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The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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New Sky Zone location embraced with enthusiasm by all ages

Filling the second story of Church Street Plaza, indoor playground aims to offer more than trampolines
Parents+with+young+children+wait+to+buy+tickets%2C+with+the+multi-leveled+tubular+playground+behind.
Natalie Weinert
Parents with young children wait to buy tickets, with the multi-leveled tubular playground behind.

Sky Zone, an entertainment and trampoline park chain, has added another location to its near 300 others spanning the globe.

Construction began last summer to transform the former movie theater space, located on the second floor of the Church Street Plaza.

The park’s basketball area, warped wall, ninja warrior course and king of the hill are only some of the favorites. For Gabriel Hilel, a young customer, practicing backflips was a blast, coming in second to playing soccer. His little sister, Emilia, liked the cotton candy there.

Gabriel and Emilia’s mother, Maayan Hilel, agreed that going to Sky Zone had been a delightful experience for her children.

“Now, when it’s very, very cold, it’s a great opportunity for the kids to play, to sweat in an indoor place,” said Hilel.

However, Hilel sees some room for improvement. She suggested that increasing the number of coat hangers could help to regain some organization.

Children wait at the top of the ‘warped wall.’ (Natalie Weinert)

When asked about the increasing presence of chains in Evanston, she said, “I think that it’s better than nothing.”

Another parent, Allison Yambor, enjoys taking her seven year-old and nine year-old to Sky Zone. She has visited Funtopia, Altitude and other Sky Zones in the past.

“This one is better. It has more, a lot of different activities,” said Yambor. “There’s so many fun things to do versus just trampolines.”

Impressed by the price, she purchased the Elite membership for her children at $31.99 a month. The membership allows for unlimited play Monday through Friday and up to two hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

Prices remain somewhat consistent across the locations and Sky Zone does not plan on raising them anytime soon.

“This is just our second time, but we have another two weeks left [on the membership] so I am confident we’ll be back,” said Yambor.

She has already recommended Sky Zone to other friends, and is certain she will be buying another membership soon.

Teenager Sophia S. visited Sky Zone on a day off from school. She was impressed by the size of the facility.

“As I started walking around, I realized that there was so much to do, a lot more than usual trampoline parks,” she said. “They’ve got everything from tug-of-war to slides that throw you off at the end.”

Sophia worried she would be the oldest there. After going, she concluded that older kids can have just as much fun as the younger ones. 

“When you’re jumping around on trampolines and [going on slides], I feel like that’s kind of fun for everybody,” she said.

Sophia also enjoyed finding familiar faces among the jumpers. 

“I saw people I recognized,” she said. “Being there and seeing people who were closer to my age, I was kind of like, ‘Wait, this is really fun.’”

Sophia liked that she only realized her exhaustion when it was time to go, adding that Sky Zone was an attractive alternative to conditioning at sports practices. She also forgot about school and homework while there, another bonus in her eyes.

Her only complaint surrounded the lack of open space. She felt like more benches were needed to seat the parents wandering around, and at times, the facility felt too crowded.

Brendan Bogenschutz, Sky Zone Regional Vice President, anticipates popularity to grow as more Evanston residents discover the park.

According to Bogenschutz, Sky Zone is busiest after school, on weekends and during school breaks. Party rooms began booking prior to opening.

“We opened our doors in early December, and we have already been very warmly received by the community,” said Bogenschutz. “It’s been great to see so many who have visited other locations now have an option closer to home.”

“As I started walking around, I realized that there was so much to do, a lot more than usual trampoline parks,” said one customer. (Natalie Weinert)

In addition to creating fun experiences for jumpers, the staff is focused on maintaining safe conditions, another reason why Sky Zone remains “the leader in the indoor active entertainment industry,” according to Bogenschutz. 

“We understand the importance of providing a safe environment at Sky Zone, and it’s something we prioritize,” he said. “This includes comprehensive team training, regular inspections of our equipment and facilities, and clear safety guidelines prominently displayed throughout the park.”

When asked about the selection of Evanston for a new location, Bogenschutz said that the “incredible community” was enticing. He also revealed his excitement around future locations in Arlington Heights, Willowbrook and Lincoln Park.

“Sky Zone is continuing to rapidly expand and identified the Chicagoland area as a key market for growth,” he said.

Bogenschutz was instrumental in bringing Sky Zone to Evanston. He oversaw the hiring process, the selection of a general manager and the preparation of the park for opening. He hopes to make a positive impact on the Evanston community.

“We love it here in Evanston and envision hosting and actively participating in a variety of community events, from fundraisers to festivals, creating opportunities for residents to come together and share memorable experiences,” said Bogenschutz.

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About the Contributor
Natalie Weinert, Staff Writer
Hi! My name is Natalie Weinert (she/her), and I am a staff writer for The Evanstonian. I am a freshman, so this is my first year being part of the paper. I am writing for The Evanstonian to improve how I collaborate with people in a team setting, to learn about useful skills and journalism in general, and to have fun with the new people I meet! I play volleyball at ETHS, and I might join other clubs or sports teams as the year goes on. In my free time, I enjoy being with family and friends, playing sports, traveling, reading, and watching TV.
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