Minot needs indoor playground

Martina Louise Kranz


The winter season is long in North Dakota. I’ve lived in Minot for 20 + years and babysat my first granddaughter through many winters without anywhere for me to bring her to exercise, play, and socialize with other children. Now, I’ve been blessed with another granddaughter, and she is 11-months old and learning to walk.

I’m writing to the Minot Daily News to voice my concern and frustration about Minot’s lack of indoor playgrounds for infants and toddlers. The playground in the mall now, near Old Navy and J.C. Penney, is pathetic. It’s too small, always dirty, and the animals are too slippery and hard. The city should take one of those huge spaces recently vacated by Sears and Herberger’s and transform it into a multi-age playground; an area for infants/toddlers, and another area for bigger children to run and play without endangering the others and without charging the parents an entrance fee. Higher Air Ground and the Fun Zone are too dangerous for children who only crawl, stand, or just learned to walk.

The mall would probably attract even more business if parents had a place to bring their small children. I understand that the mall is place of business, but the manager(s) could be civic-minded and create a space where parents could shop and bring their children for some play and exercise without breaking their bank account to do so. For example, the Minot Air Force base’s indoor playground at Rough Riders’ contains an area with mats on the floor where small children can crawl, stand, or toddle.

I would love to see a large, clean, safe, and fun indoor playground for the small children of Minot.