Remember that feeling of excitement that you would get upon seeing a bounce house at a birthday party or festival when you were a kid? Not much has changed since then. Bounce houses are still a hit with children as well as grown-ups who aren’t afraid to unleash their inner child every once in a while. (Let’s admit it— your eyes still probably light up when you see one.)
With so many options ranging from traditional castles to obstacle courses to towering slip n’ slides, bounce houses can be an easy, relatively cheap way to bring joy to any gathering. If you’re thinking of renting some inflatable fun for a party or corporate event, here are some things you should consider.
The Right Space for a Bounce House
The first thing to consider when renting a bounce house is a space where it’ll sit. If you plan on inflating it in a smaller area like a backyard, make sure to measure first so you can select an inflatable that fits comfortably. You’ll want to ensure that there’s enough space around the parameter for other activities and sitting room. The last thing you want to do is to inflate the bounce house only to find that there’s no space for anything else.
When it comes to picking a spot for your inflatable rental, the terrain is important. While bounce houses are designed to be durable, they aren’t impenetrable. Rental companies will typically set up on grass, asphalt, or concrete.
Grass surfaces are preferred because they are easier on the material and safer for bounce house users entering and exiting the moon jump. Most rental companies will not set up on rocky terrain due to the risk of puncture.
Some bounce houses can even be set up indoors if there is enough space! Locations like convention centers have high ceilings and large open rooms that are perfect for indoor fun. This indoor setting helps keep temperatures down and jumpers comfortable no matter the conditions outside.
Don’t Forget the Electricity
Bounce houses require a blower to keep it inflated, so you will need to have an electrical outlet nearby. Usually, this isn’t a problem, as extension cords make it easy to bring power out from the nearest building. However, if you plan on using the bounce house at a park or other remote location, plan to rent a generator as well.
If you’re planning a party or event that will take place in a public space such as a park, be sure that you have permission from the appropriate authorities. Some cities require permits and fees for inflatables, so be sure to check with your local government before setting up. You don’t want your event to get shut down just because you didn’t do your research beforehand.
Cost of Bounce House Rentals
The price of bounce houses depends on the size and type that you rent. Even within each category - e.g., dry slide, water slide, etc. - you can find several designs and themes. Costs include around 4 hours of use, as well as any rental equipment needed to operate the inflatable, such as a blower.
The following prices are averages from Greater Austin bounce house rental companies:
- 15x15 Bounce House: $150
- Inflatable Dry Slides: $250
- Bounce House Water Slides: $300
- Obstacle Course (Small): $400
- Obstacle Course (Large): $700
Additional party equipment such as generators will likely cost more money in addition to the rental cost. Many companies also offer other fun party rental products like mechanical bulls, carnival games, concession machines, and more!
Bounce House Risks
Renting a bounce house comes with some inherent risks like damage to property and bodily injury. But if you read through rules carefully and take simple steps to prevent issues, everyone will be able to hop and skip around to their hearts’ content.
Damage to Your Yard
If you’re the type of person that prides themselves on the perfectly manicured lawn, you’ll want to be careful when setting up a bounce house. Grass usually bounces back to its normal position after the inflatable is packed up. Still, heat trapped under a sitting tarp or deflated bounce house can zap it. To protect the health of your grass, don’t leave tarps covering your lawn any longer than necessary— especially in the heat of summer.
Watch for Weather
Most bounce houses can continue to be used in rainy conditions. Inflatables like water slides are meant to get wet, so water from the sky isn’t going to hurt anything. Even if covered, bounce houses aren’t going to protect you from the elements, so expect to get wet. They should not be used in thunder and lightning conditions.
Bounce houses mustn’t be used in windy conditions. Most rental companies will not set up a bouncy castle if there are sustained winds above 15 mph. In high winds, bounce houses can blow over or away, creating a potentially deadly situation for those in and around it.
When kids and adults are running and jumping around, accidents are liable to happen. To prevent injuries, follow recommended age guidelines and capacity limits for each inflatable.
Be careful about mixing age groups as well. A few toddlers in an area full of larger 12-year-olds can spell disaster for little tykes. Children should always be supervised by an adult to make sure everyone is playing safely.
Insurance for Bounce Houses
You can follow all the rules, but sometimes accidents happen. Because of this, it is highly recommended that you choose a rental company that carries bounce house insurance.
Yes, bounce house insurance is a real thing, and it will help protect both you and the rental company should something go wrong. Don’t bank on your homeowners or liability insurance to cover any potential damages. Most policies won’t cover that sort of thing, leaving you and the injured party out of luck.
A legal vendor in Texas must be fully insured AND have a current Texas Amusement Ride Compliance Sticker on each inflatable. Continuous airflow inflatables are considered a Class B Ride and require limits of liability of $1,000,000 per occurrence.
Bounce house rental companies make it easy to bring a load of fun small gatherings and large events alike. Their professionals will take care of set up and take down, giving you time to enjoy yourself at the party. To avoid high costs or lawsuits in the case of an accident, you’ll want to be sure to find a reputable vendor in Austin, TX, who carries bounce house insurance.