Project manager Joe Klassen, co-owners Chris and Dana MacPherson, mayor Ken Wiebe and Sharpie broke ground on the upcoming indoor play centre Sharptooth Adventures on June 6. (REG BRAUN)
A new dinosaur themed play centre is coming to Morden.
Sharptooth Adventures will be an indoor play centre for children 12 and under, and co-owner Chris MacPherson said he expects the business will be open mid-fall.
MacPherson met his wife Dana 19 years ago, and at the time her plan was to work in a day care. MacPherson said that plan got a little sidetracked when they started a family early, and then again when they bought the Dairy Queen and moved to Morden.
“Now that we’ve sold the Dairy Queen last year, the next step was to do a business that she wanted to do,” MacPherson said. “Of course, it’s dealing with kids, so we’ve kind of come full circle.”
The $1.1 million project will be 5,000 square feet and will feature an enormous play structure that is about 40 feet deep, 40 feet wide and 20 feet tall. The second level will feature another 30 feet of playground.
Sharptooth Adventures will have party rooms for birthday parties, a toddler area and a restaurant. “Everything in there is baked, so it’s healthier but it still has all your favourites like pizza, chicken strips and burgers and fries,” MacPherson said. “We did some testing on cooking fries in the oven, and it takes six minutes but it comes out the same. You couldn’t even tell it wasn’t fried.”
There will be bouncy castles and a climbing wall, and MacPherson said there may be a golf simulator in the future.
MacPherson said they took inspiration from some of the play centres in Winnipeg. “There’s nothing really like that out here,” he said. “In the summertime you can go outside but in the wintertime it’s a pretty long cold winter, so what do you do?”
The reason for the theme is the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre, MacPherson said. “I serve on one of the tourism boards and we talk about the Mosasaur statue and now there’s the sea turtle and we’ve got the CFDC, so we decided to do a dinosaur themed play centre to kind of stick with that feeling and build on that,” he said. “[It will] hopefully turn Morden into more of a destination for people to come visit because there’s more and more things coming that are along the prehistoric era.”
Another feature of Sharptooth Adventures will be its baby sitting service during the day. Parents can book ahead and drop their children off for a few hours to take care of anything they need to get done, like groceries. “Same with the evening, maybe a date night or something, parents can have the opportunity to book ahead and we’ll have an employee on hand to spend the next few hours with their child,” MacPherson said.
The play centre even has a mascot in Sharpie the Sharptooth, who will greet people in the vestibule when they arrive.
MacPherson said there has been excitement already, and is hoping Morden will come check out Sharptooth Adventures when it opens. “One family called Dana the savior of the parents in the area because now they have something to do with their kids in the winter,” he said.
MacPherson said he wanted to thank Morden’s council, the community development department and MSTW.