WEST LONG BRANCH: Parents looking for the perfect place to spend the afternoon with their children needn't look any further than R'Bounce Jr in the borough.
Owner Carol Neale, of West Long Branch, decided to take her and her husband Rich's original concept of R'Bounce, a fun place for children to play and have a good time, and scaled it down a bit. On Jan. 15, she opened R'Bounce Jr a few doors down from her original space next to the Dollar General at 175 Locust Avenue which closed in 2014. The new space is located right next to the post office in the same plaza and offers a familiar, yet different concept.
"We still have bounce houses, we have play toys, sensory games,," Neale said. "The big difference is we really cater to toddlers and moms, before this it was aimed more at older kids. In here, moms can actually sit and relax and see their children from wherever they are or any angle, and they don't have to keep on getting up and down and worrying about them. It's just a clean, safe place"
She said the smaller size makes it easier for parents to keep track of their children and they don't have to go on the rides or chase them around.
The original idea for R'bounce came about after her daughter started her own family. Neale said she wanted to something close to home that her grandchildren and all other children would enjoy.
"My daughter had three boys right in a row and we needed something to tire them out and give them exercise," Neale said. "It's convenient, there's plenty of parking, and I wanted it to be in my town and help the community. I just enjoy seeing the kids have and an play."
Parents can also host birthday parties and other events such as bar/bat mitzvahs and sports team parties. Costumed characters such as Disney favorites Mickey and Minnie Mouse and super heroes like Batman and Spiderman can also make appearances at the parties.
"If there's a child between the ages of 5 and 8, we can even do a carnival party with cotton candy and we have all types of carnival games," Neale said.
Neale said she tries to offer something for everyone without having parents break the bank for their kids to have a good time.
"We're family-owned, we have low prices and we can accommodate you in any way," she said.
R'Bounce Jr is open Monday-Friday is strictly "toddler bounce time" from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.. On the weekend, Neale said parents should always call before bringing their kids in to make sure the space hasn't already been reserved for a private party or event.