New business brings the park indoors
On a sweltering, muggy Tuesday afternoon, children gathered at an Eagan park to play basketball and climb the jungle gym but didn’t have to worry about sunburn. Eagan-based Good Times Park recently brought the community park indoors.
“We are trying to provide a place for families to get exercise and have fun,” said Good Times Park owner Bonnie O’Meara.
Like an outdoor park, Good Times — located at 3265 Northwood Circle — has a basketball court, small turf soccer field, a hopscotch area and a 5,000-square-foot playground complete with a jungle gym and slides. Instead of gravel, the playground floor is made of a thick, squishy, sand-colored rubber material.
In addition to outdoor park features, Good Times features oversized foam building blocks, a bouncy pad and an iPlay game area.
Children who want a quieter experience can draw on white boards or read books in the “doodle area.”
When they take a break from playing, families can enjoy snacks or lunch in the picnic area.
“We allow families to bring their own food to keep the cost down for them,” O’Meara said.
Like an outdoor park, there are no employees on site. However, Good Times Park has a network of security cameras and locked doors that are code accessed.
The mother of two boys, O’Meara was inspired to create the indoor park after becoming frustrated by existing family fitness options in her community.
“Many of the fitness clubs don’t have many family activities, and outdoor parks aren’t year-round,” the Lakeville resident said.
O’Meara said she had ruminated about the concept since 2007 but was hesitant to start a business at the height of the recession.
By 2012, she quit her corporate job and, with a nearly $1 million investment, turned her dream into a reality.
O’Meara said she had reservations about leaving her 20-year career in human resources but felt confident in her business plan.
“I liked the company I worked for, and to give up a pay check and benefits was tough,” she said. “But I’ve dreamed of having my own business.”
And since Good Times Park opened in April, it has acquired 250 members.
“The number of families becoming members has exceeded my expectations,” O’Meara said.
Unlike a neighborhood park, there is a fee to play at Good Times.
Families can either purchase a day pass which ranges from $8 for one child to $35 for five children or purchase one of two membership options.
Monthly memberships range from $15 for one child to $42 for five children, while annual memberships range from $115 for one child to $435 for five children.
Larger groups are $7 per child. Adults accompanying children and children under age 1 are free. Good Times Park also offers discounts for child care organizations.
Memberships can only be purchased online, since the facility is unstaffed. Computers are provided on site. Good Times Park is open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week.
For more information on Good Times Park or to purchase passes, visit www.goodtimespark.com.