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The Editorial Board takes on The Big Bounce America

The Case Western Reserve Observer’s Editorial Board explores The Big Bounce America’s two-weekend stop in the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds last Friday.
The Case Western Reserve Observer’s Editorial Board explores The Big Bounce America’s two-weekend stop in the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds last Friday. Clay Preusch/The Observer

For the last two weekends, Northeast Ohio was blessed with the presence of The Big Bounce America stopping at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds as part of their national tour. The Big Bounce America advertises itself as “the largest touring inflatable event in the world … suitable for all ages.”

With expansive media coverage and one testimonial describing their attractions as “the Taj Mahal of bounce houses,” I begged the Editorial Board to let me review it for an article. Luckily, Executive Editor Shivangi Nanda thought it was such a good idea that she made it our staff bonding event for this semester, and we even had custom t-shirts made to drum up excitement.

The Big Bounce America offers tickets for bounce sessions for the toddler age range all the way up to “adults only.” We checked into our three-hour adults-only time slot at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 6 and headed to our first bounce house.

Auden Koetters/The Observer

The World’s Biggest Bounce House

As soon as the group entered, we were allowed a 45-minute slot to enjoy the amenities of The World’s Biggest Bounce House, boasting 16,000 square feet of open bouncy floor space and a towering height of 32 feet. In the center of the main area was a DJ booth with large speakers, turntables and a bubble machine, and surrounding it were a variety of climbing towers, lounging canopies, slides both tall and short, basketball hoops and miniature obstacle courses. On the periphery was a ball pit room and a “wrecking ball room,” where patrons could hop on a hard rubber wrecking ball and knock over their beloved friends and family.

Opinion Editor Beau Bilinovich gleefully swings upon the wrecking ball in The World’s Biggest Bounce House, taking down all who dare to cross his path. Téa Tamburo/The Observer


The floor of the entire area was very bouncy to the point where, after returning to the ground, your gait felt noticeably heavier. The flow and placement of the obstacles were also very well done, and none of the distinct areas felt too in the way of one another or too crowded. However, the “wow factor” faded pretty quickly after seeing the other adults sitting exhausted on the sidelines due to over-exerting themselves too quickly. Regardless, the overall design of the bounce house was well done and cohesive, and it seemed like there was something for everyone to enjoy.

DJ Duffy (left) and DJ Tre (right) display their gorgeous custom gifts from The Case Western Reserve Observer. Sara Khorshidi/The Observer

My one gripe about this course was the DJs. The activities they tried to get the crowd involved in to “hype them up” were reminiscent of a middle school dance and detracted from the vibe quite a bit. However, DJ Duffy and DJ Tre were two incredibly enthusiastic guys who clearly enjoyed what they were doing, earning each of them a personalized Editorial Board “We Love To Bounce” t-shirt. As we exited The World’s Biggest Bounce House at the end of our time slot, DJ Tre exclaimed over the speakers: “I love Cleveland! The hospitality!”



Courtesy of The Big Bounce America

The Giant

After the first house, the rest of the bounce houses gave us unlimited access for the rest of our visit. The Giant was the next most notable attraction of the bunch, and it was even more menacing in nature than The World’s Biggest Bounce House. From the outside, it looked like two separate attractions from just how expansive it was, stretching over 900 feet in total.

Like most obstacle course bounce houses, The Giant was constructed for the purpose of racing through with your friends, but that would be the last thing I recommend. If you take off at top speed—like you might for any other obstacle course—you will certainly get winded before reaching the halfway point, unless you’re some kind of ultra-marathon sprinter. As I traversed the seemingly endless maze, I passed countless (probably three) other groups desperately clinging to inflatable obstacles to avoid falling from physical exhaustion onto The Giant’s inflatable floor. I wouldn’t call myself an unathletic person, but getting through the last third of The Giant forced my body into some sort of energy-conservation mode only reserved for getting lost in the wilderness for 10 days.

While the course itself was creatively designed and executed, its “wow factor” was massively overshadowed by its sheer length. Overall, it was worth it, but worth it in the way that a 12-hour hike uphill in a colorful inflatable prison would be worth it.



Courtesy of The Big Bounce America

AirSpace Sports: Sports Slam

This was the first of the space-themed bounce houses available at The Big Bounce America, of which there were three at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. The most frequent description I heard about this arena was that it was basically a smaller version of The World’s Biggest Bounce House; the climbing wall structure, the basketball hoops and the large open floor plan were more or less the same. However, this area also included a large volleyball/dodgeball barrier in the middle, soccer goals lining the sides and a podium jousting area. There was definitely a structure to what activities should be happening in which sections, and there wasn’t really anywhere to sit or relax, in keeping with the AirSpace Sports name. On that note, this was easily the bounciest attraction at the fairgrounds, which was a huge plus for me. The attractions were a lot of fun to interact with, the space theme was incorporated well and the design of the course was great overall.



Auden Koetters/The Observer

AirSpace Slide

This slide was much more in alignment with the typical bounce house obstacle course. Once again, the design included a racing element, with five distinct paths that each had their own set of obstacles you had to complete before climbing up to the communal slide to finish the course. The slide was also the fastest out of any of the other attraction’s slides. Because it was a much shorter course, we were tempted to go back again and again. This course stood out to me the most in terms of its theme, and I really enjoyed the little alien bobbleheads at the end of the slide.



Courtesy of WUSA9

AirSpace Alien Squid

This attraction was definitely different from the others, serving more as a conversation pit than anything else. Primarily, there was little to no bounce except for a circular track surrounding the body of the alien; every time you took a step in any other part of the course, you had to brace yourself on one of the tentacles to keep from falling over. There were two small jacuzzi-sized ball pits for more private conversation, and a larger ball pit encasing the body of the alien that was roughly 20 feet in diameter. Because of the lack of bounce, many of the balls from the ball pit were crushed or broken from people stepping on them.

I really appreciated the design of this whole attraction and thought that it was very creative. We soon learned that it was also a great environment for dodgeball fights—the tentacles served as great shields when trying to avoid being pelted.

When we first ventured into the AirSpace Alien Squid, we were disappointed by its lack of bounce and calmer mood, but it ended up being the perfect way to end the evening, between the good conversations we had there and the several impromptu dodgeball fights.



News Editor Zachary Treseler (left) and Director of Print Elie Aoun (right) recline on the vibrant nylon of the AirSpace Alien Squid as they rejoice in the spirit of The Big Bounce America. Téa Tamburo/The Observer

I can safely say that everyone on the Editorial Board was able to satisfy their craving for bounce at The Big Bounce America and its many attractions. Overall, I would highly recommend this experience to any families with young children or any adults who want to try something new with their friends. The Big Bounce America is touring all over the country for the next several months, with its next stops in San Francisco and Kansas City, Missouri this upcoming weekend.


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About the Contributor
Sara Khorshidi
Sara Khorshidi, Copy Editor
Sara Khorshidi (she/her) is a fifth-year student majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in polymer science and engineering. Outside of school, she works part-time at a motion and control technology company. During her free time, she likes gardening, hiking, obsessively cleaning her house and trying different kinds of beer in Ohio City.

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