As a parent to a toddler, I recently experienced my first BHBP – bounce house birthday party. While my daughter was apprehensive about venturing in at first, once she saw how much fun the other kids were having, we weren’t able to get her out. It was a very loud and unpleasant car ride home. The cupcakes probably didn’t help. I learned two things on that day. One, everyone cries at birthday parties (parents included). Two, we needed a bounce house. Once the crying stopped, my daughter slept for 12 hours straight. All hail the bounce house.
Between the pandemic grounding families at home for months on end and the continued research into how beneficial physical activity is for kids (and how much we should fear screens), bounce houses are quickly becoming a product that goes beyond parties. When used indoors for year-round play or anchored securely outside on days without any wind, bounce houses are a safe (mesh walls!) way for kids to play on their own, with siblings or friends.
Bounce houses are a great way to get kids active outdoors and join water tables, swings, and mud kitchens as yard-friendly additions that are affordable, fun for multiple ages, and don’t require much assembly. When used indoors, bounce houses offer a safe space for kids to play and expend energy without parents spending money at indoor play centers when the weather gets cold and rainy.
Whether you have a huge yard or a small living room, there’s a bounce house that will work for you. Check out our top picks below and enjoy some very tired kids.
1. Little Tikes Jr. Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer
For a bounce house that is affordable, sets up quickly, and provides a safe space for kids to play, we like the Little Tikes Jr. Jump ‘n Slide Bouncer. Available in two sizes (the option below is the smallest), the Jump ‘n Slide inflates to 10’ by 7’ by 5’ for a bounce house that is perfect for toddlers. Three of the sides have mesh walls for safety, which allow parents to clearly see their kids inside. The fourth side opens to a safe slide for easy entry and exit. The bounce house comes with everything users need to set up outdoors, including a blower and anchor stakes. When not in use, the puncture-resistant bounce house fits neatly into a small storage bag.
2. Intex Inflatable Jump-O-Lene Playhouse
BEST FOR TODDLERS
Kids love to bounce, but trampolines can result in lots of bumps and bruises from falls. That’s why we like the Intex Inflatable Jump-O-Lene Playhouse, which brings the bounce of a trampoline to the safety of a contained bounce house. The Jump-O-Lene is perfect for toddlers and little kids who aren’t quite ready for a trampoline but still have lots of wiggles they need to get out. A crawl-through door provides easy access for little jumpers and reinforced netting along with an inflatable floor creates a safe space to jump.
3. Blast Zone Magic Castle
COMES WITH BLOWER
Kids love ball pits, but if you’ve ever taken a small child to a large indoor play area with a ball pit, you’ve likely experienced the fear of seeing them sucked into the quicksand-like pit. Save yourself some stress and keep your kids entertained with their own ball pit at home. The Blast Zone Magic Castle can be used as a traditional bounce house or users can add balls to create their own ball pit. Designed with safety in mind, the bounce house uses soft safety netting to prevent abrasions, has reinforced stitching, a safe slide for entry and exit, and comes with anchors for added security. A UL-blower is included as is an instructional DVD to help parents ensure a safe setup.
4. Action Air Inflatable Waterslide and Shark Bounce House
INCLUDES CLIMBING WALL
For little kids who like to climb, slide and splash, there’s the Action Air Inflatable Waterslide and Shark Bounce House. The inflatable bounce house can be used with or without water and features a climbing wall that leads to a curved slide. When water is added, kids can have fun spraying each other with the built-in water gun. There’s also a tunnel under the slide and mesh enclosures for safety. The bounce house comes with a heavy-duty blower and can be used wet or dry.
5. Blast Zone Big Ol Bouncer
BEST FOR BIG KIDS
If a big ol’ bounce house is what you’re looking for, look no further. The Blast Zone Big Ol Bouncer has a high weight limit of 600 pounds, making it ideal for large groups or big kids. The bounce house measures 12’ by 15’ and can be inflated in seconds using the included UL blower. The house is enclosed with safety netting and kids can get in and out of the house using the safe slope slide. At only 7’ high, the bounce house can also be used indoors for fun year-round.
6. Bounce House with Water Slide by Costway
BEST WATER SLIDE
The Bounce House with Water Slide by Costway has just about everything kids will need to have fun and stay cool on hot days. Turn your backyard into a mini waterpark with a bounce house that features a large slide for big kids and a smaller slide for toddlers. A climbing wall, water spray nozzle, water gun, and basketball hoop make for hours of fun. When little jumpers want to chill, the bottom of the bounce house doubles as a wading pool. The house comes with a repair kit, anchor stakes, and a storage bag that helps reduce the size of the bounce house to a small package when not in use.
7. Costway Mighty Inflatable Bounce House Castle Jumper Moonwalk Bouncer
MULTIPLE PLAY AREAS
For a big bounce house that has areas for multiple children to enjoy at once, we like the Costway Mighty Inflatable Bounce House Castle Jumper Moonwalk Bouncer. The heavy-duty bounce house features large mesh windows to help keep kids safe and give adults a clear view of the house. The bounce house comes with balls for the ball pit and there’s a large slide, a basketball hoop, and a tunnel underneath the house for little kids. Customers will have to supply their own blowers but will be pleased with the double and quadruple stitching that adds to the house’s durability.
8. H2OGO Dodge and Drench Outdoor Play Bounce House Game and Water Park Toy
Kids will love the obstacle-course style of the H2OGO Dodge and Drench Outdoor Play Bounce House Game and Water Park Toy. The inflatable water park measures almost 15′ all around and comes with four platforms that can support kids up to 120 pounds. Kids can have fun and stay cool while trying to dodge the moving sprinkler ball. When it’s time to take a dip, the bottom of the bounce house acts as a wading pool. H2OGO comes with a repair kit, storage bag, stakes, and blower, which can have the bounce house ready in two minutes.
9. Ultimate Combo Bounce House by Bounceland
For kids that want a slide as the focal point of their bounce house, we recommend the Ultimate Combo Bounce House by Bounceland. The 8′ tall bounce house features a slide that runs along the side of the 10′ house and curves around the front. An obstacle wall creates a fun challenge for kids on their way to the slide and mesh netting helps to keep kids safely inside while climbing. A half-Velcro wall keeps kids contained inside the bounce house, where they can enjoy using a basketball hoop. Little kids will like the tunnel that runs under the bounce house. The Bounceland house is UV resistant for outdoor use, has a 400-pound weight limit, and comes with a blower that can have kids playing on their new bounce house in two minutes.