They’re soft, they’re colorful, and kids can literally ricochet off their walls for hours on end; bounce houses are fun and safe ways to blow off steam. These inflatable amusement-park classics are scaled down for backyard use, and they’re available in dozens of different themes, from fantasy castles to jungle caves to space stations. Besides having room to jump around, many bounce houses also feature slides, splash pools, sports equipment, and other fun accessories. They come with blowers for quick inflation, and deflate for storage. Bounce houses adhere to strict safety features, and they’re generally appropriate for toddlers to 10-year-olds—parents don’t get to join in the fun, but maybe having the time to sit back and relax while the kids amuse themselves makes up for it. (Nah—we want to bounce, too!)
Most activities: WELLFUNTIME Inflatable Bounce House with Slide, Jumping Castle with Blower for Kids Play House with Wave Pool
For Kings And Queens Of The Yard
Included basketball hoop and ball pit. Amazon
This large, technicolor castle features a small slide and an attached ball pit. It has safety netting to keep kids from falling out, and two storage bags for water and snacks. There’s also a small basketball hoop, soccer goal, and even a slide. It can accommodate three children, and up to 300 pounds.
Attached area to get wet. Amazon
This 9-by-10-foot bounce house goes all out to provide maximum fun. It features three water features—a water slide, water cannon, and splash pool. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a climbing wall and basketball rim. The upper areas are surrounded by mesh to keep kids safe, and the whole bounce house can accommodate up to five children.
Affordable And Space-Saving
Great for basements or smaller backyards. Amazon
This less expensive bounce house features a comfortable, brightly-colored 8-by-7-foot jumping area, 50 pit balls, and a small exit slide. It can handle three children and up to 200 pounds, and features safety mesh so they stay where they’re supposed to.
Giant 12 by 15-foot space. Amazon
If all you want to do is bounce around, the massive 12-by-15-foot Big Ol Bouncer is the way to go. It features four walls of protective mesh and a small exit slide, but let’s face it—the appeal of this no-frills monster is that there’s nothing to get in the way of catapulting around like a maniac. It can accommodate up to 600 pounds, though the maximum weight per person is 100 pounds. Sorry, parents, this one’s still for kids.