BALLSTON — Owen Carroll had it all planned out Sunday. First he would storm the castle, then hop into a rocket ship before slaying The Giant. And perhaps in between he would find time to enjoy a snow cone.
The 9-year-old had been plotting his adventure since his parents, Bobby Carroll and Brianna Licata of Fort Edward, told him a few days earlier they would be attending The Big Bounce America, a touring event featuring a more than 16,000-square-foot bounce house, the world’s largest as certified by Guinness World Records.
“It looks like the size of 100,000 feet tall,” said Owen, a wide smile on his face as he stared at the towering castle-shaped bounce house.
But Owen also had his eyes set on the numerous other bouncy attractions, including massive slides, ball pit and 900-foot obstacle course, aptly named “The Giant.”
Licata said the family are “avid bouncers,” regularly visiting area trampoline parks, and even buying Owen his own backyard bounce house.
So when they heard the bouncing attraction would be stopping at Ellms Family Farm for three days, they knew they couldn’t miss out.
“I just didn’t think there would be an opportunity to do something this cool, especially for him,” said Bobby Carroll of his son. “I didn’t get to do anything this cool when I was a kid, so we definitely didn’t want to miss out.”
Around 10,000 people had the same idea since the attraction opened on Friday, according to Sid Class, the tour manager for The Big Bounce America, which will be setting up in Philadelphia for two weeks after leaving the Albany area following a three-day stint on Sunday.
Class said the touring event runs from January to November and grows in size each year, offering a wide-range of fun for the whole family — including adults.
Bouncing was broken into three-hour sessions by age, including those for toddlers 5 and under, juniors 7 and under, and bigger kids session for those 15 and under. There were even several adult sessions on Friday and Saturday for those above the age of 16, Class said.
“It’s just a fun filled day for the kids and the family, but also if you want to have a nice date night,” he said. “You can come to an adult session and you and your significant other can have fun.”
But on Sunday morning, adults in attendance were spending more time chasing after their excited children than bouncing.
Eric Charles of Fultonville was spotted sitting on a plastic Adirondack chair, where he was catching his breath after just completing The Giant with his 4-year-old son, Kane.
“I’m exhausted, but he loved it though,” Charles said. “It’s great for kids. Absolutely great for kids.”
Elsewhere, families lined up to get a sampling of the food trucks that lined the grounds, offering everything from snow cones, lemonade, corndogs, hamburgers, and classic fair food like sausage and peppers and fried dough.
Charlie and Lindsey Castiglione of Wilton were sitting on a picnic table drinking coffee as their children 11-year-old Hayden and Madelyn, 9, ran from attraction to attraction.
“I saw the event and everything about it was right up our alley,” said Charlie Castiglione.
“I loved all the stuff you could do in there,” she said. “And The Giant. Wow. That was so much fun.”
Class said details on next year’s event are still being worked out, but a return the the Capital Region is very much in the cards.
“We enjoy this market,” he said. “We’ll definitely be back in the area.”
For more information on The Big Bounce America, visit: bigbounceamerica.com.
Contact reporter Chad Arnold at: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @ChadGArnold.