Remember how much fun it was to bounce on your bed when you were a kid? South Carolina trampoline parks have taken the gravity-defying thrill to new heights-and it's not just the younger set that's flipping over the extreme sport craze.
Adults have found they can get a better workout jumping than jogging. An hour on a trampoline burns the same amount of calories as running four miles an hour but with less stress on the joints because the pad of the trampoline absorbs 80 percent of the shock.
Trampoline parks have become so popular, they're springing up all over South Carolina in vacation destinations like Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Columbia and Greenville. While jumping is the main event, most of the indoor entertainment centers also offer other action-packed activities, including trampoline dodge ball, obstacle courses, aerial silks and even a flying trapeze.
The main attraction at all of the parks is a giant open area of connected trampolines with trampoline ramps at one end. Jumpers can bounce off the angled walls to perform flips and other tricks.
If you really want to get airborne, try the launch pad lanes where you can jump from a ledge onto a trampoline and propel yourself into a huge pit filled with foam blocks.
On the dodgeball court, you can join a pick-up game of the old playground favorite played on trampolines. There's also a slam dunk basketball zone where you can practice your best LeBron James imitation.
HiWire Trampoline Park in Columbia offers additional activities focused on the circus arts. The 30,000-square-foot facility features two tightropes and two Cirque du Soleil-style aerial silks strung over foam pits.
But it's the flying trapeze that draws all the wannabe circus stars and thrill seekers. In this activity, you jump off a high platform, swing through the air and drop into a foam pit.
The Midlands trampoline park also features an obstacle course with 15 challenges of varying degrees of difficulty. Inspired by the television show, "American Ninja Warrior," the obstacles include unstable bridges, rope nets, a rock wall and a spinning log.
To ensure the safety of the youngest jumpers, HiWire offers a kiddie court exclusively for children no more than 40 inches tall. In addition, the entire park is open only to children 6 and younger from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday through Saturday.
Trampoline time also is reserved for jumpers ages 13 and older every Friday and Saturday night from 8 to 11 p.m. During Club HiWire, the lights go out and the lasers come on, creating a different kind of jumping experience.
One of the best spots to watch the action is from a mezzanine overlooking the trampoline park. The space includes bar tables and chairs with free WiFi and a USB-charging station for electronic devices.
Want to visit a trampoline park on your next South Carolina vacation? Try one of these: