A Bouncing Birthday at Skyzone in Lewis Center

Haven Woodruff had just pulled into the party room at Sky Zone Recreation Center in Lewis Center, ready for the food-consumption portion of the proceedings. The 11-year-old birthday girl, along with her twin sister

Harley, spent the previous hour bouncing on the wall-to-wall trampolines in the popular new facility, which opened in September.

"You think because you're having so much fun that the time will just fly by," Haven, a resident of Centerburg, said, "but it's really tiring. I think I feel like I've been jumping for seven hours."

Not that Haven was complaining, mind you. It's just one heckuva workout, all that bouncing. But Sky Zone is also the hottest new party destination in Central Ohio. Like paint ball and laser tag before it, trampolining is what kids want right now.

WHAT IS IT?
Sky Zone is basically a warehouse with a long, elevated, rectangular field of flat and tilted trampolines, separated by padded walkways. One section is just for bouncing and "rouncing" (a.k.a. bouncing in a running manner), and the other, smaller section is a Sky Zone employee-supervised arena for continuous dodgeball games.

According to general manager Elizabeth Foy, a maximum of 65 people is admitted to the field of trampolines each hour. And everyone has to wear facility-issued booties (which are heavily Lysoled between wearings).

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Not surprisingly, party bookings are piling up fast, said Foy. By mid-November, she said they were booked five weeks out for parties.

The "Jump Around Party" is the most basic option: For a minimum of 10 guests and $18 each on weekends and holidays ($15 each during the week), you get an hour of jump time, then a very efficient 40 minutes in one of two party rooms where you also receive two large pizzas and three pitchers of soft drinks.

You can purchase more pizzas, pitchers, a birthday cake, frozen treats, T-shirts and other a la carte items, but Sky Zone also lets you bring in your own cake, which Haven and Harley's mom, Angeline Giffin, said was a real money-saver. She brought her own cupcakes for their party of 11 kids, ages 4 through 12.

Another perk with a party booking: You get to put all your coats, shoes and paraphernalia on a cart that's tucked away safely in your party room. A lot of people forego the 25-cent and 50-cent rental fees on the 62 available lockers, and just dump their belongings wherever.