Four Fitness-Focused Kids' Attractions Opening in BloNo
Four Great Places to Entertain Kids in 2018
Obesity is among the top three priorities of the McLean County Health Department. Since 2003, the obesity rate in McLean County has quadrupled from 15.4% to 64.8%. The current rate is more than double the state average of 29.4%, according to the McLean County IL Community Heath Improvement Plan for 2017-2019.
One of the main causes of obesity is our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, especially during childhood. In 2014, 20% of all 6th grade students were obese or overweight. The constant availability of television, video games, and other devices has contributed to the stark rise in obesity in recent years.
One way to combat childhood obesity is to increase the availability of physically active entertainment options. Four new children's attractions in Bloomington-Normal aim to get kids more active, even when they can’t play outside.
1710 Bradford Lane, Suite 110, Normal (Now Open)
What it is: Jumping Jax lets children jump, slide and bounce on a gym full of inflatables. Comparable to Monkey Joe's located in Peoria, Jumping Jax also hosts birthday parties and is designed for children under 12.
Why we love it: Although the gym is small, it is perfectly sized for young children. Adults are always free and only children 12 and under are allowed to play, which provides a safe environment for small children. The gym also features a toddler-only play zone and a soft bouncing area for kids under three.
We Rock the Spectrum
1717 Ft. Jesse Road, Normal (Now Open)
What it is: Guests at this gym can play on a zip line, slides, crash pit, trampolines, various swings and climbing structures. Though children of all abilities are welcome to play here, the equipment is designed specifically for children with sensory disabilities such as those on the Autism spectrum. We Rock the Spectrum opened December 23, 2017, and will soon be offering classes and day camps.
Why we love it: This nonprofit franchise is the only kid's gym that offers an all-inclusive philosophy that encourages children of all ability levels to play and learn together. The sensory equipment is great for all children and developmental and occupational therapists are welcome to bring clients into the gym for therapy sessions. Sensory-based toys are also sold in The Rock Shop inside of the gym, which is also open to non-paying guests.
Altitude Trampoline Park
1702 GE Road Suite 4, Bloomington (Now Open)
What it is: Altitude Trampoline Park keeps kids moving with basketball courts, dodgeball, trapezes, foam pits, and more—all offered on wall-to-wall trampolines. The gym also offers gymnastics, tumbling tracks, and a concession stand. Birthday parties and group rentals are also an option. The 23,000-square foot facility is centrally located between Eastland Mall and The Shoppes at College Hills.
Why we love it: Open seven days a week with late hours until 11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, Altitude is one of the only places that kids can enjoy after dinner hours. Guests can book jump times online and reservations are encouraged but not required.
300 McKnight Drive, Normal (Under Construction)
What it is: Slated to open in early 2018, Sky Zone is a trampoline park that offers jousting and obstacle courses reminiscent of American Ninja Warrior. Fitness classes, foam pits, sports, climbing walls and a toddler zone are also available. The facility can host birthday parties, group events, team building, and private rentals. Sky Zone is also home to the Ultimate Dodgeball Championship, SkyWars, and offers special sensory hours for patrons with special needs.
Why we love it: This gym is for parents, too! Teens and adults can participate in many programs that revolve around fitness, sports, and group activities. Several programs and classes are for adults only. Sky Zone is also one of the safest trampoline parks, as it the only brand in the world to use Vuly Fusion, a product that allows for padless wall-to-wall trampolines and no-contact zones.
With all of these local options for indoor physical activity, it might be a bit easier to keep McLean county kids and families healthy and active in the New Year.