Photo courtesy Eagle's Nest Indoor Playground
JuiceBox has seen them all. Many times. And we’ve seen some that aren’t on this list, like the Burger King off of Hiawatha by the light rail station and the McDonald’s in Plymouth by our pediatrician. But we don’t go there unless we’re desperate, and never while contagious or with compromised immune systems. (Obviously!)
Here are our best picks for large-motor adventures that won’t include threat of frostbite. There’s always threat of germs. But you gotta run your own personal risk-reward calculations, parentals. And always bring hand sanitizer and earplugs.
(Note: All prices are for kids only. Parents and caregivers are free!)
4580 N. Victoria St., Shoreview, 651-490-4700
M-Sa 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Su 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
$8.95/non-resident ages 1-17, $7.40/resident ages 1-17. Indoor playground only: $5/ages 1-12. Membership passes available.
What’s to Love: Jungle-themed and appropriately challenging for the over-age-6 set (they’ll get tired); kid-friendly café; great price
Insider Tip: Add the waterpark for a great deal and a whole day of fun. There’s no dedicated toddler space so watch the littlest ones.
400 NW 10th St., New Brighton, 651-638-2130
M-Sa 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Su 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
$5.50/ages 1-12 years, $3, after 6 pm Monday-Friday, Pass: $55 for 12 visits.
What’s to Love: Dedicated space for kids under age 3; sometimes the gym is open—and there is scheduled preschool gym time Monday and Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Insider Tip: Great Friday night family date—Only $3 per kid after 6 p.m.! Bring your own picnic and drinks, or cash for the vending machines (if you’re cool with unhealthy treats).
7700 York Ave. S., Edina, 952-833-9540
M-Sa 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Su 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
$7/daily.10-admission pass: $60. Membership passes available.
What’s to Love: Special area for kids under age 4; huge running-around space with park-provided equipment; kid-friendly café; sanitized daily.
Insider Tip: Weekdays. Weekdays. Weekdays. And if not, then first thing in the morning on the weekends.
3265 Northwood Circle, Ste. 100, Eagan, 651-454-5736
M-Su 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
$8/one child, $15.50/two children, $22.50/three children, $29/four children, $7/per child for five or more children. Membership passes available.
What’s to Love: Family owned; outdoor playground equipment and feel; large-motor creative building space; dedicated space for toddlers
Insider Tip: Bring your own food—there’s picnic space but no restaurant or vending machines. Unstaffed—you must purchase online for an entrance code, and clean up after yourself.
60 E. Broadway, Bloomington, 952-883-8800
M-Th 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m., F-Sa 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Su 10:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
All day wristband: $32.99, Point passes (each ride has a point value): ranges from 6-84 points, $6.90-$62.99
What’s to Love: Great for older kids, out-of-town visitors, and those days when you need to get a little shopping done too; no shortage of food (or latte) options; log chute
Insider Tip: One does not just “drop in” to Nickelodeon Universe. Prepare as you would for a trip to Valley Fair. Weekdays and evenings are less busy than weekends.