Action City opens new trampoline park and obstacle courses

Hannah Mumm, photos by Andrea Paulseth

CAUTION: GOOD TIMES AHEAD! Workers put the finishing touches on the new trampoline park at Action City (above), which promises to be the biggest in the Midwest. After the remodeling, Action City will still feature favorites like arcade games (right).
CAUTION: GOOD TIMES AHEAD! Workers put the finishing touches on the new trampoline park at Action City, which promises to be the biggest in the Midwest.

A plan five years in the making will become a reality on Saturday, Dec. 17. That's when Action City will unveil a 20,000-square-foot indoor trampoline park, complete with a general jumping area, a soft play area, slam dunk and dodgeball courts, and a trick trampoline. 

The trampoline park is the brainchild of Action City’s owners, who, while snowbirding in Arizona, came across a trampoline park, something they had never seen before. It would be a perfect way to up Eau Claire’s fun factor, they thought. Their team agreed.

Planning for a trampoline park is a complicated process, according to Action City general manager and UW-Eau Claire alumnus Benny Anderson. And he would know. Anderson has been with Action City since it opened 11 years ago and was heavily involved in the planning process.

He and a group of coworkers researched trampoline parks extensively. They traveled to several complexes in the surrounding area, including Sky Zone in the Twin Cities and parks around Wisconsin. In Appleton, they tested different trampolines and polished up their design plans.

As the only place of its kind in at least a 90-mile radius, Action City’s goal isn’t competition, but the fun center won’t disappoint. The trampoline park will be the biggest and most elaborate in the Midwest.

Some of the complex’s more unique features are the slam dunk and dodgeball courts. The dodgeball courts can be divided up into several courts or combined for one giant game. Another area with giant airbags is perfect for more extreme jumpers. It features an extra bouncy trampoline for bigger tricks (and a soft spot if you need to wipe out). Plus, the whole place is set up with blacklights for events such as birthday parties and lock-ins.

The park is designed so that fun lovers of all ages can jump at the same time. Even the soft play area, part of the park designed for little kids, will be open to parents.

“Little kids up to adults can enjoy the trampoline park consistently,” Anderson said.

The trampoline park is just one of several new additions Action City will debut in the next few years. The business is undergoing renovations in an effort to revitalize the fun center and appeal to a wider range of ages.

Anderson noticed that Eau Claire needed more all-ages activities when looking for things to do with his 6-year-old daughter. He likes to take her to the McDonald’s PlayPlace when the weather gets too cold for playgrounds, but wishes he could play with her. As Action City expands, he hopes to create more activities that parents and kids can do together.

One of the all-ages additions that will open alongside the trampoline park is a Ninja Warrior-style obstacle course. The course is based on the popular TV show American Ninja Warrior. Every obstacle in Action City’s course has been featured on the show.

The course will include hanging doors, cargo nets, and the infamous “warp wall,” a ramp-like structure that participants must run up and pull themselves over. To finish the course, coordination, endurance, and upper-body strength will be necessary.

After the remodeling, Action City will still feature favorites like arcade games (right).
After the remodeling, Action City will still feature favorites like arcade games.

“Our expectation is that very few people will be able to finish it the first time,” Anderson said. “We want it to be difficult enough that you want to come back.”

For those unable (or unwilling) to complete the entire course, each obstacle is available to try individually.

Over the next couple of years, Action City, 2402 Lorch Ave., will continue to build and renovate. The business plans to revamp its outdoor go-kart track, replacing the existing circular track with a much larger one and adding double and high-speed karts. The mini-golf course will also undergo renovations, and they plan to add one or two activities to their outdoor area.

Perhaps the most exciting upcoming outdoor attraction is a 130-foot zip-line more than twice the height of the Action City building. The ride will start at the mini-golf course and go up over the parking lot. Zip-liners will be harnessed in, so the attraction will be safe for young kids.

“I would say it’s a thrill ride, but it’s not a scary ride,” Anderson said.

With all of its renovations, Action City aims to bring as much fun to Eau Claire as possible.

“Our goal for everything we do in Action City is to be fairly large. And if we can’t be the biggest, be at least the most fun,” Anderson said.

Experience Action City’s new trampoline park at the New Year’s Eve lock-in from 10pm-3am Dec. 31-Jan. 1, which is open to all ages. Tickets provide access to all fun center attractions, non-ticket arcade games, trampoline park, Ninja Warrior obstacles, special games and contests, and a pizza and soda buffet. The cost is $35.99/person online or $40.99/person at the door. Find tickets at actioncityfun.com/nye_lockin2016.

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