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WCCO Viewers’ Choice For Best Kids’ Play Area

EDINA, Minn. (WCCO) — Avoiding cabin fever is hard, especially with kids. Parents seek out indoor play areas all across the state, looking for a way to burn some energy.

We wanted to find the best of Minnesota, and your votes sent Natalie Nyhus to Edinborough Park in Edina.

There are many Minnesota days that keep kids from going outside — but when there’s so much fun indoors, who cares what’s going on out there!

“It is so important, because you can’t just be active when it’s sunny and warm,” Edinborough Park general manager Patty McGrath said. “You need to be active year-round.”

Edinborough Park — voted best of Minnesota — is sunny and 70 degrees year-round. It’s a one-acre, fully enclosed, picture-perfect playground and a sight to behold.

“You should see when kids are at the front desk. They’re just saying, ‘Look at it! I want to go!” McGrath said.

It was built in the 90s as a place where young people could live, work and play. It’s a concept that has stood strong for three decades.

“Before Adventure Peak, we hosted weddings here,” McGrath said. “Now they may have kids or grandkids, and they come back. They have these great memories of how amazing Edinborough Park was.”

It has changed over time — proms and wedding receptions have given way to giggles and games. From basketball hoops to hoola hoops, anyone can take a spin in the Great Hall. Just when you thought you’d seen it all, a bounce house floats in the corner.

On the other end of the park is what used to be a skating rink and is now the jewel of Edinborough — Adventure Peak.

“It’s a play structure that is 40 feet tall,” McGrath said. “It’s kind of like an adult chutes and ladders.”

Park goers can climb, crawl and slide. All are welcome, including big kids.

“We see parents, we see caregivers and grandparents bringing their kids in,” McGrath said. “There’s a lot of relationship building that goes on.”

And it’s a good place for kids to stay busy and active.

“They can burn off a lot more energy here than they can at Nana and Papa’s house,” one grandmother at Edinborough Park said. “It keeps them active, socialized with other kids.”

The adjacent senior center even gives the elderly the opportunity to stay connected with the young, though mostly from a distance.

“That’s one of my favorite parts is the intergenerational activities that we have,” she said. “You can see them just smile. It’s really precious.”

Edinborough is a place where everyone can find their smile, whether they are 80 or 8.

“Kids need that exploration,” McGrath said. “When it is 30 below and maybe it’s not OK to go outside, we’re the perfect place for kids to be able to do that.”

Edinborough also has a pool and amphitheater with concerts, magicians and other kids’ programming. There is also a concession stand, but you can bring your own food if you’d like. It costs $7.50 for kids and adults get in for free.

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