Ryan Clancy and Becky Cooper-Clancy wanted to offer a family-entertainment center that would appeal to people of all ages and was located inside the city of Milwaukee. Hence, the husband-and-wife duo will open Bounce Milwaukee at the end of February in Bay View at 2801 S. 5th Ct.
"We want to provide something for people and families to do that’s fun and healthy and indoors – without having to drive to the suburbs to find it," says Cooper-Clancy.
The 9,600-square foot space will feature an inflatable sports arena that will offer sports from basketball to volleyball to Twister. (OK, maybe Twister’s not a sport.)
Bounce will also have inflatable obstacle courses, an 18-foot rock climbing wall, a vintage video game room and a form of laser tag that is the first of its kind in the world.
Clancy and Cooper-Clancy, who have lived in Bay View for many years, have four children, ranging in age from 14 to 5, and a fifth on the way. In the past, the couple has found it challenging to find city-based activities for the entire family because of the age differences.
Toni Morrison wrote, "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it," and the Clancys decided to carry that advice into the realm of family entertainment by opening Bounce.
An emphasis on local products will be prevalent throughout the business – from the food items to the wristbands made in New Berlin. "Even our vacuum cleaners will be from Milwaukee," says Cooper-Clancy. "We love Milwaukee and we want to put back some of what we’re getting from it."
Currently, the couple is working on approval to build out a mezzanine area / second floor that would create more dining space and would also, hopefully, allow them to offer bar service.
Prices will vary depending on how a guest wants to access the space. For $9, they can get unlimited use of the inflatables (including the sports arena) as well as free play of air hockey, vintage video games and more.
A $19 entrance fee provides unlimited use of all the attractions listed above plus the climbing wall and laser tag. Special events (bungee runs, Twister, dodgeball, soccer, basketball) take place throughout the day for children and adults, and are also included in the price of admission.
"If you'd like to play a specific game, ask one of our hosts, and we'll do our best to organize a game," says Clancy.
Adults who are just watching are free with children.
"But when you're ready to get into the action with some fun of your own, we've got your wristband waiting for you. You're never too old to Bounce," says Clancy.
The video games will always be free because it’s important to the owners that there is no token or ticket system.
"The days of kids begging you for another handful of tokens are over. Our games are all set to free play, so you can focus on having fun, not on your wallet," says Cooper-Clancy.
Bounce will feature a cafe with healthy, locally-sourced pizzas, wraps, salads, Classy Girl cupcakes, cookies and more. If the second level is approved then they will expand the menu.
The facility will offer open-for-free play along with kids’ birthday parties and over-21 time on Friday and Saturday evenings after 9 p.m.
The couple is excited to start this new venture of their lives. Clancy started teaching at Milwaukee Public Schools in 2001 and Cooper-Clancy has 12 years experience launching and managing non-profits, most recently Peace Action Wisconsin.
"We look forward to working with school and corporate or non-profit groups. For both kids and adults, team building is really valuable," says Cooper-Clancy.
Bounce will be open Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to midnight or later (guests must be 21 or over after 9 p.m.) and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Bounce will be closed on Tuesdays for private events.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.