You get to do a lot of fun things with your friends,” said Ryan Ramsower, 10, who liked the obstacle course the best.
Celebrate! was created a couple of years ago by the owners of three businesses who rent out jumping castles and other inflatables in Tucson, Padilla said. She owns Arizona Carnival; Gary Brainard owns All About Parties; and Lynn Miller owns All Star Jumps.
“You only have to deliver a jumping castle in 105 degree weather once to decide there’s got to be a better way to do this,” Padilla said. The company moved into their existing, 10,000-square-foot location about a year ago.
She said Celebrate! is a popular option for families looking to escape the outdoor elements.
“Our main focus is to make sure every child has a great time.”
Padilla said open play is available Monday through Friday, and she has seen children play as long as five hours on the inflatables.
“It’s unbelievable kids can jump that long, but they seem to have unlimited energy,” she said.
In addition to families coming for open play, Celebrate! hosts field trips for a variety of groups. And weekend birthday parties are popular.
“We want guests to say, ‘This is the best party we’ve ever had,’ ” Padilla said.
Susan Flint brought daughter Neave, 7; son Conor, 5; and niece Amber Krekeler, 2, on a recent weekday.
“We like the giant slide best,” Neave said, as she and her brother munched on nachos and gummy bears. “It has a fun ladder and you get to slide down.”
Said her mom, “I like that the kids will play easily for two hours. It’s a lot of exercise. They can be independent and have a great time.”
CELEBRATE! THE FACTS
Drop in and play at Celebrate!
Kids can bounce, climb, slide and shoot hoops for as long as they like at open play.
Adults are required to stay, and children must wear socks.
Chicken nuggets, soft pretzels, nachos, corn dogs and other kid favorites are available.
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday
Where: Celebrate! 7830 E. Wrightstown Road, at the southwest corner of Wrightstown and Pantano Road
Price: $10 per child. Open-play pass cards are available for $60 for 10 visits.
Info: 751-9898. Call ahead to check the schedule.
Celebrate! offers packages to accommodate 10 to 50 birthday guests.
Partygoers bounce, sing karaoke and create works of art.
Packages run from $175 to $565. Pizza and sandwiches are available.
Call 751-9898 for information.
HOW TO CELEBRATE!
What you need to know when heading to Celebrate!
> Bring socks. You can buy them there if you forget.
> Drink fluids. All that bouncing is hard work.
> Wear loose-fitting clothes. Skirts are not the best choice.
> Watch for little ones while jumping.
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