The Arena Club’s mission is simple: serving family, fitness and fun — emphasis on that last one.
In mid-January, the Bel Air-based athletic club introduced a family-friendly feature called Launch Pad, a giant room filled with trampoline pads.
These jump havens, otherwise known as indoor trampoline parks, are on the rise in Maryland — Sky Zone has been holding things down in Columbia, and Urban Air & Adventure Park just opened in White Marsh in February — but Launch Pad is the first of its kind in Harford County.
“[Members] wanted more fun activities for kids,” says Angela Saccenti, Arena Club’s marketing manager.
Now, the club boasts an indoor aerial bounce experience with 16 jump pads surrounded by angled walls, room for dodge ball and, soon, fitness programs designed for the pads.
Since opening day, Launch Pad has been a hit with kids and adults of all ages, who got special socks and six-minute jumping windows to try it out.
“Six minutes never felt so long,” says Jamie Stamper, a mother of three who visited the LaunchPad opening week. “I thought, ‘Six minutes? That’s all you get?’ and by the end I was sweating and breathing heavily, and I’m not in horrible shape.”
Children tend to last a little longer on the trampolines.
“Nothing makes me more happy than seeing the kids begging not to leave because they’re having so much fun,” says Arena Club childcare coordinator Erica Lesniewski.
While fitness programs are still in development, jumping freely can provide a decent amount of cardio, and it’s not for suckers.
“I lasted two minutes and had to take a break,” Lesniewski says.
Launch Pad is available to Arena Club members and their guests, monthly kid and teen nights or those who rent the space for a private event. Jump times are currently blocked out by age group, and the club will develop a regular schedule as new programs are added.
Launch Pad, certainly guilty of providing a good time, can also be credited for creating a more convenient gym-going experience for families.
“A lot of the times you hear from parents that they can’t come to the gym because their kids don’t want to go. They don’t always want to stay in the nursery. Now [with the trampoline park] kids can’t wait to come back,” says Saccenti.
Stamper, for one, encourages adults to join in the jumping.
“Don’t be afraid,” she says. “No one is looking at you.”