Drop in to Pump It Up Playtime in Oakland - 510 Families
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Drop in to Pump It Up Playtime in Oakland

Our guest writer today is Natalie Nicolson. We thank her and toddler Kepler for bouncing through Pump It Up’s Open Jump. We thank Pump It Up Oakland for waiving fees.

Get Your Toddler’s Jumps Out at Oakland’s Pump It Up

Pump It Up is an inflatable playspace and party venue with seven locations across the Bay Area. The Oakland location is off Highway 880, close to the Park Street Bridge to Alameda (it’s also close to where the Oakland Museum White Elephant sale is held if you’re familiar).

Note: Pump It Up is not a trampoline house. You won’t find any trampolines at this location, which makes it a fun, safe spot for under five-year-olds. Also, I learned, that grippy socks are not required (but socks are)!

pump it up bouncers with lots of bubbles
The latter half of our preschool jump session included a bubble party. | Photo: Natalie Nicolson

Open Jump Sessions Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday

Tuesdays and Thursdays are for ages 0-6 (must be 34″) and Fridays are open to ages up to 12. While mostly known as a birthday party venue on the weekends, Pump It Up holds regular open jump sessions for kids wanting a party vibe on a weekday.

My toddler and I went to a Friday afternoon open jump and they made it feel like a celebration. If you grew up going to places like this, it will bring back memories: birthday cake, dance music, shoe cubbies—even the carpet feels very 90s and nostalgic. Feel free to come for all or some of the designated time slot.

pump it up with a toddler and an attendant
Foam blocks were brought out for little ones. | Photo: Natalie Nicolson

The first hour is in a giant space with four bounce structures, including an obstacle course, a small slide, and a classic jump house. They brought out foam blocks and rollers for my son to play with, which he liked as much as the inflatables. There is a giant slide that I wouldn’t recommend for little ones by themselves unless they’re pretty tough (my two-year-old ended up crashing headfirst and body rolling, but thankfully he wasn’t phased).

The second hour we were moved into the next arena with even more inflatables. One of them had a basketball hoop and jousting set-up, and another was a more challenging obstacle course that the kids enjoyed playing tag in. There was a basketball arcade machine that wasn’t working or wasn’t plugged in so it didn’t keep score, but we could still use it.

small child playing hide and seek in the bouncy obstacle course
Lots of giggles and hide-and-seek in the obstacle course. | Photo: Natalie Nicolson

Bubble Dance Party

In the last 20 minutes of the Preschool Jump Session, the attendants brought out a commercial-quality bubble machine that got all the kids dancing and playing together.

All in all, it was a fresh way to spend a rainy afternoon and kick off the weekend! I’m sure we will be back.

Plan your visit to Pump It Up Oakland

Ages: 18 months (must be 34 inches) to 12 years
Location: 2500 Embarcadero Ste A, Oakland with other Bay Area locations in Union City, Concord, and Pleasanton
Hours: (come for all or some of the time)

  • Preschool Jump (ages 0-6) is 9:30-11 am Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Open Jump! is 3-5 pm Fridays
  • Check their calendar for special events and weekend hours.

Fees: $15 per child over age one for 2 hours of play; up to 2 companion adults are included. Punch cards earn you a free session after 5 trips.
Website >

kid on inflatable slide at pump it up
Zooming down the inflatable slide | Photo: Photo by WM Eric Images

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