Jungle adventure stories, films and a TV character named “Jungle Jim” might have inspired the evolutionary jungle gym. However, the first jungle gym, invented and patented in 1920, originated from a geometric bamboo structure a mathematician built. The purpose was to teach children math coordinates and spatial reasoning through play. But basically kids, and adults who enjoy being a kid, love to hang, crawl and climb. These facilities have jungle gyms for diverse age groups.
Brown Family Adventure Park
14200 Lincoln St., NE, Suite 500
Ham Lake, MN 55304
This indoor park replicates the natural jungle with a two-story tree house, giant mural, slides and suspended bridges. In this pressure-free family setting, children can climb, explore and play. Working adults don’t have to postpone job-related projects to watch their kids. The park has a Wi-Fi facility. So while the kids are having fun, parents can plug away on laptops and from smart mobile devices.
Big Thrill Factory
17585 Highway 7
Minnetonka, MN 55345
This amusement park has indoor attractions and a seasonal outdoor playground. During the warm months, kids and adults can test reflexes, strength, balance and coordination on the web-like Spider Climb. Once at the top, the reward is a slide to the bottom. Anyone who has ever had days when they’d like to climb a wall can try climbing Big Thrill Factory’s outdoor rock wall. This 25-foot man-made Mount Everest is a feat of strength and endurance.
Episcopal Homes of Minnesota
490 E. Lynnhurst Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55104
In collaboration with Xccent Fitness in Minnesota, this community for seniors opened a modified jungle gym in St. Paul. The jungle gym is Minnesota’s first motion wellness system to assist the elderly with balance, coordination and physical stability. It features instructions for upper and lower core body exercises to maintain mobility and prevent falls. A side benefit of the motion wellness jungle gym is increased social interaction.
7700 York Ave., S.
Edina, MN 55435
With one of the largest indoor play structures, Edinborough Park’s Adventure Peak is a jungle gym outing for toddlers and children under adult supervision. From a 37-foot level, one can climb into the 30-foot tall oak tree, slip into one of four giant tube slides, or wash away on the triple wave slide. The adventure includes a canyon, a climbing wall and a splendid 30-foot lookout. A rapid super slide from the lookout lands the explorer on solid ground.
Related: Best Parks In Minnesota
Good Times Park
3265 Northwood Circle, Suite 100
Eagan, MN 55121
This indoor park is made for children and their families. The park has a full jungle gym for children. Equipped with climbing bars, slides and other apparatuses, the play area also has games that develop cognitive skills. Children can hang, climb, crawl, learn and dangle in secure surroundings.
Maple Maze Community Center
12951 Weaver Lake Road
Maple Grove, MN 55311
This community center welcomes children up to age 12. Children can take different routes to walk, climb, run and explore the maze. The odyssey can begin with climbing the rock wall or reaching the next level of a tree house. New routes mapped out on slides take the young traveler to new points of interest. Long tubes to push and rings to crawl over heighten the adventure. Toddlers have the most fun. In an expanded play area, they can step into a lion’s mouth and slide downwards onto an alligator’s back. Did someone say something about jumping from the frying pan into the fire?
Related: Best Gym In The Twin Cities
Linda Cameron has written home design, home improvement and lifestyle articles for The Boston Globe and City Shopper Magazine. She has related interests in the building industry, travel, real estate and financing. She is a contributor to Examiner, House Spot, Techsling and Behance, covering topics on career, people, businesses, education and technology.