I never liked trampolines as a kid. I wasn’t that flexible and couldn’t do flips, so when a childhood friend would say, “I have a trampoline!,” I would cringe. I wanted to bounce — out of that situation.

But it’s funny, as I got older, I was more attracted to the idea of jumping up and down, maybe because the stress of adulthood cultivated the need to cut loose and release repressed energy from cubicle living.

For years, I would try to organize outings to trampoline parks like Sky Zone and Flight for my birthday, just because I thought it would be fun to do. But most of my adult friends were just not into it. “Wasn’t that something for kids?” And because it was a “kids” activity, did I really want to show up at a trampoline park alone, the creepy child-less adult hopping by herself in a corner?

As fate would have it, I received an invitation to a sneak preview of the Sky Zone opening in Canonsburg, and I naturally jumped at the opportunity. I could finally live out my trampoline dreams. 

This trampoline park is geared more toward older kids and even adults, with a free-climbing rock wall coming soon and Friday late-night hours featuring a club-like atmosphere with pop music and dim lighting.

But the pièce de résistance is the “American Ninja”-style Warrior obstacle course.

I decided to test myself against the talents of Kacy Catanzaro’s, and, no surprise, I did not pass. KDKA featured me going through the course in their evening broadcast, with the sound bite, “I need to work on my upper body strength.” Somewhere my gym teacher was nodding in judgment.

At 5’2″, I’ve never been able to dunk a basketball, but when I played on Sky Zone’s SkySlam trampoline, I was able to hit the basket with ease (three tries, as opposed to the normal 23). Why isn’t trampolining an adult thing? It should be considered a form of therapy.

Mental health aside, trampolining is also good exercise and SkyZone offers fitness classes. Here are some fun facts I learned: 

  1. Jumping for an hour burns 1,000 calories.
  2. Jumping on a trampoline may be more efficient than jogging (and probably more fun if you ask me).
  3. It increases circulation to help fight cellulite.

Clearly jumping on a trampoline has health perks. 

I’m still not that flexible, nor can I do tricks. But for a moment, I reverted to an adolescent state, jealous of the kids who could flip with ease (Why can’t I do that — still?). Yet adulthood brings a deeper appreciation of the activity in another sense: There’s something glorious about being able to fall and know something will catch you. 

Want to give it a try? Here’s a mini-guide to other trampoline parks in the area:

  1. Altimate Air Trampoline Park. 1701 Lincoln Highway, North Versailles, PA 15137. This park also has a ninja obstacle course, plus gymnastics and tumbling classes for all ages and abilities.
  2. Flight Trampoline Park. 1041 Washington Pike, Suite 200, Bridgeville, PA 15017. This one has a kiddie court for kids under 46″, as trampolining is something for all ages!
  3. Get Air Pittsburgh. 180 Tomlinson Drive, Zelienople, PA 16063. In addition to obstacle courses and massage chairs, this park offers accommodations like gentle music and atmosphere for special needs jumpers.
  4. Sky Zone Monroeville. 160 Levin Way, Monroeville, PA 15146. On Friday nights from 9 to 11 p.m., lasers, music and blacklights create the ultimate glow jumping experience for all ages.
  5. Urban Air Adventure Park. 351 American Way, Cranberry Township, PA 16066. This one is voted “Best for Birthday Parties.” You can do a classic or glow party and you can download your own invitations from the website!
  6. Bounce U. 65 Warrendale-Bayne Road, Warrendale, PA 15086. Geared more toward younger kids, this park offers a series of “Bounces,” including All Ages Open Bounce, Cosmic Bounce, Family Bounce Night and Sensory Bounce for jumpers affected by autism and other disabilities with sensory components.