Feel the rush
Have an energetic toddler who needs wearing out? Muddy's Katrina and her daughter bounced their way all over High Wycombe's Rush trampoline park and crash landed in its brand new soft play area.
Trampolining has been having its moment for some time – the stampede for kids birthday parties is testament to that (go on, put your kids in, watch them exhaust themselves and wave from a safe distance in the café). But until I saw Rush trampolining in High Wycombe publicising an Open Toddler Session, I’ve never really thought about trampoline parks as an option for really young kids. Anyone with pre-schoolers will be all too familiar with the challenge of finding rainy day activities that will keep them happily occupied for a good couple of hours and burn off that superhero style toddler energy. Read on, mes amis, I may have found the solution to your problems.
Rush is set over a huge area made up of about 40 floor-level trampolines (so no awkward clambering up involved), including 72-foot long tumble lanes and sprung sides. But it also has loads of other stuff to do too, including Ruby & Reds, a dedicated soft play for titchies, dodge ball courts and giant foam pits, as well as arcade games and an ice cream parlour for older kids, and a café for re-fuelling afterwards.
If you’ve never been to a trampoline park, be prepared to fork out a couple of quid for socks (you can’t jump without them but you can re-use them for future visits). Then try and get your kids to sit through the video safety briefing (attention span/gnat comes to mind – and that’s just me).
After that it’s the fun bit. Initially I wondered whether Rush might be a bit overwhelming for a couple of under 3s – the large open plan space, the loud music – but being a Monday it was pretty relaxed and low-key, with no queues or stress, and our toddlers were in bouncy heaven. Literally couldn’t stop them bombing around. By the way, even if it’s busy at Rush (think weekends *gulp*), the toddler sessions every morning are dedicated to under 4s, means there are no boisterous big kids to bump into, and there are strict rules about having only one Tigger on a single trampoline at any one time too so it’s all safe.
Afterwards, it’s a no-brainer to head to the cafe on the top floor – go to the main cafe at Rush with its surprisingly urbane decor (industrial styling, comfy chairs and plenty of food and drinks with which to entice young children to sit still for a minute and catch their breath). If you want to do some shopping afterwards, you’re a 10 minute drive from Wycombe’s Eden Centre or 15 minutes into Marlow – hey, add another 10 minutes onto that to find a park!). Gratifyingly my toddler fell asleep as soon as her head hit her booster seat, but in the summer a jaunt along the riverside in Marlow would be a lovely add on.
The kids could have stayed at Rush for hours, hopping between the trampolines, jumping into the foam pits and running around the sprung dodgeball courts while attempting to hit the electronic targets (these are used for actual competitions and adult fitness sessions at other times!).
The whole experience at Rush felt a bit like a cross between Gladiators and Total Wipeout, and they loved it. Plus having the new Ruby & Red’s soft play option for a change of pace (below) was most welcome (primarily by me, I was knackered). It’s not a huge space, but it’s perfect for little ones, and the space-age styling, slides, ball pits and air cannons are good fun.
NEED TO KNOW
Toddlers can jump (with an accompanying adult) for 60 minutes for £11.50 during the weekday sessions (£16 at weekends) and use the soft play for an additional £4.50. But the most cost-effective option is the combined jump and play for £13.50 during the week and £17.50 at weekends. There are add-ons for extra kids and adults too, and open jump sessions for older, more robust kids in the afternoons and holidays. Plus babies can go in the soft play with a second adult while older ones jump, so it’s an easy win for a whole family activity.
Fancy getting bouncy yourself? Go on, get jiggy. Take part in Rush’s #JUMP2020 campaign, initiated by fitness director Jo Edwards – the aim is to get people moving more by committing to 20 jumps then 20 reps of another exercise of your choice every day. Trust me, you’ll have buns of steel by the time you put on your fluorescent thong in the summer.
Words: Katrina Harper-Lewis