Your Source for Fun when you can’t find the Sun – Whirligig at the Seattle Center House

Kids on Jurassic Play Center, a Portland Bounce House Rental

Here in the Northwest, it’s the time of year when the Sun doesn’t like to come out very often. Fortunately, organizations like the Seattle Center team up with Bouncer Rental Northwest to bring all sorts of indoor, bouncy, inflatable fun.  A couple years ago we did a Whirligig write-up that went into details of several of the onsite activities for kids at the Seattle Center. This year, we will go into more depth on the individual bounce houses that are being brought in for Whirligig and what the cost to your family will be.  If you are planning an event in Portland or Seattle this summer, it is also a great activity to test out any slides, obstacle courses, or bounce house rentals you might be considering.

If you are one of our customers in the Portland, Hillsboro, or Beaverton area, we highly recommend making a day trip up to Seattle for the Whirligig event. In addition to all of the fun Seattle has to offer, your kids can enjoy an entire day of low-priced, unlimited inflatable fun.

Let’s bounce our way into the details!

Dates and Times

Whirligig starts on Friday, April 1st 2016 and is operational every single day until Sunday, April 17th 2016. The event times are 11am to 6pm daily.  If you are looking to attend when it is less busy with shorter lines, the best times to attend are weekday evenings from 3pm-6pm.  Alternatively, show up first thing in the morning prior to opening so that you can get in line and quickly get a wristband. Any weekday (Except Thursdays, see below) will be much slower than Saturday and Sundays.

Cost

Whirligig is an absolute steal when it comes to playing on inflatable rides. Unlimited wristbands are $8 per child. Getting a wristband means that the kids can go on any of the rides in center house as many times as they want during that particular day. If your child is under the age of 4 and doesn’t want to ride on the large rides, there is a restricted toddler area on the second floor that is reserved for kids under the age of 4. The unlimited toddler pass is only $4.50. However, if your young child is ambitious, and still wants to ride all of the rides, be aware that you will need to purchase the more expensive all day pass. If you are just passing through for the day, tickets are available for $1.50 a piece (with rides costing 1 or 2 tickets), but this option is not recommended unless you only plan on doing one or two rides.

If you compare the cost of the unlimited passes to the average bounce house rental in Portland or Seattle, I think you’ll find it’s a steal. $8 for unlimited use of 10 bounce houses instead of the normal cost of $200-$300 to have a single bounce house delivered to your house.

For a real deal, come on Thursdays when everything is FREE! All of the rides, free, all day long. Be warned though, it will be very, very busy.

Rides

Onto the best part of the experience! The inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and bounce houses! There are a grand total of 10 bounce rides that are brought into the Seattle Center House. Two of the bounce houses are reserved for children under the age of 4. Remember: Each and every one of these inflatables can be rented for your corporate event, summer picnic, or other special occasion. Click on any of the links below to get a detailed description of the interactive ride and stunning picture!

Toddler Area

Main Floor Play Area

We hope you come out to visit us this year and enjoy your experience at the Whirligig!

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High School Graduation Celebrations

Celebrate High School Graduation with a Rockin' Grad Party

As Seattle embraces it’s wettest season, High School Seniors everywhere are bunkering down to complete their courses. High School graduation is less than four months away, and many of the Grad Night planning committees are well underway. Groups of thoughtful parents all over the state are carefully budgeting and planning for their student’s last Hoorah before college. One of the primary benefits of graduation parties is creating a safe, controlled environment for students to celebrate while preventing the use of drugs and alcohol.   Unless the parents have children that have previously graduated, chances are this is their first experience planning a Grad Party. Fortunately we have some tips to get you started.

Multiple Locations

Most graduation parties typically take place at three separate locations. The newly graduated students are whisked away in a bus following their celebratory ceremony.  Picking the right locations can be difficult depending on your groups size and personality. Some typical locations include bowling alleys, Go-Kart facilities, or large rental halls.  The groups will spend approximately three hours at each location, providing the graduates with fun throughout the entire night. Depending on how intricate your parent planning wants to be, each location can have it’s own theme, or an overall theme for the night. It is typically a good idea for two of your locations to have some sort of ‘built-in’ entertainment (i.e., bowling at the bowling alley).  When selecting your facilities, keep in mind that the location won’t be the only source of fun.

Filling the Space with Food, Fun, and Games

Almost more important than selecting venues, is making sure that each location is filled with fun activities, food, and music.  Every location should have some sort of food and beverage option. Check with your venues, some will require that you utilize their catering options. Others won’t have built in options, but even Safeway Sandwiches or Costco Pizza is an adequate option. You don’t have to have a full meal at every location, snacking options will often fit the bill.  For music, you can book a DJ, or just rent a sound system and pick your own playlist. When it comes to other filler entertainment there are a ton of options including laser tag, mechanical bulls, photo booths, bouncy boxing, and much more.

Quality Entertainment for Quality Kids

Keep in mind that this is your child’s special night. This sort of opportunity deservers a special performance. Typically reserved for the last location, it is recommended that you provide at least one high quality entertainer for the evening. The two typical choices are Magicians and Hypnotists.  Hypnotists are typically the better choice, but you run the risk of no one actually being hypnotized.  This is a rare occurrence, and successful shows are usually worth the risk. Magicians can be great, but unless they are very high quality, the kids can get easily bored and move onto other things. Other great options to fill an hour of your night could be a comedian or a stunt man.

These simple guidelines are sure to help you create a memorable experience for every Senior Grad. Remember to always make the event you own with creative decorations, and special activities that fit your group’s personality. If you need some assistance with planning you can always leave it to the event planning experts. Keep your event safe, and congratulations to all of the Seniors!

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October Harvest Festivals: Know the Basics

10857083_mlOctober is one of the best times throw an awesome party for your church, school, community, or family.  The sun is still out some days, and depending on where you live, it can still be warm enough for outdoor fun if you bundle up!  At Bouncer Rental Northwest we love putting on harvest festivals for our clients because of the opportunity to bring in unique activities and enjoy a few more big parties before Christmas time.  The key to hosting such a great harvest festival is to remember that it isn’t a summer party. Water activities are out, unique fall-themed games are in. Try incorporating one of these games into this years Harvest Festival.

Hay Bale Maze

Hay bale mazes can be a lot of work to create, but are a blast to navigate with friends and create an incredible experience for younger kids. Start by planning a rough draft of your maze on paper so you know how many hay bales you are going to need. Remember that you will need to stack them at least four bales high for adults to fully enjoy the maze. You can pick up hay bales at a local farm supply store.  Depending on the store, some supply places will let you ‘borrow’ the hale bales for a small fee or even free if you return them dry and in one piece.  Before you go pick up hay bales you are going to need a large truck, several volunteers, gloves, and a tarp.  Hay bales can give nasty splinters and make quite the mess, consider gloves and a trap a necessary precaution to protect your health and well-being.  Once you’ve gathered all of your hay bales, you can start building your maze! Increase your participants maze immersion by including decorations such as pumpkins and scarecrows. Tip: If you want to save on time and resources, build the maze just for smaller kids. The walls can be half height and will cut your hay needs in half!

Seasonal Spin Art

One of the best ways to keep people coming back to your annual event is to send them home with a memory.  Spin art is not only a fun craft for kids, it also lets them take home a piece of the Harvest Festival. Start by renting a spin art machine or creating your own. To make your activity more fall-oriented, restrict the spin art colors to black, red, orange, yellow, and brown.  Create a turkey stencil that you can tape down to the top of your spin art cards or frisbees.  When the kids are done blasting their card with paint, remove the stencil and let the artwork dry. You will be left with a beautiful fall colored turkey that the kids can take home with them! Tip: When it comes to spin art paint, less is more.

Competitive Bobbing for Apples – With a Twist

Classic games like bobbing for apples help create event nostalgia.  Unfortunately, in our opinion, dunking your head in water to obtain dirty fruit with your mouth leaves something to be desired. Change up a classic by incorporating another game such as Pictionary.  Create two teams and have two apple bobbing stations. If you have teams with ten players, pick ten words to write on the apples. Write each word on two apples with sharpie and divide the apples into their bobbing stations.  This game should be played as a relay race, with each team racing to finish all ten apples. Players must first fish an apple out of the bobbing station with their mouth, and then immediately go to a white board to draw their teams word.  The first team to complete all of their apple words wins the game!

Hay Find

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For the focused kid, hay finds can create hours of fun.

Hay finds are a good way to keep some kids occupied for hours. Some children are so enthralled with discovering hidden treasure and toys that they will spend a great deal of time picking through hay to ensure they have gotten every last prize.  Before starting your hay find you will need hay and a variety of prizes. If you want to make cleanup easy on yourself, make sure you have a tarp and a broom as well.  By having the hay find on a tarp, cleanup is as easy as sweeping any escaped debris back onto the tarp and wrapping up all of the hay in the tarp for easy removal and disposal.  Small toys and prizes are always fun to put in the hay, but we recommend you also incorporate a few rolls of quarters, dimes, and nickels. The money is a lot more difficult to find in the hay, and children love collecting loose change.  If you have a lot of kids at your party, consider creating two hay finds; one for children ages 3-6 and one for kids 7+.  By separating the kids, you will be giving the younger kids a chance to actually enjoy the activity without getting trampled.

Obstacle Course Relays

Create a fun team obstacle course relay and give out awards for the fastest, silliest, and most graceful teams. Rent an obstacle course from a local inflatable company, then add things to the beginning and end of it to make it longer. Include things like pumpkin hurdles, leaf pile wading, mud pits, and a grass dash to give your course some substance. We suggest teams of three for the relays, and homemade ribbons or ‘paper plate awards‘.  You can even start your night be having people create custom paper plate awards to give out after the races. Whatever you decide to do, involve the group and have a blast racing.

Harvest Train Ride

If your budget allows for it, consider renting a train and decorating it to match your event. Put hay on the floors of the car, zip tie corn stalks to the sides, attach scarecrows, put small pumpkins in the seats with the passengers, and attach battery powered orange LED lights.  Have your train navigate around and through your event. Spice things up by handing out ‘train snacks’ such as gingerbread cookies or flavored roasted pumpkin seeds. Create custom train boarding station with fall decorations, railroad crossing signs, and more hay bales. WIth the addition of a train your event will become an annual hit that people will make a point of visiting just to “Ride the Harvest Train!”

Whatever you decide to do for your upcoming harvest festival, make sure you create safe, fun, entertaining memories for your guests!

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Preparing for March Madness

March Madness Tournament

Start your spring off the right way by celebrating March Madness!

March Madness is quickly approaching! The NCAA sponsored tournament is a chance for sports fans everywhere to cheer on their favorite college basketball teams. This once a year event is popular all over the United States. Take advantage of the three week tournament by hosting a March Madness event at your company.  Throwing a party will boost employee morale and kick off Spring the right way. Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

1. Fill Out Brackets

Most basketball fans love to guess who will win the championship by filling out a bracket and competing with their friends to see who gets more of the games correct.  Start an office pool to go to whoever predicts the most wins. If you want to discourage gambling, buy some prizes and give those away in lieu of money. Even if one of your coworkers knows nothing about basketball, there are always upsets, and it will encourage them to follow along in the fun with the possibility of winning a prize at the end.

 

Rent a Satellite Receiver for your event!

Who knew you could rent these?

2. Bring in Satellite TV

Make lunch breaks more interesting by having the games on. The Seattle Games2U Franchise will bring out 50″ Plasma TVs with remote satellite receivers and leave them there for the duration of the event. Setup some chairs in the break room and let your employees have at it. Don’t forget to bring chips and dip so they have something to munch on. When the games aren’t on, you can have the latest basketball video game running on the TV. Sure your productivity levels might drop, but you will build employee loyalty and happiness.

 

3. Rent Interactive Entertainment

If staring at glowing boxes isn’t your idea of a good time, maybe you can go for some more interactive entertainment instead.  Pop-A-Shot rentals are always popular among kids and adults, no previous basketball experience required! If you are looking for a different twist on the classic double shot hoop game, check out this unique basketball inflatable. Participants compete to get rid of their basketballs first. Every time a shot is made, it returns to their opponents side. It is a race against time to see who can make their shots faster.  If you want to get really crazy, you can rent a bungee basketball game. Two players compete to make 2 baskets first, the only catch is that they are harnessed to a massive bungee cord. Every time they get close to the basket, they are yanked back. One of these interactive options is guaranteed to spice up your March Madness event.

 

4. Have a Potluck

No event is complete without food. Everyone eats and hosting a potluck is the best way to include everyone in the festivities. Have a custom basketball cake made. Host your potluck as close as possible to the final game, Monday April 8th. Encourage everyone in the office to bring in unique food and find a way to present it as a basketball theme. If you want to serve hamburgers and hot dogs, consider renting a propane grill and putting it in the front of the office. We don’t think April is too early to start barbecuing in Seattle!

Whatever route you decide to go for your March Madness festivities, you will be sure to create some memories! Feel free to post your march madness party ideas in the comments section below.

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