Cloud 9 Jarman Park: First look at Hemel Hempstead's new inflatable obstacle course

Our reporter Olivia Preston took the first look at Cloud 9, the brand new airpark and bar opening on Saturday (9 April) at Jarman Park.

By Olivia Preston
Friday, 8th April 2022, 3:41 pm
Updated Friday, 8th April 2022, 5:28 pm

I was lucky enough to be invited to explore Cloud 9, Hemel Hempstead’s newest active leisure experience on Thursday (April 7) opening in Jarman Park this weekend.

The first thing that struck me as I walked into the venue was the attention to detail and beachy decor. I was transported to a grass-roofed Australian bar, as I got to the reception, equipped with surfboard and palm trees.

The hybrid venue, which opens on Saturday (April 9) is designed for families and friend groups alike to enjoy games, good food, and great fun, all of which I most certainly did.

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Slides are just some of the equipment that is available at the airpark.

After a quick safety briefing, I was ready to take off my shoes and venture into the airpark.

This isn’t the average kids' play area, the trees, lighting, and upbeat music, made the space feel welcoming to a 22-year-old.

I was shocked at the choice of activities on offer, all of which change monthly, to keep the regulars on their toes.

From popular TV shows Total Wipeout, Gladiator, and Ninja Warrior, I recognised some of the equipment and was itching to try them out.

The bar at Cloud 9 is relaxed and filled with great drinks.

Once I had seen children hurdling over the inflatable obstacles, I decided to have a go.

After I was given the green light from the Cloud 9 staff to head through the course, I jumped, rolled, and stumbled my way through the fun but physically demanding 35m stretch of inflatables.

After burning calories being a real-life Hungry Hippo and shooting some NERF guns, I went to the bar and restaurant to sample the food and drinks on offer.

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The kitchen serves a range of hot food including pizza and pasta.

The menu included fresh pasta and small tapas-style plates.

The pepperoni pizza, which was made on-site, tasted beautiful and went down well with the cocktail I had, The Gladiator.

As I enjoyed the refreshments, through the windows to the area below, scores of kids were enjoying the sweeper game, penalty shootout, and sports arena.

The soundproofing made sure that anyone enjoying a cocktail (or two) upstairs in their restaurant would not be disturbed by kids having a great time on the inflatables below.

Upstairs, the bar is filled with plenty of things for adults to enjoy, including interactive dartboard, shuffleboard, and pool with a DJ playing remixes of popular songs too.

The inflatable airpark, which will also screen sports matches in their bar area, was founded by Andrew Fairnington and Megan Thomas.

Between them, the partners have four children ranging from the ages of seven to 16 so they wanted to make a space where people could come to have fun all together.

The co-founders’ initial idea came to them in 2016 when they struggled to find a venue that catered to adults and children alike.

They set up a pop-up park in Watford in 2018 which was a success and continued to work on the project over lockdown.

It took a year to create what Jarman Park sees today, an impressive park kitted out with activities to enjoy.

From the inflatable obstacle course to the delicious cocktails on offer, an evening at Cloud 9 proved to be a great night out.

The park lived up to its motto: Dream big, play hard.