Sometimes on a random school closure day, my family of four will go on an Awfully Big Adventure and stay out all day. (If we remember to block these days off at the start of the school year.)
A favorite itinerary of the past was this: We started at Rockin’ Jump in Dublin, then went for lunch at a kid-friendly cafe, located in a big box mall also in Dublin (long-time Rockridge residents will remember College Avenue’s Red Tractor cafe — same place). We then moved on to the now-closed Golden Skate roller rink in San Ramon, which was too crowded for our tastes, so instead of going in, we promised the kids a make-up roller skating day and headed to the Steam Trains in Tilden Park, and finally, we all hit some balls at the Tilden Park Driving Range.
Is Rockin’ Jump worth the drive?
Quick answer: Yes. But note, you don’t have to drive as far as Dublin. There are locations in Concord and Fremont as well, which may be closer to you.
Rockin’ Jump, an indoor trampoline park for kids of all ages, was a thrill for the kids. Because it was Martin Luther King Day, I knew it might be crowded, so after calling and getting confirmation that they did expect to sell out, I used their online system to reserve two spots for my kids, ages 5 and 8. I didn’t know if my husband and I should expect to jump ourselves, but I figured I didn’t want to take spots from kids, so I decided to see how it played out when we arrived. Once there, it became obvious that it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to jump with our kids. Folks who are chaperoning a child three or under, however, should expect to get on the trampolines, because you probably wouldn’t send your toddler out there without you.
Guests put on a paper bracelet, like at a water park or fair, which is associated with the time they are allowed to remain on the bouncy floors. You get a little bit over an hour for your admission price, which is $18 for the first hour and $6ish for a second hour.
The drive to any Rockin’ Jump from Berkeley is 30-40 minutes, which is why you might want to coordinate your trip with another errand or outing. Or, if you are headed for a long South-bound drive on Highway 5, consider tiring your kids out with some serious bouncing before you get in the car and sit for the rest of the day.
Yes, it is worth the drive, but since there’s so much to do with kids in Berkeley and Oakland without a long drive, it’s just not what I’m accustomed to.
When can I go?
Hours vary based on the day of the week. Most weekdays offer “open jump” for everybody during after-school hours, but definitely check if you’re trying to take advantage of a school holiday; they definitely change the hours for popular days like Martin Luther King Day. Weekends offer all-day open jump, starting at 10 am on Saturday and 11 am on Sunday. Want to jump yourself without the kids? Consider the adult 9 pm to midnight time slot on Saturday nights. Teens are encouraged to take that timeslot on Friday nights.
In addition to afternoons, toddlers and preschoolers with their caregivers get special access during certain hours, before the big kids can come in and take over. Check the Rockin’ Jump website for schedules because each location uses a different calendar.
What age of child is it best for?
Any child who can run confidently and enjoy sensory stimulation will enjoy this bouncy experience. In the largest play area, there is a protected zone for children 5 and under so that they can explore without the threat of crashing into tweens.
There are enough activities for older kids, such as a “room” with basketball hoops and an ongoing dodgeball game that they’ll have a blast as well. We saw high school students lined up to enter that space, alongside younger elementary school students.
A full-service cafe sells gourmet pizzas, sandwiches, and salads, and offers free Wi-Fi, so parents chaperoning kids who don’t need hand-holding can sit away from the bouncing, but still be on site.
What should I bring?
Bare feet are required, but if you must wear socks for some reason, you’ll have to buy $2.00 socks from Rockin’ Jump.
A signed waiver is required, and you can save time by doing it online in advance of your arrival.
If you bring snacks, there is an area to eat them. If packing food is your weakness, as many moms tell me it is, no worries, there is enough to order for lunch.
Generally, Rockin’ Jump centers are located in a business park-style building with plenty of parking.