A live entertainment professional in Elyria, OH

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

Are bounce houses safe?

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.

What is a bounce house?

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.

What is a mariachi band?

Mariachi bands are rooted in Mexican culture. Traditional mariachi bands consisted of two or more members playing stringed instruments, wearing regional costumes adapted from the charro (Mexican horseman or cowboy). Modern mariachi bands, which are likely what you’re looking for when searching for a mariachi band for hire, feature at least four members who play stringed instruments (violin, vihuela, bass guitar called guitarron) and one or more trumpets. The costumes have remained the same, but now trumpets are synonymous with mariachi music. Mariachi bands for hire often play a wide range of music, including styles originating from Mexico and adopted from elsewhere. These include jarabes, waltzes, serenades, corridos (Mexican ballads), ranchera, cumbia, and more. Mariachi bands for hire bring a festive and soulful element to a party, birthday, wedding, corporate affair, fundraiser or community event. UNESCO has inscribed mariachi music on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

How much does bounce a house cost to rent?

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.

How much does a mariachi band cost?

A mariachi band will bring your party or event alive with their fabulous costumes, beautiful playing and strong vocals. The cost of a mariachi band for hire will depend on how many players are in the group. Each musician in a performance group needs to be paid, so pricing is usually based on the number of mariachis (musicians), the location of the event (and travel time required), and the length of the performance. Day of the week also affects cost, as does day — Christmas, New Year’s Eve and other major holidays will cost more than regular days. The national average cost for live bands of all types ranges between $740 and $1,200. Depending on where you live and regional rates for performers, you might expect to pay between $65 and $120 per hour, per player. Mariachi groups may have 12-15 players available for performance at one time, depending on your budget. Here are some examples of how the number of players affects average cost:

  • Four mariachis: $300 per hour for weeknights, $400 per hour for weekends.
  • Five mariachis: $350 per hour for weeknights, $400-$450 per hour for weekends. Weekends may have a minimum number of hours.
  • Six mariachis: $400 per hour for weeknights, $450-$500 per hour for weekends.
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