Kelly Ramirez and Joan Blackmer, local wives and mothers, remember when they were kids and could safely play outside for hours.
The two women decided kids today don’t have the same outdoor play opportunities they did, so they decided to create a business to help kids burn calories, and at the same time give parents the peace of mind of knowing their children were in a safe place.
Ramirez, 40, a former interior designer, and Blackmer, 37, a former social worker, have created the Jumpin’ Jax Bounce Arena, a 10,000-square-foot play area filled with colorful inflatable structures that kids can slide down, bounce on or climb over.
Five days a week, hundreds of kids whoop it up, giving their parents a chance to read magazines, make a Wi-Fi connection, or even join in the fun on one of five giant inflatables. The cost is $8 per child for unlimited fun.
Lisa Aylward, a DeWitt mother of three high-energy boys, 7, 5, 3, said her sons “love it. They would go every day, if I would let them. … I take them there every four to six weeks to burn off their extra energy.”
Ramirez, who is a fitness buff, and Blackmer, a runner, love to see kids active for hours, and they say parents appreciate being able to monitor their kids.
“I remember as a kid being gone for hours in a woods near our house, and my Mom wasn’t worried. But it’s a different world today. Parents are more safety conscious, and there is less space in neighborhoods for kids to play,” Blackmer said.
Photo by Valerie Everett.