Glenview dad jumps into kids’ entertainment
Jonathan Schoenberg's love of inflatables as a child led him to buy an inflatable for his kids, and then start his business, which now consists of 30 inflatables available for customers to rent.. | Jackie Pilossoph~For Sun-Times Media
Jiggle and Giggle and North Shore Photo Booth
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:13AM
GLENVIEW — When Jonathan Schoenberg was a kid, he went to camp in Niles, where on rainy days the camp director would convert the ice rink into a mini golf course with an inflatable.
“I used to pray for rain so I could jump in the bounce house,” said Schoenberg, who is now 43 and the father of three children, “I loved bouncing endlessly.”
In 2006, the Glenview dad and food services sales representative purchased a small bounce house for his kids, and said it tore within two days. The experience got him thinking about purchasing a commercial grade bounce house, and that’s how his children’s entertainment businesses, Jiggle and Giggle, and North Shore Photo Booth got started.
Jiggle and Giggle has about 30 inflatables, which can be rented out for parties, picnics and other events, equipment that Schoenberg said he makes sure is always clean and safe.
Aside from basic bounce houses, Jiggle and Giggle has dozens of interactive inflatables, such as a fire engine slide, a monster obstacle course, curved water slides, a giant Twister board, and Schoenberg’s favorite, bubble bowling, where kids get into a huge inflatable hamster ball and roll it to knock down pins.
“I strive for the wow factor,” said Schoenberg.
It was the wow factor that led him in 2011 to expand his business by purchasing photo booths. Not just any photo booths, however.
“These are open air next generation state of the art, interactive photo booths,” said Schoenberg, “I was dazzled by the features and saw the potential of it.”
“People are always looking for something new and different,” said party planner and owner of Northbrook based Life of the Party, Shari Rodin, who has hired North Shore Photo Booth for some of her client’s events. “Photo booths have been around for awhile, but this is a new twist on it. It’s a cross between a green screen photo set up and a photo booth.”
According to Schoenberg, the photo booths offer several features. These include the ability to enhance and decorate photos by creating unique backgrounds, drawing on the photos with a stylus pen, dragging and dropping clip art graffiti and superimposing a face on an image.
Schoenberg said he’s had many different kinds of bookings for the booths, from formal downtown weddings to casual backyard graduation parties.
“I wish I had a nickel for every time someone came up to me and said, ‘I was just at a party and they had a photo booth but it was nothing like this,’” he said.
A photo booth costs $300 per hour to rent, with a two hour minimum, but the cost decreases with the length of rental time.
“People like to be silly,” said Rodin, “Plus, they walk away with something tangible, something that will bring back memories of the event.”
Jiggle and Giggle and North Shore Photo Booth also offer complete carnival packages, with games, tents, prizes, airbrush and glitter tattoos, food machines for cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn, and a portable mini golf course.
“Kids just love it,” said Jim Cardamone, general manager at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, who has hired Schoenberg for the past four years for the club’s Halloween parties and other private club events. “They can’t get enough.”
“The best part of this whole business is seeing kids having a great time,” said Schoenberg, “And the satisfied parent knowing they got a good return for their money.”