Recreation center to expand with indoor playground

Mankato Free Press (May 1, 2023) — An anonymous donor has given $50,000 to the Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center.

The donation came by way of the Mankato Area Foundation and was given to support the recreation center’s indoor playground expansion project.

The center’s expansion was announced in November, and work began with grantors and donors to raise funds for the project.

The 2,200-square-foot expansion will be home to a large play structure along with accessible ground elements. One unique feature of the expansion is a small exercise space for adults so parents can walk on a treadmill or ride an exercise bike while still being able to watch their children play.

The indoor playground, like the rest of the center, will be open for both members and non-members. The planned playground will provide additional recreation options for the center’s growing Fit Kids program.

The center is a multi-functional recreation, fitness, senior and events center. It opened in 2000 with a six-lane lap and recreation pool with slide, gyms, a walking track, a fitness center and meeting rooms, but did not have a dedicated children’s play space indoors.

“Generosity, philanthropy, and investment in rural Minnesota is what built this facility in 2000,” stated center Executive Director Ryan Yunkers in a news release. “It’s wonderful to see that generous spirit alive and well again surrounding something that should benefit children and families for decades to come. A donation of this size makes a significant impact on our campaign.”

To make a donation to the project, contact Yunkers at 507-726-6730 or visit