Planning your kid’s birthday party comes with a lot of decisions. Food, goodie bags and a theme are all parts that go into making the best birthday party your kid can imagine. Maybe you’ve already decided that you want to have inflatables at the event. They’re fun for various ages, can entertain for hours, plus plenty of options to choose from! But how do you know the difference between renting an inflatable or two and placing them in your yard and renting out an indoor inflatable venue? In this article, we’ll go through the main differences of renting the inflatables yourself or hosting the event at a venue, to find out which one is right for you and your family.

Limited Options

Although rental companies will show you different variations of jumping castles or obstacle courses to choose from, you will most likely be limited by the amount of space you have, meaning you won’t be able to have more than one or two at your home. Smaller spaces may limit to one small bounce house eliminating obstacles or slides that are usually more popular. This is OK if you are having a smaller gathering, but if you are expecting a good number of kiddos, it might be difficult due to the limited capacity of the play arenas. Kids might be waiting around for their turn most of the time they are at the party, which means you will have to come up with more supplies and ideas for additional entertainment.

The nice thing about renting a facility that is built for these large playhouses is that they have plenty of space for plenty of slides, castles and much more. Some indoor play centers even offer multiple rooms that may have different themes or inflatables in each one. Another plus is that party venues often have arcade games or other activities, along with the inflatables. This would be best if you have older children that may get bored more easily doing the same thing throughout the designated “play” time.


The cost for each option can vary depending on how much you want to DIY at home or if you want to have everything done and ready to go for you. If you are renting the inflatables to bring to your home, you will also need to purchase food to put out or catering services. You also have the cost of decorations, drinks and goodie bags. Gathering and coordinating can be very timely not including the time spent cleaning before and after the party. To cut down on these costs, look up easy DIY decor or coupons for your local stores.

Places to have a birthday party for kids may seem spendy, but unlike bouncers for rent, most of the time they include more than just entertainment. Kids’ birthday party venues often offer packages that range from your basic food and drinks to food, decorations and take-home treats all included, so that you don’t have to worry about a thing. This option may save you money and will definitely save you time. Plus, if you have a bigger budget, some rental facilities have add-ons for purchase, like themed parties, pinatas, etc.

Watch the Weather

As much fun it is to have a backyard birthday party, it can quickly be ruined by bad or even windy weather. If you are having most of your entertainment indoors, this isn’t a problem, but if you have inflatables for rent set-up, you now have no option but to keep that outside and go to Plan B. If having your party outside, make sure to keep your eye out and have some backup games, just in case weather doesn’t stick to the forecast.

Climate-controlled arenas provide ease of mind that the party will be dry, not too hot and not too cold. The kids can play and jump around as much as they want without having to worry about putting on more layers or watching for thunder clouds.

Supervision Requirements

Renting is a good choice for you if the rental company you use offers to have a supervisor on premises during jump hours or if a parent has volunteered to watch the kiddos while they play. However, if the company does not offer that service or only does at a hefty price tag, this may not work for you and your budget. A great way to get around this is having the parents take turns supervising, but keep in mind that this takes away from their event experience and you also may not have a lot of adults stay to help, as many parents just drop their child off at the party and then pick them up afterwards.

Indoor playgrounds or indoor arenas are required to meet inflatable ride requirements, meaning they will always have trained staff to help you watch and ensure your children are being safe. This is usually no additional cost or is built into the overall cost of the rental.


When renting equipment, you will most likely be charged by the hour, with minimum or maximum requirements. This is completely fine if you only need the play area for one or two hours. If you want the kids to be able to play, eat, open gifts and then go back to playing though, this may be out of your budget due to the amount of hours you would need to rent the bounce houses. Take a look at your budget and ask around for estimates to decide what fits your party best.

Not doing an inflatable bouncer for rent may allow you to have a longer duration for play time without the extra cost. Venues set specific hours for each event and don’t take away the entertainment while the kids move on to other things. Public spaces, like parks, will probably be more lenient on your end time. Private spaces, on the other hand, are strict on the hours paid for, since other renters may be showing up right after you.

Setting and Cleaning Up

Unless a company specifically states they will provide a set-up and clean-up service, it relies solely on you. Most will provide instructions for tasks, since set-up is crucial for a safe and fun experience. You will also want to look at the policy of returned items. It can cost you if any of the equipment is returned dirty or damaged in any way. If you rent, the best way to protect yourself from damage or cleaning fees is to let all jumpers and climbers know of the rules and keep any food or drinks away from the play area.

Inflatable attractions are ready to go when you arrive! Set-up and clean-up are all a part of your rental contract so you don’t have to worry about blowing up the inflatables correctly or leaving behind a mess and having to pay extra. This is true for most, if not all facilities, but still make sure to read through your contract and know what is expected of you.

Whether having the birthday party in the comfort of your own home and yard or renting out a spacious venue, your family will have the best time running around and jumping high in the sky on inflatables. Go through this checklist to see what fits your party style, time restraints and budget best! If you still have questions or want to see indoor rental options, visit

"Inflatable for Rent vs. Indoor Inflatable Event" was last updated January 21st, 2021 by

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