I'm sitting here ay mt kitchen counter getting ready to plan a party for my son, and I'm asking myself, what is the best bounce house for a birthday party? I'll walk you through the process I go through as I plan our party and try to discover which is truly the best bounce house for a birthday party.
I've rented them a few times before and I have a pretty good handle on the models that are out there for sale right now, so the first thing is deciding whether to rent or buy. In order to make an informed decision, I'll look at several models that look promising to use for a birthday party. At the end I'll tell you which direction I decided to go!
Rent vs. Buy
I've covered this in some detail before but renting vs. buying is always the first major decision point when it comes to these kinds of things. When you rent, you'll get more bounce house for your money but you'll have it for a short period of time and can sometimes run into problems during the process. If you buy then you generally have to spend more to get what is considered a party-grade bounce house but the extra upfront cost can pay itself back over time depending on how often you use it.
For the primary reason of cost, most people that I know have gone with rentals when they have hosted their own parties. In my experience, you'll pay somewhere in the ballpark of $400 for a one or two-day rental for a decent sized slide or bounce house, and you'll be more in the ballpark of $600-700 if you try to buy something roughly equivalent.
You'll also need to take into account the other equipment and time that are both necessary to safely and effectively use your own bounce house for a birthday party. If it's a larger unit then you'll need some serious stakes (and probably a sledge hammer) to get things securely anchored into the ground outside. You'll also need things like tarps and some sort of utility cart to help with moving it around. Last but not least, you'll need space to keep it when it's not in use.
With all this being said, there are definitely downsides to renting as well. Uncertainty around the weather and availability issues are two common problems that people run into, and it can really unnecessary stress when you're planning something like a birthday party. And, again, you have to say goodbye to it after a day or two, so the fun doesn't last quite as long.
I haven't fully come to a decision yet, so I'm going to start examining my options for buying a bounce house for my kid's birthday party.
Bounce House Buying Tips
When you're buying a bounce house with the intent of using it at birthday parties there are two primary factors that you'll need to consider. The first is the size of the kids using the bounce house. This roughly correlates with age but every kid is different. The second factor to consider is the number of kids you plan to have at your birthday party.
For both of those factors, a larger bounce house is generally going to be better. It will allow you to have more kids, and those kids can be bigger without it being as much of an issue.
With all of that being said, you'll still want to exercise caution and be sure that you're clear about some basic rules. You'll also need to be willing to enforce the rules. I've found that making kids take breaks (almost like a penalty box in hockey) works really well.
Beyond size, some of the other factors that we need to consider here are overall quality and durability. Often times these will go hand-in-hand with overall manufacturer reputation but not always. And these days, if you purchase something through Amazon then you'll have their full support behind your purchase. That always helps me sleep easy at night.
With those as our primary guiding factors, let's take a look at some specific candidates for Best Bounce House for a Birthday Party!
These are the units we'll be looking at in order of how I've ranked them: