Everybody loves a bouncy house, also called an inflatable bounce house. Bouncy houses can provide hours of entertainment and keep kids contained and happy so the adults can relax and have fun, too. Also known as moon bounces, inflatable castles, jumpy castles, jumpy houses or inflatable slides, these large-scale blowups are inflatable rentals literally made to be bounced on. Bounce houses are commercial grade inflatables constructed of nylon, vinyl or PVC and inflated with an industrial air pump and generator to look like a house, castle or massive slide. The inflated house is a perfect enclosure for kids to jump and bounce around, safely contained by the structure's walls or mesh netting, which serves as windows or doors. The mesh netting also lets the adults who are supervising the children see inside.
At large events, or at the client's request, rental companies may have a paid staff member stay with the bounce house throughout the event to monitor safety and ensure the structure remains properly inflated. A standard size for a bounce house might be 15 feet by 15 feet by 13 feet, although they can be much larger with many different features. Often, the inflatables are decorated with popular superhero or cartoon themes, such as Wonder Woman or Dora the Explorer. Another fun option is an inflatable wet slide, which may be an attachment to a traditional bouncy house or a stand-alone structure. An attached hose runs water down the slide, perfect for keeping kids entertained and cool during outdoor summer events._ _The rental cost of a bounce house will be determined by the size, design and functions.
You can rent a bounce house or an inflatable slide for almost any type of event where there will be kids, such as birthday parties, festivals, weddings, corporate events, school events and fundraisers. Bounce houses are suitable for both indoor or outdoor events, depending on the venue. When you reserve a bounce house rental online or over the phone, the rental company will deliver the bounce house to your location the day of your event. Unless otherwise specified, they should provide the air blower and generator; some companies charge an additional fee for the generator, so review your pricing agreement carefully. Inflatable entertainment can be selected based on size to accommodate small groups, medium-sized gatherings or large parties of 200 or more people.
Commonly rented inflatables include houses, castles, slides, water slides, house/castle and slide combos, inflatable games and obstacle courses. Here are the factors that affect the average bounce house cost.
Size is usually one of the largest factors in the cost of renting an inflatable structure. The larger the bouncer, slide, combo or obstacle course, the more work it is for the staff to transport and set it up — not to mention the higher the initial cost for the company to purchase it. Larger structures can also accommodate more guests at one time, increasing their demand and cost. Here's how dimensions affect the average cost of bouncer rentals from Salta Bounce Houses of Georgia in Covington, Georgia:
- $95 for a 10x10x13-foot bouncer
- $125 for a 15x15x13.5-foot bouncer
- $150 for a 14-foot wet/dry slide
- $250 for a 20-foot wet/dry slide
- $140 for a 24x10x13-foot combo bouncer and slide
- $175 for a 30x13x15-foot combo bouncer and wet/dry slide
Your costs will depend on the length of your bouncy house rental; two hours will cost less than six hours. Inflatable companies generally have a set number of hours for a standard rental; additional time may be purchased on an hourly basis. Consider the number of guests you will have and the schedule for your event when calculating the length of your rental. If you are hosting a fundraiser, you may want to have a bounce house in operation for the entire event, as new guests will be cycling in throughout the day, while a children's birthday party with 20 guests will only need a bouncy house for a few hours because the kids will tire out. For example, Lone Star Bounce in Princeton, Texas, charges a flat rate of $125 for six hours of bounce house rental and $10 for each additional hour.
Water or dry slide
Inflatable water slides may cost more to rent than dry slides because of the additional labor required for setup and the equipment needed to operate the inflatable as a water slide. Many inflatable slides can also accommodate the weight of adults, so be sure to ask. Here's how Lone Star Bounce handles the cost difference for the same 30x10x18-foot inflatable when rented as a dry slide or as a water slide:
- Dry slide: $250
- Water slide: $325
Bouncy castles create a truly festive environment, and you can add to the fun with add-on services. Many rental companies offer concession machines, seating, popcorn machines, cotton candy machines, generators to keep the rented toy inflated and more. The more items a customer rents (or purchases), the higher the overall cost, but often the greater the savings available. Here are some average add-on rental prices from The Bouncy Store in Oswego, Illinois:
- Folding chairs: $1.50 per chair
- Six-foot folding table: $8
- Snow cone machine: $45
- Popcorn machine: $55
- Cotton candy machine: $55
- 2300-watt generator: $75
- 3000-watt generator: $100
Many vendors offer pricing packages that bring them higher sales while giving you discounts on the cost of individual items. Bundling bouncer rentals, concessions or multiple inflatables into one package can lower the overall cost per item since the company is already making a trip to customer's location. Here are some examples of packages:
- Salta Bounce Houses of Georgia: $299.95 package, includes a 20-foot dual slide ($250), table ($8), 10 chairs ($15), popcorn machine ($55) — $29 savings
- The Bouncy Store: $450 package, includes a double water slide ($350) and bounce castle ($130) — $30 savings
Bounce house safety
Of course bounce houses are fun, but are they safe? As with most activities, bounce houses are generally safe if the operators and parents make sure the proper precautions are in place. The best way to enhance safety is to see to it that the company is in good standing and its equipment is in good condition. Before hiring a company, ask to see reports of bounce house safety inspections provided by third parties to confirm that their equipment is up to standards for operating conditions and injury prevention. You should also verify that they are a legitimate rental company and that they hold the appropriate licenses and insurance required by your state. If the company you are renting from doesn't have a staff member who stays on-site to watch over the inflatable, make sure you understand operating and safety procedures so that everyone has a safe and fun experience at your event. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these guidelines for safe bounce house use:
- Follow guidelines for safe installation including anchoring. Position away from fences, greenhouses, branches, etc., which would be dangerous if a child fell 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 such as pens or keys that could cause puncture injuries out of their pockets and hands before they play.
- Don't let kids of significantly different sizes into the bounce house at the same time. A smaller child can get hurt by colliding with or falling under an older child.
- Heed the height and weight regulations of the inflatable.
- Do not allow food, drinks, bottles or glasses into the bounce house.
- An adult should supervise the bounce house all the time. Supervision means watching constantly, not just being in the area.
- Tell children not to push other children off the inflatable, especially if it is a flatbed. If the bounce house is walled, don't let kids bounce against the walls and crash into one another, which can cause injuries.
- Don't exceed the maximum number of kids 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.
Inflatables are always delivered to a party or event site, so rental companies typically have a service range within which there are no additional travel fees. Beyond that area, a company may charge a per-mile or set rate to compensate for employee time and transportation expenses. The Bouncy Store has a tiered pricing system for delivery based on a party's distance from the company's depot, ranging from $15 to $30, on average.
- When you are renting a bounce house, always confirm that the rental company is insured and state-inspected. This will help ensure that the equipment is safe and the company will be liable for any problems.
- Read client reviews and follow up with references to make sure you're choosing the right pro for your project. For more, check out our tips for smart hiring.