BOX Indoor play area ‘exactly what we need,’ some parents say

By Amy Brase

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

Despite a blast of wintry weather, a beam of excitement radiated from children at Rochester’s newest indoor play land. Things were hopping at the House of Bounce as co-owner Sue Hiatt welcomed little friends in to play.

"It was very busy," she said. "We had 50 or more children just in the morning, plus the adults."

The inspiration for Sue and her husband Ed’s new business occurred while on a family vacation in Michigan.


"After spending five days on the beach, we were looking for something different to do," she said. "We saw an ad on TV for a place like this and decided to give it a try. None of us wanted to leave."

The Hiatts returned to Rochester in search of the nearest indoor inflatable playground; the closest is in the Twin Cities and is geared toward birthday parties.

"We thought it would be great to open a place where people could just walk in and play anytime," she said. "We knew if we found the financing, space and vendors, it could happen. The space is what fell into place first. We’re so excited to give the kids and families of southern Minnesota a place to come and have a lot of safe fun, get some exercise and most importantly, spend time together." 

The House of Bounce is located on the frontage road near Northern Tool and Equipment on Highway 14 North. With more than 10,000-square-feet of indoor activities, the site is sure to be a hotspot for playgroups, birthday parties, family nights and kids of all ages who just need a place to burn energy for a few hours.

"It’s perfect," said Chris Boyken of Byron, who was visiting for the first time with her two sons, Ryan, 3, and Brady, 1. "I’m a stay-at-home mom, and this is exactly what we need in Rochester on cold days."

Boyken invited her aunt along to play with the boys. "I was already here yesterday, too, with a little boy that I nanny," said Audrey Smith of Byron. "We were here for two hours."

Lauren Oster, 4, of Rochester paused for just a second to share her favorite thing at House of Bounce. "I love this big one because you can go up there and over that and down that slide and up that thing and all around …"

Sue Hiatt’s children have thoroughly enjoyed the process of preparing the House of Bounce. Montreal, 8, and Charlie, 6, have spent a lot of time testing out the inflatables while Sue and Ed worked. "The boys are the quality control team," Sue said. "It’s definitely been a family affair through all the construction. We’ll be here quite a bit."


The House of Bounce offers fun activities for people of all ages. There’s a bungee run, obstacle course race and a soft boxing ring for the older and braver. A kids’ gym, Little Mermaid jumper, big slides and t-ball game offer novelty for the adventurous. The little tikes have options of their own with two large, inflatable play areas complete with slides and things to climb over and under. Several exersaucers, a small train and a rocking zebra make it possible for parents with children of varying ages to enjoy a visit.

"Adults seem to love the bungee run; there was a long line during our soft opening on Sunday," said Leah Podenski, a party assistant. "And the kids have really loved doing all of it. My job is to supervise and rescue them if they get scared at the top of the slides."

The House of Bounce offers three private party rooms, a parents’ lounge with free Wi-Fi access and a concession stand with pizza, nachos, apples, carrots, ice cream and candy.

Though Sue admits to getting very little sleep lately, she is excited about the finishing touches. "We just couldn’t wait to let the children play and hear their giggles," she said. "There’s no better sound in the whole world."

Amy Brase is a Rochester freelance writer.

If you go

House of Bounce, 2535 Hwy. 14 W., Rochester

On the Web:


Phone: (507)251-9616

Open bounce

  • Monday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

Unlimited bounce time: $7 per child, $4 per adult to bounce with child.

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