The last time I jumped into a foam pit, I was seven years old. Once that childhood gymnastics career ended, I assumed that was the end of bouncing around for fun and flinging myself carelessly into air, knowing my fall would be cushioned by soft blocks.
I was wrong.
At Extreme Air Park in Richmond, you can show up (at any age) and be a kid for the day. Actually, you’ll just want to be a kid for an hour (two at the MOST), because you may have forgotten that being a kid is EXHAUSTING.
For between $14 and $21, you have access to their enormous trampoline park (42,000 square feet of interconnected trampolines), 3D dodgeball, a foam pit, a bouncy half-pipe, and even trampoline basketball. My friends Marnie and Alejandro, also wishing to shave twenty years off their current ages, joined me.
Once you arrive, you first fill out a waver (they’re located to the left of the front door), then you pay and are given your very own pair of Extreme Airpark socks. Make sure these rubber grips end up on the bottom of your feet, otherwise the trampolines will become black ice and your face will likely not survive the experience. We paid $15.75 for one hour of jumping (the ‘Thursday Special’).
Once you’re socked up, you’re ready to regress back into childhood and bounce like you’ve never bounced before. It was just a crazy amount of fun, and also WAY more tiring than any of us anticipated. It took me awhile to get used to hopping between trampolines – there was a tremendous amount of arm-flailing and ‘whooooaaa-ing at first – but after awhile we were flying around like the ten year-olds. Ten year-olds with a CAPE.
After getting our bearings in the first ‘field,’ we headed towards the trampoline promised land – The Foam Pit.
Flinging oneself off a trampoline is so much fun, though I’d really forgotten how difficult it is to remove oneself from a pile of squishy blocks.
To do so with grace is utterly impossible, and on more than one occasion the pit ate my socks.
There’s also a trampoline half-pipe – the only half-pipe I’ll ever be on considering I don’t snowboard. People go one at a time, and let me tell you, it is ADORABLE watching kids bounce down that thing.
We each caped-up and took a turn (many turns, actually) and Marnie impressed us with her mad backflip skills. Someone had a trampoline growing up!
We didn’t participate in the dodgeball, but it looked fun,
and we shot a few hoops in the basketball section.
I’d suggest bringing a camera with you to Extreme Airpark, because you’ll want to capture your most creative and ridiculous airborne moments. Some of our favourites included:
Extreme Airpark is the perfect place to bring your kids – parents can participate, or hang out in the parents’ lounge while the wee ones literally bounce off the walls.
They also have kids camps, dodgeball leagues, and even exercise classes. I wouldn’t have thought to trampoline for exercise, but yesterday we learned that it is an AMAZING workout, so I bet the classes would be worth it. No wonder there was a fully stocked bottled water machine in the entrance – we were parched by the end, and I am completely sore today.
Are you convinced yet? You don’t need to dye your hair, listen to Justin Bieber, or insert OMG into your vocabulary to feel younger. You just need to BOUNCE.
Afterwards, we were all exhausted and HUNGRY. We didn’t have much time before Marnie needed to be at work, so we headed to Bamboo Express and picked up a meal that could easily be eaten with hands and forks in the car. Located in Blundell Centre, they offer classic Western Chinese food dishes like chow mein, chop suey, fried rice, lemon chicken, and curried beef.
We ordered spring rolls ($2.50), sweet and sour pork ($9.75), pan-fried broccoli ($8.50), and shrimp crackers, and our order was ready in ten minutes. For those of you who have never had shrimp chips ($1.75) before, I have to tell you they’re both shocking in appearance and delicious in taste.
They kind of look like styrofoam, and are pale, crunchy, airy, and taste both salty and mildly of shrimp. I loooove them. The broccoli was good,
and while the sweet and sour pork wasn’t nearly saucy enough,
the spring rolls were tasty.
Also, as only you would from a Western Chinese food place, we got fortune cookies!
This was mine:
My talent? Yes, my talent for FLYING.
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available