Aiming High in Family Fun
Aim High Park is Fort McMurray’s favourite spot when it comes to high-excitement for children, youth and even grown-ups. Home to the popular trampoline park – it has been a go-to for family entertainment for a year now.
Located on Manning Avenue (across from the Greyhound bus station), the facility opened last November. It is approximately 15,000 square feet; and includes a 5,000 square feet trampoline park, 3,000 square feet indoor playground, with a designated toddler area, 13-station Virtual Reality (VR) arcade and an escape room, to name a few highlights.
“The trampoline park is also equipped with a sound system and neon disco lights, which makes it the best place in town to host kids and teen parties. The playground area is the largest in town. It includes a section designated for kids zero to five years old. A great place overall to challenge your imagination and your sense of adventure,” said Lana Wang, Owner at Aim High Park.
Wang moved to Fort McMurray from Calgary in 2014, and before co-founding Aim High Park, was an IT project manager with the Municipality.
“All our business partners are parents, who felt the need to create some fun and a healthy environment for kids. We have two founders who came up with two ideas, one is for the trampoline, and the second one is for VR. Following extensive research and brainstorming, we finalized the business to be three in one – trampoline, VR and playground, which we believe is the future trend to create a family entertainment centre,” Wang explained.
And, while the community response has been great – the park averaged 750 people in one day last winter, attendance fluctuates.
“It hasn’t been easy, there have been a lot of challenges that come with opening a brand-new place. But, overall the feedback and the support from the community has been great,” she said.
“The winter months were extremely busy. We were very thankful for that. Spring and summer were a different dynamic, and we need to adjust. With the nice weather, people spend more time outdoors and we have seen a decline in visits.”
Nevertheless, the group has come far enough to host summer camps in its first year.
“Summer camp is the first program we introduced and we had a great response from the community. The kids loved it and the feedback was very positive. We will continue having our camps during school breaks,” Wang continued.
The camp averaged over 20 children per week. Capacity is 30 for children six to 14.
“We had weekly themes. During our second week, for example, we had a Superhero theme and had a visit from the RCMP as well as visited Fire Hall 1, which the kids loved. We also had daily crafts, dodgeball tournament, Virtual Reality time, science experiments, glow in the dark cops and robbers, neon parties in the trampolines, and more,” she said.
“We are also introduced Virtual Reality camps, which included all the activities previously mentioned and a lot more VR.”
Aim High plans to continue offering camps during the year, with day camps planned for non-school Fridays.
Future plans also include hosting fitness classes, and a variety of virtual reality programs, such as VR E-sport league, Mixed Reality, VR large-scale escape room, VR education.
“We also hosted community events like the Easter Egg Hunt, which was great and plan to host the Halloween Haunted Playground and Breakfast with Santa this year.”
Discounts for multicultural events like Eid and Diwali were also extended.
“We will continue having all-inclusive events every month. These are great for all ages; and include all you can play, all you can jump, all you can play VR, all you can eat and all you can drink (pop or water) and we also have a DJ neon party and a lot of door prizes,” she explained.
“We are a firm believer in the local community. We sponsored many local organization events. We want the local community to feel our local existence and come to work with us to make Fort McMurray a more attractive and sustainable community,” added Wang.
Aim High by The Numbers
- 13,897 Grip Socks Sold
- 9,416 Registered Customers
- 8,000+ Water Bottles Sold
- 800+ Gift Cards Sold
- 523 Happy Easter Egg Hunters
- 206+ Birthday Parties Hosted
- 50+ VR Games For All Ages
Cher Yan, daughter of Aim High Park owner Lana Wang, paints an underwater sea mural during the development stages of the trampoline park. Photo by Aim High Park
Local children enjoyed summer camp at Aim High for its first season. Photo by Aim High Park