The Sandlot indoor play space brings more visitors to Harrisburg

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HARRISBURG, S.D. (KELO) — Harrisburg continues to attract new businesses, including some special destinations that are helping bring new visitors to town, even during the pandemic.

“It is a sensory play space for kiddos to come and indulge and ignite all of their senses,” The Sandlot owner Jaclyn Small said. 

From water, to climbing, imagination play and its namesake…

“You open that door to the sand and their eyes just light up,” Small said. 

The Sandlot is a unique indoor idea inspired by kids.

“We have two older girls that were kind of the masterminds behind this who said, why can’t we have sand inside? Being in South Dakota we don’t get a lot of outdoor time, especially the nice sandy beaches, so we’re like yeah, we can do that, we’re going to make it happen,” Small said. 

An indoor tropical paradise that’s so popular with the kids, it’s attracting tiny visitors from all over the region.

“We get them from all over, we have Nebraska families visit, Iowa, Minnesota…they’re coming from all over to check it out,” Small said. 

“We rode up with a friend so we could hang out with our friends before baby comes. We heard about it on Facebook, saw some other friends had come here and said it was super fun,” Orange City mom Stina Howie said. 

Stina Howie came up with a friend from Orange City specifically to visit the Sandlot.

“I haven’t seen anywhere that has sand inside before so I thought that was a cool idea,” Howie said.

“Almost every day someone will come in and say this place is so great, we’ve never been here before,” Betsy Schwenk with Lava’s Coffee & Cafe said. 

The Sandlot shares space with Lava’s Coffee and Cafe, a relationship that’s beneficial for both.

“It’s been fantastic we’ve had an increase in traffic and a lot of young families coming in,” Schwenk said. 

“What mom or dad or grandma doesn’t want to get a cup of coffee while their kids play?” Small said. 

The Sandlot also partners with Functional Kids’ Therapy and has a full time occupational therapist on staff who hosts sensory classes and camps for kids.

The center is also providing private play options for families not comfortable with group play.

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