Flying high at AirHop
Yep, that’s me on a trampoline (albeit after a precautionary trip to the loo). Turns out, the world’s largest trampoline park is just up the road – and it really is flippin’ (into a pit of soft foam cubes) massive fun.
The sight of all those trampolines – about 177 of them over 60,000 square feet – in AirHop’s super-sized warehouse on the outskirts of Bristol, got the Muddies fizzing with excitement as we changed into our special snazzy blue socklets…
…and listened to the obligatory safety talk (‘trampolining can result in broken bones … paralysis … and death. But you go ahead and have a great time’). You do have to sign a waiver before you can bounce and they give good practical advice on bouncing safely, how to find the trampoline’s sweet spot and catch great air (see? I’ve got the lingo) – adding a final reminder to ‘larger people not to bounce on smaller people’. Noted.
The whole of one end of AirHop is filled with a grid of interconnecting, sunken trampolines surrounded by angled trampolines, so you can literally bounce off the walls.
Elsewhere, you can practice your front flips in the Foam Pit filled with huge cubes of soft foam (so no hard landings), bash the hell out of each other on the narrow beams of the Battle Beams, shoot some nets at the Basketball Slam Dunk, play Dodgeball, or jump over/under/get knocked over in Wipeout.
There are friendly court monitors (wearing bright yellow tops) on all the activities, so I felt quite happy leaving the Muddies to their own devices and having a coffee up in the fairly basic café (hot and cold drinks and snacks only) on the mezzanine level.
Sit inside the café or outside on a ‘terrace’ overlooking the vast expanse that is AirHop. Given the size of the place, and the number of kids that were there, the noise levels weren’t unbearable (there were even people ‘working’ on laptops).
You can bounce from the age of 5 years and when we were there, there were young kids, loads of teenagers and adults. It’s £10 for an hour’s bouncing (+ £1.50 for the socks). One hour would be perfectly adequate as it’s totally exhausting but I was in a generous mood that day and paid for two – and I still think it was brilliant value for the amount of fun (and exercise) they had. There weren’t any queues, and it was clean and bright.
AirHop is a stone’s throw away from Cribb’s Causeway, so you could always indulge in a spot of retail therapy beforehand or drop older kids off for an hour or two while you mooch – unless you’re bouncing yourself, of course. Some rather old NASA research found it to be better for you (and a lot less effort) than jogging.
I had to drag the Muddies away from the place, they loved it, saying “amazing, you feel like there’s no limit’ and ‘awesome because you can show off your skills’. And if they’re happy, I’m happy. We’re looking forward to next time. Take lots of bottled water to avoid dehydration, and your camera for some out-of-focus photo opportunities.