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Jumpin Jonnies Bouncy House Arena Roars into Vernon

It is the creation of Tolland native Jon Dambly.

It's school vacation week, but it's a perfect time for a pop quiz.

So what do you do with three kids who are still going haywire after all the   homegrown options have been exhausted and the weather is just not good for the playground?

You put them in the car, take a jaunt along Talcottville Road, find No. 234, and turn  them loose at Jumpin Jonnies.

Jumpin Jonnies? Yes, 12,000 square feet of bouncy houses, slides and obstacle courses - padded and indoors.

The new bouncy house arena is the brainchild of Jon Dambly, a Tolland native who was living in Georgia with his wife, a Navy dentist who is now in private practice,  and two children, now 4 and 6.

After the transition out of the military and into the private sector, Dambly was ding some contract work for Google, but as the family was settling just over the Massachusetts line in Sturbridge, he had one thing in his mind - he was determined to open a business.

With a child psychology background, he knew what worked. It then became a matter of finding the right place. He had it at the quirky building with the semi-circular front that had housed the old Cardio Express fitness center.

He had to play the waiting game a bit while Cardio tried to finally move into its new location up the road, but when Jumpin Jonnies opened a week ago, it was an instant hit.

"Yes, but I knew two things - I always wanted to own a business and I knew this was the right spot," Dambly said.

Jumpin Jonnies has a frog theme but its bouncy houses also take on popular themes like the movie Cars and the Batman character. The real superheroes of the venue, however, have no fancy names - just an 18-foot slide and a jungle bouncy house with a climbing wall and slide built right in, among inflatable animals and obstacles like tusks sticking out of the floor.

There is also a toddler area. Kids 2 through 12 can bounce and parents are allowed in the bouncy houses.

Considering what it does for kids and parents, the $7.50 unlimited bounce ticket is a relative bargain.

"I had a dad come in here (on Wednesday) at 11 and his kids bounced from 11:05 to 4," Dambly said.

Open bounce is available to anyone during the posted hours - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, unless there are large parties.

Jumpin Jonnies has two party rooms - complete with bouncy thrones for the birthday boys and girls - and party prices range from $250 to $350. He has partnered with the Stone and Paddle restaurant for his pizzas.

An Ice Cream machine and pizza by the slice will eventually be offered.

On Wednesday afternoon, about a dozen sets of parents had the same look in their eyes as the kids ran, jumped and bounced their way toward the dinner hour.

As they packed up at closing, two parents would occasionally make eye contact and just smile. It was mission accomplished as the kids drank their drinks and trudged to the cars - tired.

Dambly just smiled at it all. He seems to have fond a niche in town while being open only a week.

Yes, he has his business and he is enjoying it thoroughly.

To see more, check out www.jumpinjonnies.com.

NANCY DEFALCO April 16, 2012 at 09:37 PM
SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT PLACE WHERE KIDS CAN GET GOOD EXERCISE AND HAVE A LOTS OF FUN TOO GOOD FOR PARENTS TOO
Tracy Napolitano October 15, 2012 at 09:12 PM
can 1 1/2 year olds jump and if so does it cost money?

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