There are two certainties about Houston summers: rain will come down in buckets and, when it doesn’t, it will be swelteringly hot.
The rainy weather last weekend was the impetus for the last-minute change in plans which resulted in my discovery of Altitude Trampoline Park at 4550 State Highway 6 S. in Sugar Land.
The idea of jumping back in time and feeling like a kid again was especially appealing with my girlfriend in town to visit me. I had remembered her showing me videos of her and her sister at a trampoline park in Matamoros, Mexico, near her childhood home.
The 22,000 square foot facility in Sugar Land features a main court with trampolines divided neatly into squares, with padded mats serving as aisles for walking between sections. Other popular attractions include a netted dodgeball court and two basketball hoops.
The hub for Altitude’s other activities is the foam pit, which has 15,000 foam cubes to cushion one’s fall from the nearby rock climbing wall and the battle beam, in which participants try to knock each other off of a narrow ledge with what are essentially large padded lances. A spinning log roll tests your balance as you try to tiptoe your way across the foam pit. Nearby is a smaller foam pit with a trapeze.
I tried my hand at most of the various Altitude activities, and while I didn’t last very long on the log roll, I did touch the rim of the higher of the two basketball hoops, and managed to scale the climbing wall with relative ease.
Dante Godine, a father of three children ages 2, 6, and 9, said Altitude is a good place for children of all ages.
“It’s not too expensive, and it’s like an outdoor park, but it’s inside, so it’s cool,” Godine said. “What I like about it the most is I can sit back and let the kids play. It’s a place where I can bring all three of them, and they can enjoy themselves.”
Sylvia Girard, party manager at Altitude and a Missouri City resident, told me she has seen an influx of families this summer for birthday parties and other events. During the school year, daycare and school-affiliated groups will book field trips.
For 60 minutes of jumping, Altitude charges $14.95, and $9.95 for children 6 and under.
Altitude is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.
Altitude requires guests to purchase its own socks ($3.50) at the front desk, as both a cleanliness and safety measure. The socks have rubber soles on the bottom for gripping, and can be washed and worn again for future visits.
Guests are issued wristbands after paying, and Altitude staffers announce over a loudspeaker when the time has expired for those wearing the wristband color they were given upon checking in.
All guests must sign a safety waiver, which can be done quickly on a computer monitor, and parents must sign waivers for children under the age of 18. Children under the age of 2 are not allowed to jump on the trampoline.
Girard said the dodgeball tournaments Altitude hosts on Friday and Saturday nights have been among the facility’s most popular events since the Sugar Land location opened three years ago.
“If they come for a dodgeball tournament, the team that wins gets a free hour long jump pass,” Girard said.
Girard, who has four children of her own, said she appreciates being able to put smiles on the faces of other children who come in to play at Altitude.
“Seeing happy families makes me happy,” Girard said. “This environment is perfect for me. My kids absolutely love it.”