It’s a cold, wet weekend, and your kids are bouncing off the walls with boredom. The solution? A good bounce house, of course!

I’ll be honest. I’m not the bounce house “type.” I like to take my kids hiking and biking, to throw a ball around with them at the playground, or roll down the hill near our house – even once winter comes along. But when the weather gets really frigid — or when sleet and freezing rain are falling hard — that’s when I turn to our local bounce houses to save my sanity.

Still, if you’re new to the world of inflatables, it can be hard to figure out which one matches your kids ages and your needs. Here’s the lowdown on some of the most popular bounce houses in Baltimore.

bounce places in baltimore

Marley Bounce Party at Marley Station Mall
Open Bounce Mon-Sat 10am-9pm; Sun 11am-6pm, when parties not in session.

Located on Ritchie Highway in Glen Burnie, Marley Bounce Party is a great choice for younger kids (under 5). If you have a young toddler in tow, who won’t be able to bounce with her big siblings, Marley Bounce Party has a small toddler area near the front that is ideal for a mom trying to juggle two young children with different needs. The area is enclosed and can lock from the outside, but the walls are low enough that you can easily watch both children play at the same time. They have a handful of inflatables, but only one is large enough for an older child to enjoy, and the space between them doesn’t allow for much big-kid running around.

A plus? Marley Bounce Party is right across from the mall’s Stride Rite, so you can make an outing out of an errand. The staff is also helpful, and they offer a “drop ‘n shop” option for parents who need it.

Cost: $7/2 hours. $5 for a second child. Free for adults and siblings under 18 months.

Big House of Bounce at the Reisterstown Road Plaza
Open Bounce Mon-Sat 10am-8 pm; Sun 12am-5pm

This Pikesville-based bounce house is probably best for preschoolers up through age 7 or so. They do have a small play area for toddlers, with a little slide and some blocks. Still, since the bounce house opens right into the mall, you don’t want to take a “runner” there, or you’ll be constantly racing after him.

The ambience does leave much to be desired. If you’re looking for pristine bathrooms and a wide variety of inflatables, look elsewhere. Two of the inflatables are basic moon bounces, one is a bouncy slide, and the last is a larger one that is ideal for slightly older kids.

The upside? They have a punch card that can cut down the cost of visiting a bounce house significantly, even without a Groupon.

Cost: 6.50 for two hours, less with a punch card

That Bounce Place in Reisterstown
Open Bounce Mon-Thurs 12 noon-8pm; Fri, Sat 10am-10pm; Sun 10am-8pm
Special preschool bounce hours, Tues and Friday at 10am.

This is one of the few bounce places in the area that caters to both older and younger kids. I’ve seen teenagers enjoying themselves on the larger inflatables, but they have open bounce hours specifically for younger children as well. There’s a toddler area and even a smaller toddler moonbounce; there are also two very large inflatables that offer challenge and variety for older kids, as well as several mid-sized ones that children of different ages can enjoy.

The play area is huge, which means that your kids will have plenty of room to run around, but it’s enclosed, which means that your toddler won’t be able to run off easily. At the same, if you have more than one child that needs to be watched, you may not find the experience as relaxing as you’d like. And keep your younger kids out of the larger inflatables, unless you’re willing to jump in after them when they get stuck.

A last note of advice: Look out for deals online! That Bounce Place posts deals on Groupon or DoubleTake periodically, which can cut the cost of your visit in half.

Cost ranges between 6 and 9 dollars for two hours, depending on timing.

Ultimate Play Zone in Cockeyville (or Millersville)
Open times vary, check website.

The Ultimate Play Zone isn’t officially a bounce place, but if you’re looking for inflatables alongside other equipment, it fits the bill. It’s smaller than That Bounce Place but has more variety than some of the other locations, especially if you take into account the non-inflatables – a pirate ship and gigantic dollhouse to climb on. The staff are extremely helpful, and the area is relatively small and homey so that it’s not too hard to keep track of your kids. Best for kids up to age 7, but they do have some inflatables that slightly older kids might enjoy. They reserve one inflatable for kids ages 4 and under only, which can be helpful for younger children who get overwhelmed by bigger kids.

Cost: $7 a person. Punch cards available.

Sky Zone
Open Bounce: Tues-Thurs 4pm-8pm; Fri 4pm-10:30pm; Sat 10am-12am; Sun 10am-8pm

Sky Zone is relatively new to Maryland, with a Columbia location that opened in 2013 and several more recently opened locations in Timonium, Frederick, and Hagerstown. Although they do have “Toddler Time” for younger kids, Sky Zone seems to target mostly school-age kids and teens — not to mention adults who haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be a kid! They have a large trampoline jump area, a dodge ball court, a jump pit area, and an area where you can shoot hoops while jumping. A great way to get your teen – or yourself – to exercise while having fun. If you do bring along little ones, though, keep a close eye on their safety around the bigger jumpers. Alternatively, bring your little ones during Toddler Time on Thursdays and Fridays at 10am.

Cost: $11 for 30 minutes; $15 for 60 minutes; $19 for 90 minutes; $23 for 120 minutes (see site for special deals)

Kiddie Crusoe
Hours Vary: See Event Calendar on their website for details

Looking for something more than just inflatables? Kiddie Crusoe is like a bounce place, an indoor playground, and Storyville all in one. It has several moon bounces (one for toddlers only), a slide with a ball pit, wooden playground equipment, a large pretend play area, and even Wii video games for the older siblings. Perfect for ages 2-5. The Open Play hours are much longer than most of its competitors, so if your kids have gotten kicked out after half an hour when they’re just starting to have fun, you may want to try Kiddie Crusoe. Only two bathrooms, though, so if you’re potty training your toddler, you might want to hold off until she’s able to wait her turn at the restroom. Overall, a great day to spend your kid’s day off of preschool.

Cost: $12 for ages 1-12, $5 for under age 1 if accompanied by paying sibling