I love "tricking" my kids into eating healthy by secretly adding pureed veggies to their favorite dishes. Similarly, I also dig when they choose an activity that includes exercise and is away from screens for their afternoon entertainment. Recently, this was the case when my son asked me to go "jumping" at Waukesha's Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, W229 N1420 Westwood Dr.
The drive to Sky Zone from Milwaukee is easy – Sky Zone is directly to the north of I-94 and it takes about 15 minutes to get there from Downtown Milwaukee.
Sky Zone offers a large area with a trampoline floor. This makes the activity seemingly much safer because the trampolines are not elevated from the ground as they are in backyard versions. The trampolines are divided into squares on the floor and only one person can jump on a square at a time. Bouncers can hop from square to square, as long as no one else is already jumping.
Sky Zone also offers a trampoline basketball court, a massive foam pit, a "hurricane chamber" and a snack bar. Birthday parties and group events for people of all ages are also available.
The prices vary depending on how long a person wants to jump, ranging from 30 minutes for $11 and 120 minutes for $23. Special Sky Zone "grippy" socks are also required and are purchased on site for $2.
There are more than 100 Sky Zone franchises in the country, and Bron Launsby opened the one in Waukesha in October 2013.
"It's a great way to burn off some energy on those long, cold winter days," says Barbie Gonzales, Sky Zone’s operations / fitness manager. "Sky Zone offers fun and active family together time, as opposed to stationary activities such as movies or going out to dinner."
Next year, Sky Zone plans to add a ninja course, climbing walls, jousting and more. Launsby will also open two new parks in Madison and Fairview Heights, Illinois. Another Sky Zone franchise will open in 2017 in South Milwaukee.
Sky Zone offers Toddler Time on Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon and Saturdays from 9 to 10 a.m. Once a month, Sky Zone hosts themed toddler time events, which typically involve 90 minutes of jump time, character visits, crafts, snack deals and more.
"Kids under five can have a fun and exciting way to burn off some energy in a safe, controlled environment," says Gonzales.
Sky Zone offers Glow Zone sessions every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday nights from 9 to 11 p.m. Sky Fit classes for adults are also available.
"Sky Zone is different after dark, offering a glow in the dark atmosphere where jumpers wear glow in the dark T-shirts, listen to the latest music and are surrounded by an awesome laser show for two hours," says Gonzales.
The franchise also hosts fundraising opportunities for organizations, schools, churches and more.
"It's a fun, easy and active way to raise money for good causes. Recently, we held a fundraiser for the Best Buddies of Southeastern Wisconsin. They were able to raise over $700 for their organization, in 2 1/2 hours," says Gonzales.
What I thought would be an hour of my son bouncing around and me staring at my phone turned into two hours of non-stop activity for both he and I. It was more exercise – and more athletic fun – than I’d had in ages.
I might have been an embarrassment to my teen kid, but I am proud to say I was one of two parents jumping and I was amazed at how easy it was to "exercise" for a half hour straight considering it had been a while since I got my body moving like that.
"We have a lot of adults come in without children, it is perfectly normal," says Gonzales.
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.