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What’s to Love: When I think of family activities in Portland, I usually think of parks, playgrounds, biking, hiking, etc. I don’t think of a commercial place in the suburbs, but this place is way too much fun to be excluded. There are two separate businesses in the Portland area: Pump-It-Up and Pump-It-Up Junior. Junior is specifically targeted at toddlers and smaller kids. Pump-It-Up is great for adults and older kids.

So what is Pump-It-Up anyway? It’s basically a big warehouse with giant, inflatable play structures – bouncing areas, slides, and obstacle courses. The structures (at both venues) are sturdy enough for adults to freely participate. This type of play is good for adults – it makes you feel like a kid again, and your kids will love the freedom and physicality of the play.

Caveats: The biggest problem with Pump-It-Up might be getting there in traffic! Watch your elbows on the big slide – you will get friction-burns if they touch the slide. Keep your arms up, or wear a long-sleeved shirt. Check the website for scheduled drop-in playtimes. You will need to sign a waiver. Bring your socks – no bare feet!  Here is a short video clip.

Website: Pump-It-Up Junior

Pump-It-Up Beaverton

Distance from Portland: Within 12-15 miles of downtown Portland.

Recommended Ages: Junior is best for kids 5 and younger, but older kids and adults will enjoy it as well. Toddlers also do fine at the other Pump-It-Up venues.

Parental Stress Factor: Low Stress! The staff members are mainly high school students, but they do a pretty good job of watching the kids. Because everything is so padded, injuries are not a major concern.

Physical Difficulty: It’s a physical place – your kids will jump, run, slide, climb, and much more! Adults often start running and jumping around like their kids, which leads to an elevated heart rate within a matter of seconds. Be careful!

Family Fun Factor: High! If your family is active, you will have a memorable and tiring visit to Pump-It-Up.

Pet Friendly: No dogs or pets of any kind.

Weather Considerations: Rainy day…no problem!

Pump It Up - BeavertonInsider Info: This is an awesome place for a birthday party. Actually, I prefer Junior for smaller kids. The staff moves your guests from one play area to another, and finally to the party room where you have cake and open presents. Your group gets the place all to yourself, food is included in the package, and the staff will help you serve your guests. Best part…you don’t have to prepare anything or clean-up!

Check the websites for special packages, promotions and events.

Family Tips: If you’re just showing up for an open playtime, don’t count on the venue for food. Bring your own snacks and eat out in the lobby after you’re done. They have been very nice about allowing this to happen. If you have a birthday party, you’ll probably end up using their pizza vendor, which is Pizza Schmizza (good choice!).

Pump It Up - BeavertonYou cannot bring your own pizza or food to the birthday parties. Talk things over with the staff before you show-up. Ultimately, you’ll appreciate everything you did NOT have to do for the party. The only thing you will need to do is bring a cake.

Technorati Tags: pump-it-up, pump-it-up-junior, Beaverton, inflatable play structures, bouncing for kids, pump-it-up parties

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  1. Note from Editor:

    I just edited this post on 2/1/08. Originally, I had stated that you could bring your own “cold food” (e.g., vegetable trays and/or sandwiches) to the birthday parties, which was INCORRECT! You have to use their vendor, which is fine because it’s Pizza Schmizza!

  2. Thanks for all the wonderful information. We are always looking for fun family things to do, and this was the perfect place to find it.


    ~Kristen- Tigard, OR

  3. I have always been a little nervous about taking my kids on these big blow up play structures, because they get bounced around so much. I was excited to hear that there is a place specifically for children under 5. We will have to give it a try!

  4. Hi Liesl,

    Yes…there is always a chance that someone will knock your kid over while jumping uncontrollably. Pump-it-Up Junior is a better choice, if you’re concerned about it.

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