By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Aug 24, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Most kids love the "bouncy house" concept, and parents tend to be pretty keen on it, too. After all, jumping for hours on end provides little people with fun exercise that create better sleep patterns. Plus, bouncing is a fun calorie burn that’s important for kids who eat a lot of sweets or fast food.

In 2008, Metro Milwaukee welcomed two bouncy house franchises: Monkey Joe’s, 2040 W. Bluemound Rd., in Waukesha, and Pump It Up, 195 N. Janacek Rd., in Brookfield.

Monkey Joe's is a brightly colored, indoor facility featuring about a half-dozen bouncy structures. The inflatables range in size and thrill factor to accommodate kids between the ages of 1 and 12. There is a designated section for toddlers.

Kids -- with their parents -- can stop in seven days a week. From Monday to Thursday, the facility is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost is $7.99 per child Monday-Thursday and $9.99 per child Friday-Sunday. Children 2 and under are $5. Birthday parties range from $139 to $239.

Pump It Up -- aka "The Inflatable Party Zone" -- is also an indoor play area with giant inflatable structures that are said to promote social development while challenging kids to bounce, slide, climb and jump.

Pump It Up has drop-in sessions for 2-to-6-year-olds on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Thursday nights for 2-to-12-year-olds from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The cost is $9 for the first child and $7 for additional children. Birthday parties range from $179 to 279.

Many parents have spent time at both facilities. So those of you in the know, are they basically the same or is one better than the other? Sound-off, parents, and let us know your thoughts. And next time you go to either of these places, remember one thing: don’t forget socks!

Pump It Up. Although there are fewer drop-in times at Pump It Up than at Monkey Joe’s, the facility is much nicer with larger inflatables and more options. Plus, it has less of a "chain" feel and the staff is excellent. This is a great place to have a birthday party.

Monkey Joe’s. Pump It Up does not accommodate working parents because they do not offer drop-in time on the weekends. I find Monkey Joe’s clean and fun and the birthday party prices are a bit lower than Pump It Up’s prices.