Walla Walla has new jumping off point for family fun

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A group of kids celebrating Landon Henry's third birthday enjoy bouncing at the new Jumpin' Jellybeanz play center.

WALLA WALLA -- Poplar Street has a new Palace of Pounce.

Jumpin' Jellybeanz, a children's play center, opened quietly late last week. But don't expect quiet to be a regular part of the operation.

With five different bounce houses, the new business offers kids something worth squealing over.

Owners Sean and Alisha Cunha got the idea for the new play center after visiting one in Nampa, Idaho. "I mentioned at the time, 'Walla Walla really needs a place like this,'" Alisha Cunha explained.

Little did she know the comment would set her husband on a course to research and develop a business plan. Once a private financier came forward, the plan was in motion to develop a Hotbed of Hop.

The Poplar Street entrance to the more than 6,000-square-foot space next to LeFore's Skin Care & Health Spa opens to a rainbow array of colors. The massive concrete walls that rise above the rafters are painted in blocks of alternating green, purple, red, yellow and orange. The colors continue on the floor with a pallette of hard foam squares.

During a recent tour, Cunha flipped a switch, summoning the blowers for the inflatable bounce houses. Within minutes the warehouse-like space was filling with bouncy buildings, each with their own theme.

First along the path is a farmland blowup, a squarish bouncy building designed for the littlest jumpers with a pop-up horse and a slide. The "cubby house," next in line, is divided in two with a slide on one side and a basketball hoop on the other. After that is a mega-sized double slide that Cunha figures is about 8 feet for sliders. The "Rock and Roll" is a rounder bouncy house that allows those who wish to stand on a small inflatable platform inside and knock down opponents gladiator-style. The final bouncy house is an obstacle course with a climbing wall and other challenges.

Just so parents don't feel left out in the fun, a separate area is dedicated to them with cozy couches and Wi-Fi. Cunha envisions it as a place where parents can surf the web or catch up on some work while their children play.

The cost for drop-in jumping ranges up to $5 per child. Ages vary up to 16, Cunha said.

For toddlers there's also an assortment of Little Tikes picnic tables and push cars. A snack bar with nachos, pretzels, juice and blended coffee drinks is also on hand.

Cunha and her husband, parents to toddler twins, wanted to create the kind of place they'd like to take their own children to. And since they've spent so much time there since December working to convert the space from a former office furniture retailer, it's not only become a place their children like to be. It's become like a second home.

"Every night when we leave they're still upset," Cunha said.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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