Beth Howell and her brother, Ryan Eavers always dreamed of owning a business focused on children.
The siblings, who grew up in Levittown and graduated from Pennsbury High School, have built and grown their business on empowering kids from Falls Township and nearby to bounce off the walls – quite literally.
In January 2015 Howell and Eavers purchased Bouncing Off the Walls Party & Play Center, which had been in existence since approximately 2003.
“Neither of us owned a business,” Howell said. “Every day is a new adventure. It’s all a learning process.”
Eavers, who has a background in finance and accounting, takes care of bookkeeping tasks, while Howell, who studied education at Bucks County Community College and worked in childcare previously, handles the day-to-day operations.
For Howell, a mom of two boys, ages 2 and 5 and a third baby boy due in summer 2016, timing is everything.
“We always said we wanted to own a kids’ business,” she said. “I never thought it would be early while my kids are young.”
While she greets customers coming to the youth activity center to play, Howell’s boys are climbing and bouncing themselves.
“When they get too old they’re going to be put to work,” she joked.
The 4,000-squre-foot center, which is geared primarily for kids ages 1 to 8, features two bounce houses (one with a ball pit), as well as a climbing/sliding board obstacle course of sorts, foosball, air hockey, as well as puzzles, blocks, books, dress-up costumes, puppetry and a variety of other toys and activities for younger tots.
For the most part, the center hosts open play during designated hours Monday through Friday. Kids and their caregivers can stay and play as long as they like during that roughly five-hour window. Admission fees are based on the child’s age. Up to two caregivers can enter the play area free of charge. Socks are required for everyone.
Picnic-style tables are available behind the play areas, allowing families to enjoy snacks, drinks and even small lunches brought from home.
The center also hosts family nights, moms group meetings, special events with popular characters (schedules vary), as well as a monthly Friends with Special Needs Night the third Wednesday of the month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
On the weekends, Bouncing Off the Walls is used mainly as a pre-arranged birthday party headquarters. Moving forward, Howell said she may consider offering new party packages.
Also planned is a mother’s nook for nursing moms.
“Even if they’re bottle feeding they can feed in a quiet area,” she said.
The variety of offerings is what sets Bouncing Off the Walls apart from other kids’ play centers.
“They don’t have to bounce the entire time,” Howell said. “They’re learning to share and they’re learning to interact with other kids.”
To learn more
Bouncing Off the Walls Party & Play Center is located at 8919 New Falls Road Suite 8C (in the Vermilion Square shopping center). Monthly passes are available for purchase. Bouncing Off the Walls’ hours vary. Check the Website calendar for most up-to-date hours and dates: http://bouncingoffthewalls.com/. For more information, call 215-946-3432.