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Ever since an inventor in 1960s Louisiana realized his kids loved jumping on the inflatables he was developing for rescue purposes, bouncy houses have been part of American childhood canon. In Philly, they’re summer staples — if your block party doesn’t have at least one, is it even legit?
What’s coming to the area on the weekend after Independence Day is much bigger than a block party. According to organizers, the traveling carnival called Big Bounce America is the biggest bounce house in the world.
When it lands at Chester Park in Chester, Pa. (about a 25-minute drive south of Philadelphia) from Friday to Sunday, July 6-8, the set-up will include 10,000 square feet of air-cushioned fun. Different zones inside the structure include:
- Obstacle races
- Climbable jungle animals
- Inflatable trucks and boats
- Four-poster beds to flop on
- A giant slide that lands in a ball pit
- Basketball hoops to practice your best Embiid impersonations
There’s also apparently a big DJ in the center of everything, playing what’s described as “age-appropriate party music.” Because — and this is highkey the best part — Big Bounce America isn’t just for little ones.
Hourlong sessions throughout each day are split into different age groups. There’s times for toddlers, kids under seven years old, folks 15 years and under, and a full-on adult session in the evening.
Outside the main bouncy house, there will be a few other areas to play and rest, and also food and drink concessions. Advance tickets start at $11 (toddler session) and go up to $17 per person. If there’s not a sellout, tickets will be available at the door for a higher price. Parents accompanying a child do need their own ticket.
Philly is one stop on the current 59-city tour for Big Bounce America, which is run by HDS Ents., a Rhode Island-based company founded in 2007.