Powered by youthful energy, business is jumping

With a building full of bounce houses, Jumping Country in Grafton attracts energetic kids from near and far

FOR SEVEN YEARS, Jumping Country in Grafton has been home to inflatable bounce houses that allow children to expend energy while having fun. Owner Ashley Potter started working at the facility when she was studying to become an early education teacher and bought the business three years ago. Photo by Sam Arendt
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press staff

While studying to be an early childhood education teacher seven years ago, Ashley Potter helped run the show as manager of Jumping Country.

Now, she is owner of the bounce house facility in Grafton.

“This seemed to be the best of both worlds. I loved working here and I thought it would be a fun place to own,” Potter said. “Although I was getting a degree in education, I wasn’t 100% sure if teaching was the right path.”

Potter has owned Jumping Country for three years and said her 10,000-square-foot facility at 1235 Dakota Dr. is the only one of its kind in the area.

“There isn’t another place like this in Ozaukee County,” Potter said. “We have people come from Sheboygan, Menomonee Falls and Bay View.”

During winter break, Potter said, the weekday traffic was similar to a busy Saturday when there are  350 kids from ages 2 to 12 at the facility.

“It’s always fun when there’s lots of kids running and playing,” Potter said.

When school is in session, the facility has steady business with children 6 and younger.

“The weekdays are a little bit quieter, but we add extra hours when local schools are off or if there’s an early release so the kids have some place to play,” she said.

The facility has seven inflatables — a space station, combo maze, depot sports complex, adrenaline zone, adventure tunnel, crossover course and millennium combo.

“Our inflatables are not like the bouncy castles you see at the fair,” Potter said. “We have17-foot slides, obstacles and tunnels.”

For younger jumpers too little to bounce around with the big kids, there is a small play area with an interactive lights game in various patterns that enables them to run around and play.

Potter said Jumping Country can host up to three parties at a time and on Saturday nights the facility turns off its overhead lights to throw a black-light soiree.

“Anything in white or bright colors glows and the kids really love it,” Potter said.

With all the kids bouncing, Potter said, the noise level can get high, but she remedies the pandemonium by playing songs like “Jump Around.”

“That song is a staple here,” Potter laughed. “It kind of feels like a Wisconsin Badgers game sometimes.

“It’s definitely not a quiet facility but it’s a lot of fun. You can always tell the kids are having fun when they’re screaming and running.”

Potter said her facility is to children with mobility issues and she allows parents of children with special needs to enter the inflatables with them.

“If a child has limited range of motion or ability, parents are welcome to go through and assist,” Potter said.

She also said every summer clients from Balance Inc. in Grafton, an organization that supports individuals with developmental disabilities, have a private party at Jumping Country.

“It’s a really great event, and they’re my favorite group that comes in,” Potter said, adding she will turn off the music to minimize the noise if there is a jumper who has autism.

Potter said her facility is cleaned at least once a day. In case there is an accident, special protocols are in place to quickly clean up a mess. She recommends youngsters wait a half-hour after eating before they start bouncing around.

Potter said there hasn’t been any major injuries, but youngsters may get a bump on a knee or a slide burn on the hand.

“Our facility is extremely safe with all the cushioning and kids are resilient, but you can’t always protect against little bumps and bruises,” she said.

Potter lived in Grafton for a number of years but recently bought a home in West Bend.

She said she takes her son Nixon to work every day, which is a plus for owning her own business.

“He gets to come to work with me and grow up in an atmosphere of fun and entertainment,” she said, adding her husband Andrew helps out at the facility on the weekends.

When looking back on the career path she chose over teaching, Potter said it’s been a bouncy yet fun ride.

“It was huge change in my life. It’s been an awesome learning experience, and I learned a lot about myself as an owner,” she said. “I never owned a business before this, so it was crazy going from managing the day-to-day operations to running everything.

“I knew I wanted to work with kids, and this is an exciting way to do what I love.”

 

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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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