Demand for play sets and pools spikes as Minnesota families look for more entertainment at home

(FOX 9)

With city playgrounds closed - or at least discouraged - and kids out of school, parents are looking for alternatives. And the businesses providing those alternatives are working to keep up.

The Halbert brothers in Lakeville, Minnesota are thankful to have a hoop in the driveway. But in the era of COVID-19, their dad decided it’s time for something more, in anticipation of a summer with considerably more time at home.

"They can only play so much basketball," father Jacob Halbert. "We decided it was time to get a swing set. They’ve been wanting one for a long time."

The owner of Millz House in Apple Valley, Minnesota says since the stay-at-home order has forced families to entertain themselves, options for the backyard are in high demand.

They’ve already run out of trampolines as their supplier in Indiana went through three years worth of inventory within two weeks.

Sport courts sales are up and crews installing new swing sets are booked through May.

"The swing set sales are up 250 percent from last year, some of that could be the good weather," said Kate Mills of Millz House.

Pat Henry with Prestige Pools says he’s getting more calls this spring from people inquiring about putting in new pools than he has any other time during his 48 years in business.

"It was slow when it first started," he said. "People were a little apprehensive, but after about two weeks, I think they came to grips they were going to be entertaining themselves at home for quite some time."

Back at Millz House, other aspects of the business are down, mainly the frequent birthday parties they throw on the showroom floor. But, at least for now, the owners feel extremely fortunate.

"Every day we are so thankful we can keep going," said Mills.