It’s sort of an oddity. Seemingly out of place and outside the norm sitting among anonymous warehouses for blocks in every direction.
And children are inside losing their freaking minds.
“It’s not like a traditional family fun center,” said Colten Hudson, the general manager of Flying Circus, a sprawling 83,000 square foot playground of foam and hijinks in Tukwila.
The massive complex opened in mid-November and during its first week, I had a chance to come inside. I found the place to already be jammed with families and kids of all ages.
“Word-of-mouth spreads quick,” Hudson said.
Flying Circus goes beyond the traditional “trampoline park” vibe by offering all-you-can jump foam pits, American Gladiator-style pugilist battles, a zipline, and a rock wall.
And then there’s the obstacle course straight out of the TV show “Ninja Warrior.”
You’ve probably seen those audition tapes from contestants trying to conquer their homemade ninja-training course of wild jumps and tricky feats of strength, and a curved wall to attack. Hudson works there every day and can barely master the challenge of the pro-level difficulty of Flying Circus.
“Couldn’t move my arms for two days,” he recalls.
The modular contraption course has hanging bars and wobbly platforms that test every single amount of balance you can muster. Hudson says it’s the company’s newest kind of tech.
“We can constantly change up attractions, which is really fun,” he said.
Flying Circus has outposts across the country, including BoomShaka in Olympia. But Tukwila is a perfect central location for south King County, pulling in people from Southcenter just a few blocks away. “This mall is kind of the retail mecca of this area,” Hudson said. So you can go from Duke’s to diving head first into a stunt performer’s pad from 20 feet in the air.
Hudson wants to make sure Flying Circus can be a great place for kids, parents, and even squirrely big kids in their 20s. They have special hours just for the six-and-under crowd Monday through Saturday for the first hour of the day from 9 to 10am.
“We understand the hesitation of bringing smaller children during a busy day,” Hudson said. They have specialty foam brick pits for little ones to enjoy without getting intimidated or overwhelmed by larger kids.
Teenagers get into the action even more. The variety makes it easy, says Hudson. During our trip, we came across a group of high school gymnasts launching themselves one at a time from trampolines into a massive foam pit. Younger kids just stood in awe.
Flying Circus charges by time instead of contraption. They want families to be able to experiment and play anything in the room and try everything at least once. Hudson noticed some parents standing on the sidelines, or watching sports on the TVs in the balcony party room. “Trampoline parks have programmed them,” he said.
Slowly but surely some of them succumb to the lure of the foam, and hop in.
“We’re trying to make ‘aerial recreation facility’ stick and make that a thing,” Hudson said.
Hour “flights” are $17 for kids over 7 and...jump...from there to a modest $34 for two hours on weekends. Time can be broken down into half hours after the initial hour, so just let your body decide if you can handle more.
Flying Circus is located at 455 Andover Park East in Tukwila and be found on their website for bookings and birthday reservations.