What is a Rumpus Room?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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A rumpus room, or recreation room, is an indoor space designed for the recreation of children and adults. It may lean more toward one group or the other depending upon what people want to do with the room. It may not even be a part of the main rooms of the house. People might use a garage or basement as a rumpus room, or it might be designed in an unused room in the house.

A rumpus room, provided it is safe and well ventilated can make a great place for kids to play or convene with their friends. Some feature games like table tennis, foosball, or air hockey. Others will have a supply of games, a television, and perhaps video game consoles or DVD players. Furniture tends to be comfortable and durable instead of necessarily matching and elegant. You certainly can purchase expensive matching furniture for a rumpus room if you want to, but if its primary use is for children and teens, it may not be the best choice.


In its simplest incarnation, the rumpus room for younger kids might be a basement or room in which most of the toys are located. While the rest of the house can remain clean, the kids don’t have to worry about the consequences of building a train track through the room, or having a large party of stuffed animals. It’s devoted to the “rumpus” or recreation, as opposed to the more “civilized” rooms in the house.

Adults can have all types of rumpus rooms, many with lots of expensive adult toys. The rumpus room for adults might be a good place to hold parties, to watch wide screen TVs, to play pool, or to serve drinks from a bar. Your only limits in designing a recreation room are your imagination, available space, and budget.

If you do plan to use a garage or basement for your recreation room, you may need to make changes to the room in order to fully enjoy it in all weather. If you plan to add flooring, heaters, or update the wiring for electronics, make sure to get building permits prior to beginning. If you make extensive changes to your home, you usually need permits to do so. Though there are certainly many rumpus rooms that aren't up to code in existence, these can be challenging if you plan to sell your home at a later point. Rooms in violation of building code can reduce your overall selling price.

You should also give some consideration to the recreation room located in an area remote from the house if it is going to be “party central” for teenagers. If you can’t see and hear what’s happening in a rec room, you might want to plan on attending and chaperoning such parties. These provide a safer environment for all attendees and an opportunity to stop any activities that teens might engage in, in an unsupervised environment. At the very least, plan to check in on the kids every 20 minutes or so to be certain everyone is behaving in a safe and legal manner.


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