HOOKSETT — While most New Hampshire residents are embracing the recent warm weather and sunshine, it will only be a matter of time before the dog days of summer hit and those same locals will be flocking inside, seeking the comfort of air conditioning.
When those days arrive, Matt and Kelly Pearson will be ready. The owners of Cowabunga’s in Hooksett have added some new features for the occasion.
The 18,000-square-foot indoor inflatable playground, the state’s largest such attraction, opened in 2011 in the Hooksett Shaw’s plaza. It recently added additional play space in the rear of the building with another private gym used for exclusive parties and vacation weeks.
“We haven’t been this excited about the changes since we’ve opened,” Kelly Pearson said. “We love to keep things fresh for the families that visit us, and this summer will be no exception as we add in some great attractions to the mix.”
Though the Pearsons aren’t lacking for business, they say taking a proactive approach is the key to prolonged success.
“That ‘wow’ factor when kids walk in is huge for us,” Kelly Pearson said. “Kids never really know what to expect when they enter our gyms.”
In addition to the additional private space, she said many of the bouncy houses, castles and other inflatable attractions will be moved into the public area for the summer. Three large new pieces are also being added to the playground, including a large two-story bounce house, which the Pearsons expect to become the centerpiece of the facility’s open space, and a new 16-foot-tall climbing and slide structure that will be used primarily for private events. “Many of these units are custom-made for our unique needs, and are oversized to match our space,” Matt Pearson said. “It’s a fun aspect of the job, but sometimes it can be a real challenge to maximize the space.”
Back in 2011, he said light fixtures and the facilities sprinkler system needed to be moved to make room for the playground’s first slide.
“The new attractions will really open our space right up and allow families to explore our facility with ease. I’m looking forward to trying them out myself.”
The best part about the upgrades, said Kelly Pearson, is that costs won’t rise. The basic admission rate remains $10 for children and admission for adults and babies is free.
“Cowabunga’s continues to provide a good all-day value for families,” she said. “Keeping a fresh, fun layout for them to enjoy is really just the icing on the cake.”