Bounce houses, inflatable castles, moon bounces, inflatable slides and jumpy castles are all large-scale inflatable houses made for interactive entertainment. Commonly intended for children, bounces houses are made of PVC or other durable materials such as nylon or vinyl that when look like a house or castle when inflated. Rental companies deliver bounce houses to birthday parties, festivals, fairs and other events. The companies have industrial-grade blowers that fill the large structures with air to make them bounceable. A common size for a bounce house might be 15 feet by 15 feet by 13 feet. Bounce houses often have a flat, inflatable bottom pad and inflatable walls so that kids can jump and bounce without being hurt, along with a netting door and windows so that kids can see out and adults can see in. Bounce houses are suitable for both indoor or outdoor events, depending on the venue. For large events, rental companies often have a staff member who stays with the structure to monitor safety and keep it properly inflated. There are also wet/dry bounce houses with slides that you can hook up to a hose on hot summer days. A bounce house can be a fantastic addition to a party with kids, keeping them both entertained and contained.
Bounce houses can be safe if operators and parents take proper precautions. Before renting from a company, confirm they are a legitimate company and hold any licenses and insurance required by your state. Ask to see reports of bounce house safety inspections provided by third parties, to make sure the equipment is in good operating condition to prevent injuries. If the rental company does not provide a staff member to oversee the bounce house for the duration of the rental, make sure you are properly trained on how to oversee the equipment. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these guidelines for parents to help keep their kids safe when using a bounce house:
- Follow guidelines for safe installation including anchoring. Position away from fences, greenhouses, branches, etc., which would be dangerous should a child fall onto them.
- Consider limiting use to children 6 years of age and older.
- Have kids take off footwear, eyeglasses and jewelry before playing.
- Take sharp objects (pens, keys) that could cause puncture injuries out of their pockets and hands before playing.
- Don’t let kids of significantly different sizes into the bounce house at the same time. Smaller kids can get hurt by colliding with or falling under an older child.
- Heed the height and weight regulations of the inflatable.
- Food, drink, bottles, glasses, etc., should not be taken onto the bounce house.
- Supervision should be maintained all the time. Supervision means watching constantly, not just being in the area.
- Do not allow children to push other children off the inflatable. If it is a flatbed, this is especially important to avoid broken arms and legs. If the bounce house is walled, don’t let kids bounce against the walls and crash into one another — this can result in collision injuries.
- Don’t exceed the maximum number of children at one time in the bounce house.
- Don’t let kids climb onto the outside walls. Flips and rough play should also not be allowed.
Bounce houses are a fun way to keep kids entertained during birthday parties and other events. The national average cost for renting a bounce house ranges between $160 and $200. Cost will be affected by the size, design and functions of the bounce house you rent as well as the length of the rental. A three-hour rental will likely cost less than an eight-hour rental. Many rental companies offer fun additions like popcorn machines or cotton candy makers, and provide packages with discounts on multiple items. Another item that you may want to rent with your inflatable is a generator to keep the bounce house inflated. Here are some examples of average inflatable rental costs, packages, and common add-ons that many companies provide:
- Bounce house, 10x10x13-foot: $95.
- Bounce house, 15x15x13.5-foot: $125.
- Wet/dry slide, 14-foot: $150.
- Wet/dry slide, 20-foot: $250.
- Combo bouncer and slide, 24x10x13-foot: $140.
- Combo bouncer and wet/dry slide, $175.
- Folding chairs: $1.50 per chair.
- 6-foot folding table: $8.
- Snow cone machine: $45.
- Popcorn machine: $55.
- Cotton candy machine: $55.
- 2300-watt generator: $75.
- 3000-watt generator: $100.
- $299.95 package: includes a 20-foot dual slide ($250), table ($8), 10 chairs ($15), and a popcorn machine ($55) — $29 savings.
- $450 package: includes a double water slide ($350) and bounce castle ($130) — $30 savings.