A new outdoor inflatable park has opened in Greater Manchester in time for the Easter school holidays.
With 14 huge inflatables including bouncy castles, slides and obstacle courses, Open Air Bounce is set on farmland in Bolton and can be seen from the nearby M61.
Former soap opera star Brooke Vincent was there to cut the ribbon and officially open the park on Saturday morning and enjoyed a play with young children Mexx and Monroe.
Read more: Things to do with the family at Easter 2023 in Greater Manchester
For the little ones there is a separate area for children under 4 years old, but if they wish they can go through it all, with or without an adult, which includes a 100 foot obstacle course, two 40 foot slides and a combination slide and 60 foot bouncy castle.
Brooke, known for her portrayal of Sophie Webster in Coronation Street, said it’s the perfect place to bring her children, as well as older children.
“This for me now, as a mother, is paradise,” she said. “There is something for everyone, they can go outside, run, it’s fresh air and it’s really good.
“I like the fact that it’s local and a small business with all the coffee stalls and it’s just lovely. You’re always looking for new places to take the kids and the fact that it’s outdoors is another sign. Because when the sun is out and you want to go out, the parks are very crowded and this is something different.
“The fact that kids can safely run and burn energy, within the safe area, is nice. The fact that they have a little less than four legs and a sand pit, plus food and drinks, makes for a really nice day.”
The 30-year-old player is already planning to return for another of the sessions, which take place every day from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The place will be open during the Easter holidays, from April 1 to 16, and then it will open on the May bridge, from May 29 to 1; May half term from May 27 to June 4; and in the main summer holidays from July 22 to September 3.
Brooke added: “I’ll definitely be back. I’ve already put it on Instagram and a lot of people have already asked ‘where is this we have to go to’.
“For me, it doesn’t matter if you have a five-year-old, a 10-year-old, or multiple kids, it’s a really nice setup. It’s fresh air, it’s outside and it’s not too expensive, it’s local and it ticks a lot of boxes.
“They have a lot of slides in different styles and even when there are more people, I don’t think you’ll expect much. That’s another plus, as I feel like you could have a little center for the kids to go out and play.”
The attraction is the brainchild of Leighton Mills who, along with her father Darren, wife Sarah and stepmother Paula, wanted to put their 68 acres of land at Umberton Farm in Over Hulton to good use.
“We bought the land here at Umberton Farm about 18 months ago and wanted to use some of the land and give back to the community,” Leighton said.
“There are things to do indoors in the Bolton area, but in terms of outdoors, we don’t think there is much and this was a gap in the market.”
“We thought we would try this and see where we end up. She’s gone on a bigger scale than we set out to do, but she looks amazing.”
They were inspired to go ahead with the idea after going to an indoor inflatable park in Trafford and wanted to put their own spin on it outdoors.
“This is completely different from our day-to-day business in traffic control, but I have experience as a showman,” Leighton continued. “So we ran shows, family is showmen and it’s in the blood, but I haven’t done it in 24 years.
“It takes a lot to do this and there has been a year of planning. We said if we’re doing it we can do it right, there’s no point in just putting up three or four bouncy castles.
“We wanted to use all the land and give different things to different areas. We have been overwhelmed with the support of the community.
“We didn’t expect it to grow and take off like it has. It is on a farm, it is unique, we are not surrounded by houses, everything is views and landscapes.
“We do not have live cattle, we are not of agricultural origin, we buy them for the family to live on. We can go bigger, it all depends on how well it goes but we have room to grow.
“If we venture to different towns and people want us to, we will. The main reason we have done it is that we are a big family with a lot of kids looking for things to do.”
Tickets for the attraction have already been selling quickly and have had some group bookings from those wanting parties or private use.
It costs £9.95 for ages one to four and £12.50 for ages five and over, including adults. Children under 12 months are free and non-jumping adults pay a £2.50 entrance fee. Online book.
If sessions are canceled due to weather, families will receive a voucher to book an alternate date.
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