By Kim Morasse
151 Dominion Blvd., Ronkonkoma
Decades ago, a typical afternoon play date for children consisted of outdoor activities like sports and bike riding. But in today’s technology-dependent world, that same play date might consist of sitting two feet from a massive television, video game controller in hand. Jump, in Ronkonkoma, aims to meet kids halfway with activities that kids can enjoy while getting exercise without even realizing it.
Jump is an interactive place where kids can enjoy bouncing on all different inflatables as well as playing in the family-friendly arcade. Kim Falbo, manager at Jump, explains that “It’s the inflatable experience—plus the arcade as well,” that kids get a kick out of.
Jump has inflatables ranging from rock walls, giant slides, bouncers, obstacle courses and more. One of the kids’ favorite inflatables is the Nerf Blaster, made of four cannons that blast out Nerf balls and a pit in the center where kids can retrieve the Nerf balls from.
Keeping up with kids’ constantly changing preferences, Jump installed a new inflatable known as Jumpin’ Jack.
“It’s an electronic jump rope. It almost looks like a big oval and it’s about 6 feet high” Flabo says. “The kids step on a platform and the lights go around the entire oval and they have to jump every time the lights hit the bottom. It goes faster and faster and faster and they’re constantly jumping, like jumping on a jump rope.”
In addition to the many inflatables, Jump recognizes what 21st century kids like at a family-friendly arcade. What differentiates them from other places is that “As part of the party package, every single child gets 16 tokens. They’re walking into an arcade and they don’t have to say ‘Mom, give me some money so I can play the games.’”
What attracts the most attention from all of Jump’s play areas? That would be the Candy Wall, a 6-foot-high wall, very similar to what you’d see if you walked into a smalltown sweet shop. The candy wall enables the kids to make their own goodie bags out of everything that they like, from 11 different types of candies. In addition to being able to go up to the wall and pick out their own candy, kids also receive a prize as part of a goodie bag. The kids can choose from a selection of bigger candies, or toys such as Slinkys, jump ropes, or LiveStrong bracelets.
As if giving kids an outlet to let off excess energy wasn’t enough of a community service, Jump makes giving back to the community a priority. It gives regular donations to all sorts of places such as the March of Dimes, churches, Amber Alert fundraisers and more.
“We’re doing an event with WBLI called Adopt A Child,” Falbo says. “People call into [the station], and they’re given the name of a child who is in a shelter on a Long Island. [People can] find out the sex and the age of a child, buy them a present and drop it off.” So far, she says, they have received more than 800 gifts.
The screaming and cheering children, the relieved parents, the enthusiastic Jump workers (“constantly interacting with the kids,” Falbo says); Jump is a great place to throw a party and have an incredible time.