I have to confess that I was a little concerned the first time I approached Bellingham’s Trampoline Zone – I imagined a huge, empty warehouse packed with feral children, their echoing shrieks assaulting my ears, my other senses assaulted by what might happen after you fill a bunch of little bellies full of sugary snacks and set them to bouncing around like maniacs.
But I shouldn’t have worried. The owner of Trampoline Zone worked on the construction of a number of similar businesses, so he had a lot of good ideas in mind when he decided to open his own. As soon as I walked in I was surprised by how pleasant the surroundings are, by some of the programs they offer, and by some of the folks who show up to bounce.
In addition to a large, open area for all kinds of freestyle aerial action, there’s an area built specifically for playing dodgeball, and one outfitted with a few basketball hoops for outrageous dunking maneuvers. High school and college students tend to show up in the late afternoon and evening to take advantage of these, and Trampoline Zone has responded with a College Night that features a blacklight session, slam dunk and dodgeball competitions, and DJs.
Although it’s open to all ages, younger kids especially will love the foam pit. A lot like a playground’s ball pit, the large plastic balls have been replaced with large chunks of soft, foamy padding that cushion a landing. Around the corner is the Kid’s Zone, a designated area “perfect for anyone under 46 inches.” For those even younger, the Toddler Time program allows parents to pay half price, and bring their little ones in for free.
Folks who crave a challenge will want to check out the slackline and the rope ladder. A slackline is a lot like a tightrope, but reassuringly much closer to the ground, and the rope ladder hangs horizontally rather than going straight up into the air. Both of these attractions look easy enough to conquer, but only need a moment to humble your pride.
And then there’s the ninja course. Made up of a series of climbing walls, obstacles, and aerial challenges, the goal is not to set a speed record or show off for friends, but to simply survive – a surprisingly low number of people actually make it through the course, but that certainly doesn’t stop people from trying. Sometimes over and over again. It was an immediate hit with jumpers, and general manager Levi Lott has taken it upon himself to change the course around on a monthly basis, providing an ongoing challenge to regular users.
There’s an area set aside for fitness classes, which accept drop-ins and have special rates for regulars. Although it was a surprise to me at first, it makes a lot of sense that people flock here for exercise – after all, it takes effort to keep yourself bouncing, and once you find yourself flying, there are an awful lot of tricks and maneuvers you can do in the air that keep it fun and interesting. The Trampoline Zone counts BMX tricksters, wake board riders, divers, snowboarders, and cheerleaders among its regulars. In fact, enough people started coming regularly enough that the Zone now offers memberships.
Off to one side, there are a series of rooms that can be rented out for events. Children’s birthday parties are one of the obvious draws, but companies like to bring employees here for meetings as well, and the Zone has seen groups of co-workers head out onto the trampolines to participate in team-building exercises as well. While they don’t allow outside food, the Zone offers catering choices for meetings and parties. Check trampolinezone.net for details, or call 360-255-0722.
Plans are in the works to open a new road to allow easy access to the parking lot, but as of this writing Trampoline Zone is only accessible from Guide Meridian Road. Heading north, you’ll want to turn left at Division Road. Driving south, you can enter the parking lot just south of West Kellogg Road. It might take a little exploration to find it back behind the businesses that front the Guide, but there’s more than enough waiting to make it worth your while.