Indoor Family Entertainment Centers Are In


With more wintry weather ahead, you might be looking for indoor activities.

In fact, family entertainment centers are growing across the country.

The new year is starting with a roar at The Washington Pavilion. The facility is adding more children’s programming, including story time.

“It’s exciting for the girls and me to have a place to go and spend our mornings,” Amy Kimber said.

Kimber takes her kids to the Pavillion a couple of times a week. In addition to this story time, it’s also adding more kid-friendly programs in the Visual Arts Center and the Kirby Science Discovery Center.

“As our society becomes more engaged in technology, there’s also the need to experience things as a family,” Director of Programming and Education Rose Ann Hofland said.

In addition to more programs, The Washington Pavilion is also seeing more kids walking through its doors.

“Our education programs have exploded over the past six years, which is wonderful. Our community is growing, so I think more people are coming to experience science and art. They see the value in that,” Hofland said.

Just south of Sioux Falls, a Harrisburg business has jumped into family entertainment. Air Madness, an indoor trampoline park, opened just a few months ago.

“When kids get an opportunity to put their cell phones down, when adults get the opportunity to put their cell phones down and interact with their kids, they feel like, ‘This is something we could get used to,'” General Manager Tyler Pederson said.

In fact, among family entertainment centers, indoor trampoline parks are becoming very popular.

Hundreds of places like this have opened across the country over the past couple of years.

“Adults will come in and have just as much fun as the kids,” Pederson said.

Different experiences that families are searching for in this digital age.

“When the weather is bad, you need a place to take the energy out,” Kimber said.

With online shopping, creating an experience is also key for physical storefronts.

That’s why you see everything from small boutiques to big retailers, such as Target, adding programs.

While family entertainment centers are growing, there still have been some failures.

For example, Sioux Falls’ first indoor go-kart racing facility closed after just a few months in business.

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