ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s been a hard year to be a kid with schools and most entertainment options shuttered, but a new venue geared toward kids is aiming to change that.
Jungle Jam Indoor Playground, a new 25,000-square-foot venue for kids to climb, play and jump opened in mid-May at 9227 Coors NW.
Owner JD Lopez said the all-ages indoor playground features a three-story climbing jungle gym, obstacle courses, trampolines, a dodgeball area, an arcade and a cafe area.
Lopez, who owns Jungle Jam with his wife, Rania, said the idea for an indoor playground was formed several years ago when his wife visited a similar venue in California with family.
“We just always kind of thought ‘you know, this would be so cool if Albuquerque had something like this,'” he said. “At the time, I think there were a few trampoline parks that were here but nothing with a big play structure.”
Opening Jungle Jam on the West Side was important to Lopez, who grew up on that side of town in the ’90s.
He said that as a kid there were very few entertainment options west of the river, and even now, most of the entertainments geared toward kids are located on Albuquerque’s east side.
“We wanted to build something on the West Side that the community could be proud of,” he wrote in an email. “Something fun, something local.”
While the venue just recently opened, Lopez said the process of starting the business began in 2018 and the original opening date fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said the playground was initially slated to open last March, and the unexpected 14-month-long closure was difficult to weather as a new business since he was unable to apply to many of the programs set up to help struggling businesses.
“Jungle Jam didn’t qualify for relief in large part because we never opened,” he said. “We had no 2019 tax returns, no history to ‘prove’ we needed help.”
Lopez said the playground has been well received since its official opening.
“We’ve had a lot of positive feedback with regards to what we offer and I think most parents are just happy that there’s a place for their kids,” he said.
Pricing for the playground is based on age and the amount of time spent at the venue with prices starting at $14.99 for two hours of play for children between the ages of 1 and 4.
Adults who want to play alongside their child pay half the cost of their child’s ticket, and all guests playing on the equipment must purchase and wear special grippy socks.
The venue also operates a small cafe and serves pizza and concessions like pretzels, but Lopez said he hopes to eventually expand the menu.
Kirtland Federal new branch
Kirtland Federal Credit Union added a sixth location with its opening of a branch at 6550 Holly NE.
The 1,208 square-foot-branch, near Paseo del Norte and San Pedro, will offer complete banking and lending services for its members, according to the credit union.
The bank will hold a grand opening celebration featuring prizes 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday June 12.
A spokesperson for the credit union said that beginning June 7, members going to the new branch will have the chance to win prizes or enter a contest to win $100.
Pilar Martinez covers retail for the Albuquerque Journal. You can reach her at email@example.com or by phone at 505-823-3887