BEVERLY — Children on the South Side will be jumping for joy this weekend with the debut of Wild Leapers.
The indoor playlot in the Beverly Plaza features six giant inflatable attractions, including a bounce house, two slides, an obstacle course and basketball shooting area.
Wild Leapers, at 10200 S. Vincennes Ave. in Beverly, is designed to host children's parties, said owner LaToya Jenkins of Chatham. Her new business will have a soft opening from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Grand opening festivities are planned for Feb. 1.
"I chose this type of business because I have two small kids and a nephew I take care of. We went to one of these places, and they loved it," Jenkins said.
She spent four years researching her business idea and realized that Wild Leapers would be the only indoor inflatable playlot on the South Side. Similar businesses are located on the North Side as well as in the suburbs. Jenkins hopes to capture what she sees as an untapped market.
"I just really felt like doing something good for the community," Jenkins said.
Wild Leapers has a private party room that seats 60 patrons, but it can also be divided to host two parties simultaneously. Kids' parties typically range between two and three hours. A party rental costs $200 to $450 depending on the amenities, which may include pizza, chips, juice or water.
The indoor playlot is best suited for children between the ages of 2 and 12, Jenkins said. When no parties are scheduled, Wild Leapers will have open play times, which will cost $8 on weekdays and $10 on weekends.
Jenkins plans to operate the business while maintaining her position in the laboratory of La Rabida Children's Hospital in Woodlawn. She said she's always loved working with children, and her job at the hospital is sure to keep her vigilant when it comes to the daily cleaning of the inflatables.
"I work in the lab, so I'm extra cautious about germs," she said.