In this fast-paced world of modern technology, gaming and gadgets, it can be quite easy for families and especially children to get swept up in a virtual world.
The traditional notion of playing outside, skipping, jumping, and running with friends in the street that has been done for generations now seems a bit “old-fashioned” to the children of today.
But what if you can find something that combines the two? Somewhere where children can run free and be active but with all the style and feel of the modern age.
For this week’s review, where three generations of the same family give their take on one local attraction, we decided to visit the newly opened ‘Infinite Air’ extreme trampoline centre in Durham.
Certainly the North East’s first of its kind and boasting to be the UK’s largest trampoline and free-running park, it’s great to see the region leading the way in attractions such as this.
The first and most important thing to note, is that pre-booking your so-called ‘JUMP’ session at Infinite Air is essential to guarantee a slot. Having only opened in July, and word of mouth spreading quickly, visitors are literally jumping at the chance to try it out.
The online booking system is easy, you simply choose the day and are given a selection of time slots showing current availability. Understandably for safety reasons, there are tight restrictions on numbers.
Jump sessions last one hour and cost £11.95 per person. It is possible to book two hours at a time for full price or there is an option of booking the second hour at half price once you arrive at the centre as long as there is availability.
The centre is open seven days a week, 11am-8pm for anyone eight years and over, and adults are welcome too, but there is an age restriction in place for the younger children. Those aged three to seven years are only allowed to book between 9am and 11am, which may prove difficult to families who have children in different age brackets.
Very easy to find, the facility is located outside Durham City Centre, just off the A1, right next door to New Ferens Park and there is plenty of free parking on site.
Visitors are advised to arrive half an hour before their session time and on arrival are asked to sign a waiver, given their own pair of bright yellow ‘Infinite Air’ socks and then taken as a group into a holding area where a three-minute safety video is shown before being let loose.
The hall itself is extremely impressive, with over 16,000 sq feet of trampolines laid out in front of you and a 14- metre high roof system which gives a feeling of being outside while inside.
In the centre of the room lies an enormous air bag with a three-metre high podium from which ‘jumpers’ can throw themselves off. There’s also smaller freefall podiums and an angled trampoline to try out tricks and land safely.
Around the air bag are a number of different sections. To the left there is a free-jump area with tumble tracks and over 40 trampolines, and a wall-run area with performance trampolines and different heights to master.
To the right, there are netted trampoline areas for basketball, where you can dunk like never before ,and a dodgeball area with two courts, six beds and angled rebound trampolines for extra bounce.
The place is a hive of high-energy activity, with youngsters (and the not-so-young) running, jumping, spinning, twisting and bouncing, in some cases, literally off the walls.
Infinite Air staff are present everywhere, helping to encourage, assist and keep everyone safe and there is a café area for accompanying adults to take a breather and watch the action.
Not available yet but due to open in autumn is an additional Parkour area with sprung floor, Ninja Warrior, CrossFit and a fitness studio to offer a new fitness experience for members.
It’s always nice to find something new to do with the family and it was really easy to find and park.
I liked the fact that there was so much to do for the kids but also that you can walk around between the trampolines and watch everything going on. It means even if you’re not taking part, you can still feel involved.
There was plenty of space to sit down and relax with a drink from the café. My only real downside is the cost, it’s a lot to spend for only an hour. Overall, though I thought it was great especially if you’ve got little monkeys for grandchildren like me!
I would have liked to book for two hours but thought the cost of £23.90 per child was just too high. When we got there, we asked if we could book the second hour for half price, but it was full.
The facility itself is great. You can tell it’s brand new and still has development work going on but it’s light, airy, comfortable, and has a fun lively atmosphere.
I was impressed with just how many staff were around and it’s refreshing for the kids to be encouraged to let go and try new things rather than feeling restricted.
Overall, I’d prefer a two- hour session so you don’t feel so rushed. A great novelty activity but only for special occasions due to cost.
Georgia (11) – My favourite bit was jumping onto the big air bag from the top platform. The staff were really good and encouraged me to do a flip from the top. I also liked the performance trampolines so I could try out splits and swivel hips. It was so much fun.
Scarlett (nine) – I loved EVERYTHING about this place. I could run around everywhere and do somersaults onto the air-bag.
I got really hot but didn’t want to stop and could have stayed there all day!