When the snow gets too deep or its raining too hard for the kids to hike, it’s time to look for some alternative ideas for recreation before cabin fever sets in. So one Sunday we decided not to venture outdoors, and instead try one of the local indoor playgrounds for the kids.
Jumpin’ Jeepers in Mahopac was our destination. 3,000 square feet of kid-friendly space where they could burn off some of their boundless energy seemed like a good choice.
To get there from Route 84 exit 19, head west on Route 312 for 1 mile. Shortly after passing Tilly Foster Farm, make a right onto Route 6 and go 2.3 miles. At the T-intersection at Lake Gleneida, make a left to stay on Route 6 and go 3.9 miles. Jumpin Jeepers will be on the right, about .2 miles past the Captain John Crane Historic Marker that sits on the corner with East Lake Blvd. Though our trip was a total of 9 miles, we still endured a few “When are we going to be there?” sessions, which let me know there were excited.
When we pulled in and parked, the kids skipped and ran their way to the entrance. Shoes and jackets were torn off thrown and to Mom and Dad. We paid $10 for the first kid, $9 for the second and $8 for the third. I tried to convince my wife that, at this pace, we could get our average cost-per-kid down to $8 if we just had two more kids. She wasn’t buying it. And I guess our savings would be more than offset by the extra college bills.
The first 10 minutes was a mad dash from toy to toy, as if there is some sort of kid rule that you need to touch everything once before you settle in on a particular activity. I watched the frenzy, having one of those Dad moments where you are just happy to see your kids happy. The background noise was a mix of clapping, laughing, bells, happy yells – and a few cries from the tired kids.
Then the serious play set in. My 8 year old and his friend raced scooters around the oval track. My youngest found a car that he rode down a long ramp. My daughter made me pretend soup. I could see in her motions that she was mimicking my wife’s cooking habits. It was great soup.
They took turns on the rope-swing zip line, and eventually all found their way to the jumpy house. My 2 year old thought he was hot stuff to be jumping around with the big kids.
There was plenty to explore – air hockey, whack-a-mole, climbing tubes overhead, slides, a puppet theater, play kitchen, basketball, and a segregated area for the smaller kids. There were even coin-operated rides, most of which were actually free.
For the adults, there was a single-serving coffee machine that made great coffee. There was a sitting area off to the side but we didn’t spend a lot of time there, preferring to engage with our kids. There were a few seats scattered around the play area but I stood pretty much the whole time, leaving the seating for the pregnant moms that were there.
My wife commented that, based on what she had seen, the owners must have kids. Jumpin’ Jeepers has a snack bar that -pleasant surprise – actually has healthy snack choices and the candy machine has organic candies. The owners have done a great job of creating a clean (which is a relative term when dealing with kids) environment, and have done a number of little things that make a big difference. The changing table in the bathroom was clean so, unlike many other places, it was actually useable. There was a stool in the bathroom for the kids. They even put out a fully-stocked baggie dispenser for diapers.
I expected to hear that on snowy or rainy days the place is packed, which is what has kept me from going to places like this on rainy days. But to my surprise, one of the owners told me that the crowd is usually relatively light until later in the day.
Overall, Jumpin’ Jeepers was a big hit with my kids. As parents, my wife and I loved it as well. To get your money’s worth, you can’t go for just an hour. You need to make a day or half-day of it.
Jumpin’ Jeepers changed ownership about 8 months ago. It is located at 926 Route 6 in Mahopac. For more info visit www.jumpin-jeepers.com or call 845/621-4922.