Amazing Bouncy Castles & Bad Bounce Houses

In This Guide

Since their inception in the 1959’s, bouncy castles have become a staple at children’s birthday parties around the world. Thanks to advances in design, technology and engineering, we’ve come a long way from this!

The First Bouncy Castle

Worlds first ever Bouncy Castle
Simple Beginnings – The First Bouncy Castle – John Scurlock (1959)

Created by John Scurlock in 1959. Mr Scurlock was a mechanical engineer whom enjoyed phsyics. Throughout his career he created an array of inflatable domes, tents, signs and even invented the safety air cushion used by fire and rescue departments (and the ones you see used by stuntmen and women in movies).

His legacy still stands today with his son contributing to the redesign of bouncy castles and creation of the first commercial inflatable waterslide, as well as introducing mesh walls to try to solve the heat generation problem of older bouncy castles.

Frank Scurlock was in the running as a potential candidate for the mayor of New Orleans, but due to a scandal (research at your own risk… it’s not kid friendly) he was dropped from the running.

Bouncy Castles Today

From their humble beginnings, bouncy castles now come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from cheap and cheerful bouncers for toddlers, to bounce houses filled with obstacles and water features. There’s no denying the allure surrounding these bouncy contraptions. The attraction we have for them is so strong, that unique, custom and lavish castles are being built even today.

Which brings us to the world’s biggest bouncy castle…

World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle – The Beast

The beast is a fully fledged inflatable obstacle course, with 32 obstacles, and 892ft (271m) of fun. Currently doing a tour of the UK – tickets can be picked up from as little as £20 if you or your mates fancy a bash at it!

The Beast – 32 Obstacles, 892ft of Fun!

Touring dates are 8th to the 10th of December and 13th to the 18th of December at the Birmingham NEC Arena. Great for corporate days out right before Christmas!

The Other World’s Biggest Bouncy Castle – Dreamland (Margate)

Standing at a whopping 13 metres tall, with 21 square metres of bouncing space all while holding up to 100 users at the same time! This bouncy castle was last seen at Dreamland Margate.

Length 23.8m, Width 20.7m, Height 12.8m – Up to 100 users!

For the princly sum of £3.50 (£3.00 for members) you too could have enjoyed 10 minutes of bouncing fun. This castle does go on tour and can be seen at places like Bestival and Common People.

Cool Custom Bouncy Castle Designs

The Volkswagon Campervan

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Featured on Don’t Tell The Bride (BBC3) – this bounce house offered kids and grown-up kids a unique chance to jump around in a VW campervan.  Unfortunately Aircool sold the business back in 2009 and we’ve been unable to find any trace of these cool campervan bouncers since!

The Supervillian

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This black leatherette bouncy castle is titled “Department of the Interior” – originally created as an art piece to echoe the towers and crenellations of Parliament with an absurdity that mocks its claim for authority.

Could potentially make a killing renting it out to wakes and funerals as well…

The White Bouncy Castle

Originally an installation at the Ineternational Summer Festival in Hamburg, 2010. This white bouncy castle by Von William Forsythe, Dana Capersen and Joel Ryan once held the title for the world’s largest bouncy castle (haven’t they all!).

The Town House

Imagine coming home to that at the end of a long hard day at work.

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Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should – Bouncy Castle Fails

Now, we’ve seen some of the coolest castles, it’s time to move on, to some of our more interesting finds from around the internet.

Shrek Bouncy Castle

For a truly horrifying birthday party, why not rent this Shrek bouncy castle. It’ll be the one special moment they’ll never ever forget.

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The Bounce House of Fun

Just look at how much fun those kids are having…

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The Bunny Slide

Is it an entrance or an exit? You decide.

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The Titanic

Back in 2010 at the bouncy castle fair in Ibach, Switzerland, a 40ft Titanic themed inflatable slide was unvailed, much to the displeasure of the locals. With a visitor quoted as saying “It’s pretty sick. It’s like having a bouncy graveyard.” An organiser, explained: “The tragic Titanic accident happened years ago and those emotions have been dealt with long ago.”

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We could see it making an exceedingly effective halloween feature…

Comments & Questions

That’s it from us today at PatioMate. If you’re in the marketplace for a new bouncy castle, why not check out the bouncy castle section of our website.

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