Local

New play place in Crystal Lake caters to children seeking adventure

Jump!Zone features bouncers, slides, jungle gyms and interactive media

Maria Vlaimirova, owner of Jump!Zone, poses in front of bouncers Thursday.
Maria Vlaimirova, owner of Jump!Zone, poses in front of bouncers Thursday.

Local children have a new play space to burn off energy as the temperature cools.

Jump!Zone, an indoor inflatable party and play center, opened this fall at 6250 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

The venue boasts giant slides, obstacle courses, a three-level playground, human hamster wheels, bouncers and immersive interactive games. Space can be rented for birthday parties and other celebrations.

“It keeps kids active,” said owner Maria Vlaimirova, a mother of two who opened the facility after leaving a 20-year career in corporate finance. “I struggled to do that with my own boys when they were little because winters here are awful. We spent countless hours walking around malls, and I think this is better.”

Vlaimirova hopes parents find her facility “very useful” because “kids love it” and need a space to crawl, climb and run.

Vlaimirova said most of the equipment caters to children, but there’s also a small area with soft blocks and pillows for babies and toddlers to play.

The grand opening is Friday, but Vlaimirova had a soft opening in September to gauge customer reaction.

“Business has been pretty good,” she said.

Parents and children younger than 2 may enter at no cost. Admission for children is $12, and they can play for as long as they please.

Vlaimirova said the facility has a fully functioning kitchen that offers pizza, sweat treats and juices. She also plans to offer discounts and coupons to keep the center budget-friendly.

“The whole family with one kid can get in for $12 and stay as long as they want,” she said.

She hopes to host “Mom and Tot” groups weekday mornings when older children are at school.

“They can come in, coffee will be included, and it will be cheaper than the $12,” she said.

This isn’t the only kid-centered facility in McHenry County.

Kinderland Indoor Playground & Café, 2791 W. Algonquin Road, Unit 17, in Algonquin, also opened this fall.

The play place includes a café and space for parties or special events.

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