The Bounce House’s History


Learn more about bounce house rentals. Modern bounce houses are built to resemble activity centers and include a variety of games.

Inflatable castles (also known as closed inflatable trampolines, bouncy houses, bouncy castles, moon bounces, moonwalks, or CITs) are temporary inflatable structures and buildings rented for functions, schools,s and church festivals, and village fetes, and used for recreational reasons, especially for children.

The popularity of moonwalks has spawned an inflatable rental industry that includes inflatable slides, obstacle courses, games, and other activities. Because they are easy to transport and store, inflatables are great for portable amusements.


The first inflatable building was created in 1959 in Shreveport, Louisiana, by John Scurlock, who was experimenting with inflatable tennis court coverings when he noticed his staff enjoying jumping on them. He was a physicist who worked as a mechanical engineer. Scurlock designed inflatable domes, tents, signage, and the safety air cushion, which is used by fire and rescue services to catch people jumping from buildings or heights.

The first spacewalk manufacturer was located in a leased facility in New Orleans that also sewed horse pads. In 1968, he and his wife, Frances, founded the first inflatable rental company, and in 1976, they built a specialized factory to manufacture and rent the items. The spacewalks were promoted at children’s events like birthday celebrations, school fairs, and workplace picnics. These early inflatables lacked the cage that modern inflatables have, posing a safety risk.

Under the brand names, Space Walk and Inflatable Zoo, their son Frank Scurlock developed their rental concept across the United States. On Thanksgiving Day 1986, Frank opened the first all inflatable indoor play park, Fun Factory, in Metairie, Louisiana.

In 1987, Fun-Plex, a second location, opened in Memphis, Tennessee. Both locations closed after the property’s value became too high to sustain the activities. The first inflatable was a Space Pillow, which was an open-top mattress with no sides. In 1967, a pressurized inflatable top was added, which required two fans and became as hot as a greenhouse in the summer. Space Walk was the title of that version.

In 1974, a new product line named Jupiter Jump was developed to address the heat problem. Jupiter Jump features inflated columns that support netting walls that allow air to move through.

The Inflatable Zoo, a line of castles and animals, was designed as an extension of this concept. Frank invented the Aqua Tunnel, the first commercial inflatable water slide, in the early 1990s. At the IAAPA, Showmen’s Club, and American Rental Association conventions, Space Walk was the first to bring an inflatable.

Work on the building

The castle is inflated with an electric or petrol-powered blower, and the surfaces are normally made of thick, sturdy PVC or vinyl and nylon. Small punctures are not a concern because the premise is one of continual leakage.

 A fan with a mechanical output of roughly two horsepower (using roughly 2 kW electrical power, allowing for the efficacy of a medium-size bouncy castle) is required for a medium-size bouncy castle.

Fully inflated walls on three sides with an open front are required by bounce house rentals in Cleburne, TX, as are foam crash mats to catch children who may jump or tumble out of the structure.

Obstacle courses made of inflatables

Inflatable obstacle courses are also available, allowing participants to race and compete against one another. These are usually rectangular, but if the course is maze-like, they can also be square. The majority of obstacle courses feature two lanes, however, some have three or four. Pop-up obstacles, climbing areas, slides, and tunnels are among the attractions. Because attendees walk through them fast, these are the greatest option for really large gatherings.

Playing games

On inflatables, you can play boxing rings, water football, penalty shootouts, basketball, rumble, tug of war, and gladiator duels, to name a few. The material used to make these interactive inflatable toys is the same as that used to make a continuous airflow bounce house.


One last factor to consider when renting bounce houses is the amount of money you have to spend on rentals. Remember that, in addition to the cost of hiring inflatable entertainment for your visitors, each event you host will incur additional costs. Catering costs, food trucks, site rental, power and water surcharges, game prizes, fees for bands and other entertainers, and a whole lot more all add up quickly. Check to see if you have enough cash to go around.

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