We are told in Scripture that unless we become like little kids, we won’t see the Kingdom, and we know that at least on one occasion our Savior repeatedly jumped for joy. There is a place in Madison where kids of all ages can jump on inflatables to their heart’s content, and I can tell you that doing so made me feel way more like a joyful kid and much less like a stressed business owner who was at the end of a difficult work week.
It’s called Monkey Town Party and Play Center, and it’s located at 140 Castle Drive, just off Hwy 72 and Slaughter Road. It is a family owned business, and a favorite hangout for homeschoolers, church groups, birthday parties, parents and kids who are looking for an activity that won’t break the bank. Formerly known as Jump Zone, Larry and Connie Martin recently bought and renovated the place, and their children Courtney and Brianna helped them. They are a homeschool family, and running such a fun business is a unique part of the girls’ education.
When they took over on February 1st of this year, they began to renovate and rearrange. Bright colors were painted on the walls, the party rooms were decorated, and the rooms were reconfigured so there could be better supervision.
Monkey Town has everything from a hurricane simulator to a room that is one non-stop blackboard and plenty of colored chalk. There are rooms with air hockey, and very soon they’ll be opening up an arcade with all kinds of video games that won’t give parents the creeps. There’s a playroom for preschoolers, several rooms with tables on the first floor and a second story of party rooms.
Let me tell you about the inflatables. For smaller kids there is one that is shaped like a carousel. There is a giant Superman inflatable slide, but hands down, my fave was the Jurassic Park themed inflatable. It had a mountain you could climb, inflatable tusks to push through, and several slides cascading from the top of the mountain. The inflatables can handle adults up to the weight of 300 lbs, so size is rarely an issue if you want to jump.
Several open play times are scheduled, and once a month on the 4th Friday there is a time for homeschoolers to get together. I spoke with a homeschooling mom by the name of Laura Minjares, who was there with her two daughters, aged 5 and 11. “I like the owners,” she said, and comes as often as she can. “What’s nice is that one daughter can be jumping and the other can be practicing the letter A if she wants,” she said.
For $300, Monkey Town can be rented for what are known as Cosmic Nights. That’s when the laser and strobe lights come out, the kids are given glo-stick necklaces to wear, and if they come in having applied face paint that glows in the dark, this is when it will show up. It is one of Monkey Town’s most popular venues. Soon they’ll be adding a black light, which will make the face paint all the more interesting.
The “Cosmic Glo” parties feature pizza from Marco’s Pizza in Madison. Peggy Newton, the Martin girls’ grandmother says that the pizza “rocks.” Quite an endorsement, I’d say, coming from Nana. Glo party nights are on Friday or Saturday nights from 6-8:30, and are especially popular with highschoolers.
Monkey Town features sports parties, day cares, end of year Awana parties, and special times for toddlers. However, what made me wish my kids weren’t all grown was the “Parents’ Night Out.” This is held once a month, and for $17 dollars for the first child, and $15 for the second, parents can drop their children off from 6-10 pm and go have a date. Babysitters are hired, the kids are fed and Laura says it’s a wonderful way to spend time with her husband and get in both dinner and a movie.
The basic pricing schedule for parties is as follows:
There are add-ons such as pizza, ice cream, goodie bags, colored popcorn bags, beverages and extra play time. During the month of August, get $40 off on your party, and for more information, hours or to book a play day or party, call 256-325-jump. Monkey Town, for “monkeys” of all ages.
140 Castle Drive
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner