Philadelphia hosts the world’s largest bounce house

The Big Bounce America brought its bounce house extravaganza to South Philadelphia, and there’s just one day left for people to enjoy it.

The Big Bounce America traveled to South Philadelphia on August 18 and will stay until September 10. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Philadelphians have just one day left to experience the world’s largest inflatable bounce house.

On Aug. 18, The Big Bounce America,  a touring inflatable event, set up a park full of bounce houses in the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. The attraction, which will be open until Sept. 10, features a castle that broke the Guinness world record for the largest bounce house in 2017.

Two kids jump into one of many bounce houses, this one being a giant obstacle course. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

“It’s over 20,000 square feet of inflatable, interactive, jumpy jump jumps,” said Dariel McPherson, assistant tour manager of The Big Bounce America. 

A father slides down the end of the obstacle course with his daughter. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

When visitors enter the inflatable amusement park, they are met with more things to do than bounce.  Guests can navigate their way through an obstacle course, party at two DJ booths — one inside the castle — and enjoy food from various vendors. 

Two DJs stand in the inflatable DJ booth located inside the famous castle. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

At the Navy Yard, parents can be seen relaxing in the shade, while their children take delight in ice cream and explore the giant bounce houses, including an inflatable shoe that doubles as a slide.

The Big Bounce America’s obstacle course ends with a giant inflatable shoe that visitors can slide down. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Most people working the park’s attractions are hired locally, providing temporary jobs to each community on The Big Bounce America’s tour, which includes upcoming stops in Cincinnati, Portland, Oregon, and Sacramento, California. 

“I think it’s a good thing because events like this help stimulate the economy here in Philadelphia,” said Theo Jackson, a contracted worker at The Big Bounce. “And it also gives people something to do.”

A father lifts his daughter up to dunk a basketball in one of the many bounce houses. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The Big Bounce America has sessions open for children of all ages. When Sheryl Axelrod, a 1990 Beasley School of Law alumna, heard about the attraction from her brother, she immediately jumped on the opportunity to bring her 5-year-old daughter.

Children climb a pseudo rock wall from inside one of the many bounce houses in the inflatable amusement park. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

“I think that they bring families together,” Axelrod said. “They give them time outdoors in the fresh air, having fun. It’s just fantastic.”

A mother holds her baby as they enjoy their time in the sun. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

For Axelrod, family-oriented events, like The Big Bounce America, are really about the memories they create for her and her daughter.

Children of all ages came and bounced throughout the inflatable park. | ROBERT JOSEPH CRUZ / THE TEMPLE NEWS

“For 18 years, I’m trying very hard to give her wonderful memories, so that one day when she’s looking back, she’ll say something like ‘I remember these things that I did with my mom and my dad,’” Axelrod said.

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