It’s official: The Real Housewives of New Jersey has joined the ranks of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Real Housewives of New York City by establishing its own “gate” this season. What am I referring to? Bounce house-gate, obviously. Like “pantygate” and “Jovani-gate” before it, bounce house-gate occurred early in the season and it seems to keep coming back up in conversation (and in print!) every episode. Recap: When hosting a lovely ladies’ lunch at her sprawling Paramus mansion, newbie Jennifer Aydin rented a bounce house to keep the kiddos busy while she and her new gal pals enjoyed their meal. Seems harmless, no? (Be sure to tune into RHONJ on Wednesdays at 9/8c!)
Well, it turns out the optics of this party-planning tactic were a bit eye-popping — the two-story bounce house, nestled inside Jennifer’s massive indoor basketball court, was perceived to be a bit ostentatious by some.
But as a fellow New Jersey mom, I’m here to tell you that Jennifer is totally on point when it comes to keeping kids entertained when it’s cold AF outside. Us Jersey mom knows that bringing your bounce house indoors in the winter is an A+ way to get your maniacs — I mean sweet babies — to burn some much-needed energy when playing outside just isn’t an option. I’ve been doing this for years! Invite the neighbors over, plug in the bounce house in one room, poor some wine for the moms in the other room, and you’ve just bought yourself an hour of kid-free time. The best part: They’re exhausted when it's time to go to bed.
Because most bounce houses are under eight feet tall, they can fit in pretty much any room. I’ve inflated mine smack dab in the center of my living room, but my sister always sets one up in her finished basement (making for less noise on the main floor while we drink wine!). Yes, the price is a little steep (the best ones cost between $200 and $400), but when you consider the fact that you're going to get years of use out of this purchase, why bother renting one for $100 when you can pay a bit more and own it? Plus, all of them deflate and fold into portable bags that you can easily store in your garage or basement. Done and done.
More good news: Set that sucker up in your yard when the weather breaks and you’re suddenly the owner of the most popular house on the block!
Below are a few of our favorite bounce house options. All have a not-too-enormous footprint and are durable enough to last you at least a couple of years (that works out to hundreds of hours of kids-playing-by-themselves time!). You’re welcome, fellow cold-weather-dwelling moms.
Bounceland Castle Hoop Bounce House
Blast Zone Magic Castle Bounce House
Little Tikes Jr. Sports 'n Slide Bounce House
Houzz Inflatable Slide Jumper Bouncer Train
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