Calaveras County’s newest family-entertainment spot, Barrel of Monkeez, is now open. And there’s plenty of fun to be had for all ages. The genius idea of local parents Jennifer and Matthew Iannerelli, Barrel of Monkeez is an activity center that has everything from human hamster bubble bowling and bounce houses to mini-golf and a Magic Monkey floor (an interactive gaming area that has over 30 different games).
This unique activity center is a place for families to bring their kids (little and not so little) to let loose, go wild and have some quality time together. Oh, and don’t be surprised when you get there…the whole place is lit up with black lights.
We recently sat down with Jennifer Iannarelli to get the scoop on everything Barrel of Monkeez has to offer visitors.
Q: What inspired the idea for Barrel of Monkeez?
A: I’d say our son. He’s three and we found there was a need in the community for something for kids. We’ve taken him to bounce house places down the hill, and we thought, “It would be so cool if we could open something for kids up here, since there’s not really anything like that up here.” We created it to be more of a family entertainment center so parents, grandparents and other adults in the family could get involved with their kids.
Q: Is Barrel of Monkeez just for little kids?
A: We don’t really have an age range. It’s really for 6 months infants all the way up to adults. We do have the toddler area that’s available for the little kids, and we’ve had the 16 to 18-year-olds in here with their parents and they are loving the laser tag and bowling. The adults get involved too. They love competing with their kids and doing the games themselves.
Q: Tell me about the space, what activities are offered?
A: There’s the 9-hole mini-golf, laser tag, bounce houses, human hamster bowling, a karaoke studio and the Monkey Magic board.
Q: Human Hamster Bubble Bowling!?!
A: My husband saw it, and he had to have it. People love it. I’ve gotten in it. You walk and roll in it. Have some people gotten crazy in it? Yes…
Q: From what you’ve seen, what have been the most popular activities so far?
A: They’ve all been pretty popular, but I think the most unique is the human hamster bowling and the monkey board. The 6-and-up kids love the laser tag. I’d say the monkey magic board has been pretty popular with the younger age kids. And of course, the bounce houses are just a good work out.
Q: What have people been saying about the activities center? What kind of feedback have you been getting?
A: Families absolutely love it. I think people are kind of taken aback by the detail we put into it. They love the concept. Seeing the parents and even the grandparents interact with their kids…they’ll come out of the laser tag and say, “I got them! He got me!”–it’s just a really cool feeling.
Q: Why should visitors add Barrel of Monkeez to their agenda when they’re visiting? What makes this place so unique?
A: Well, there’s nothing up here like it. And those who have visited from out of town, they’ve said, “There’s nothing like this by us. There’s nothing for kids by us.” But what people like most about this is the diverse activities all under one roof. It’s not just bounce houses. It’s not just mini golf. It gives them a variety of activities to choose from.
Q: You’re located at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds. Will you be open during the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee?
A: We will be open during fair. We’re probably going to pre-sell our tickets. We’ll be on their Website just like if you were going to purchase admission or carnival tickets.
NEED TO KNOW INFO…
2465 Gun Club Road
Angels Camp, CA 95222
Located at the Calaveras County Fairgrounds
Cost varies depending on the age of kids, number of adults and which activities you want to participate in. Generally speaking, a family of four that would like to be able to do everything at Barrel of Monkeez would cost $40 as part of the Go Bananas package. Specific pricing information can be found at their Website.
Check their Website calendar or Facebook weekly for the most up-to-date hours as they close for private parties.
- Barrel of Monkeez is a shoe-free activity center whether you’re participating or not. However, guests are welcome to bring indoor house shoes such as slippers to wear when they’re playing.
- Outside food is allowed (but no peanuts or shellfish, please!). And if you forget lunch and happen to get hungry while you’re there, Round Table Pizza will deliver for free (plus offers a 10% discount on orders for Barrel of Monkeez).
- Barrel of Monkeez is an ideal party location. You can reserve their party room or rent out the entire space for an afternoon or evening.
What are you waiting for? Go have some family fun!
Photos courtesy of Ileana Grycel Photography