The Twin Cities has many indoor playgrounds for little ones to get out those wiggles anytime of year. But if you haven’t yet brought your kids to Good Times Park in Eagan, I HIGHLY suggest putting it on your bucket list for the current it’s-getting-colder-out(!) season.
Good Times Park is a one-of-a-kind, family-owned indoor play place and family recreational park. It was the idea of Bonnie O’Meara, a mom who saw the need for a unique place for families to remain active throughout the year. She and her husband operate the park, which is open 365 days a year from 7:00am to 9:30pm.
ALL DAY, EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR? How is this possible?
Good Times Park is unstaffed, which means that you need to pay online beforehand, or pay electronically using a computer terminal at the door. You can either buy a Play Today Pass or a Membership, and then you’ll get an entrance code to use. The cost for a Play Today Pass is $8.00 – a little higher than most indoor playgrounds – but after spending HOURS here with my kids on our first visit (and not seeing it all!), I can say you easily get your money’s worth here.
Good Times Park is like an outdoor park that was brought inside. An ideal concept for Minnesota, I must say. Just like at the Mall of America you can enjoy an amusement park year-round, at Good Times Park you can play on real playground equipment, enjoy a 40′ x 80′ basketball court, run around on a 4000-square-foot open field and jump on a kangaroo jumper.
A what? Yup – that’s what this unusual but super fun inflated family jumper is. Good Times Park is the first to have a “kangaroo jumper” in Minnesota. My kids couldn’t get enough of this funky thing – it was the first area they had to try out, and it was the last thing they wanted to do before I nearly had to throw them each over my shoulder to get them to leave this place!
There was always someone or a family jumping on the jumper together while we were there (so yes, moms and dads – it’s for you too!). Socks are required so I suggest wearing or bringing some for your whole family.
There are even some play features that MOVE – like this “elevator” that my kids didn’t want to stop riding!
Oh, and I HAVE to mention the Hologram Game. This thing is so cool! There are motion activated games projected on the floor (like who wouldn’t want one of these as a kid?). They’re quick games and change every couple of minutes. My kids loved chasing after and stepping on the projected “objects” that moved, and playing the giant piano!
The Good Times Park Court has many options for ball play – and even has a hopscotch area. We didn’t have time for this area but I can see this as being popular with the older kids.
“The Backyard” is a real field where kids and families can play soccer, football, tag, or even old-fashioned hula hoops.
One thing parents of younger children will like is the Itty Bitty Play Space that’s reserved for infants and toddlers age 3 and under. It’s a safe area for wee ones to crawl around for both fun and sensory development.
What’s an indoor playground without a picnic area? With seating for up to 100, you can bring and enjoy your own food and drink here, and store your belongings in one of the cubbies. It’s the only area of the facility where food and drink are allowed, and some vending machines are available, but I think it’s very cool that you can bring your own for a frugal picnic on a rainy summer day or a freezing-our-noses-off winter night!
Check out their interactive map for all the fun features and areas of the facility (including their Imagine & Build area with giant foam blocks and more)!
What else do you need to know?
I felt this place is very clean and safe. Guests are expected to clean up after themselves, which didn’t seem to be an issue as everything seemed tidy and sanitary.
Without staff, parents might be concerned about what to do in an emergency. We visited on a Monday evening and there were a good number of people there, plus there’s a first aid area.
Overall our family had a GREAT time here (maybe it should be called Great Times Park instead?).
My kids had so much fun and I felt good about the open space of the facility – I could sit on a bench (yes, there are several!) and see them whether they were in the playground area or on the family jumper or the Hologram Game. Will we come back? When we left my kids were already talking about coming back, so that’s a definite “yup.” Next time I think we’ll bring some friends, enjoy a picnic lunch and stay a bit longer.
$8.00 per child age 1 – 17 years old (kids under age 1 and accompanying adults are FREE!)
For more information, visit the Good Times Park website. It’s located at:
Here’s a map to help you find it, too.
(Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary passes for our kids in exchange for my sharing my experience. However, as always, all opinions are 100% mine.)