Young, young at heart have jumpin’ good time

The Web site reads, “It’s a virtual kid paradise here,” and if what I saw and heard recently at JumpinJax in Chelsea is any indication, the words are true.

The place was jumping with 12 kids, plus several parents and one 71-year-old grandparent who appeared to be enjoying the giant inflatables as much as the kids.

“This is my second party here,” said Laura Vanderpool, grandmother of Emma Dudley, who was celebrating her sixth birthday.

“We had an absolute blast,” Emma’s mother Sandra, said.

JumpinJax supplied the paper products for the party, she said, but they brought in the birthday cake and ice cream themselves, and bought snacks and drinks there.

When booking a party, patrons can choose to order all their party needs from JumpinJax, letting them handle the details, including catering and sending out invitations. Photos from the party can be shared with attendees and others by posting them on the JumpinJax Web site.

Theme parties are available, and the play place also has a video game area, which the kids at Emma’s party appeared to enjoy as well.

And for the birthday girl there was the money machine, a clear plastic-enclosed cubicle about the size of an old fashioned telephone booth.

While pumped-in air blew money all around and above her, Emma frantically tried to catch the money and stuff it in a small pail. Watching from outside the machine, excited kids cheered her on.

Parents, party attendant Tenesha Richardson, and JumpinJax manager Jessica Newman also joined the fun. After the money stopped falling, a breathless Emma carried her pail to have the money counted.

She had caught 484 JumpingJax dollars, which she turned in for tickets.

Adding these tickets to the 75 she already had from other games, she was able to buy two prizes.

She chose google-eyed glasses and a bendable pen, great souvenirs from her birthday party.

JumpinJax is located at 54 Chesser Crane Road in Chelsea. To book a party, call 678-4FUN or go to Jumpinjax4fun.com.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e–mail at ssnivens@bellsouth.net.