Written by Karyn Powers
Growing up in southwestern Wisconsin with five brothers and sisters, my parents had the best boredom-busting formula…
Now, of course, these were the days of free-range childrearing, where kids could leave home after breakfast and not come back till the street lights came on.
Even so, occasionally we would announce:
“Mom, there’s nothing to do!”
My mother would take you by the hand (boy or girl) and lead you to the utility room off the kitchen, where a basket heaped with wrinkled clothing sat at the base of an ironing board. She would smile demurely, pat your hand, and then look at her watch, announcing:
“If you can’t find something to do in 5 minutes, I’ll FIND you something to do. Clock’s ticking!”
Here are a few ideas to get your family’s spring started out right and keep you busy all summer long — and away from the family ironing board!
Be sure to view our 2018 Recreation Guide for full descriptions of the events highlighted below and many more!
Wausau & Marathon County Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department 2018 Spring & Summer Programs
BEGINNING IN MAY
- Trail Tales — Take a family-friendly saunter from Alexander Airport Park to Memorial Park on Wausau’s southeast side. Read two children’s books as you walk along the trail, with pages stationed along the route. Ends May 31, 2018. Learn more here.
- Camping Registration — On-site, self-registration opened May 1, 2018. Phone reservations (715 261-1566) began May 4.
- Swim Lesson Registration — Registration began May 1. Three 3-week sessions will be offered through the summer ranging from beginner parent–child classes to advanced swimmer classes. Session I: June 11–29. Session II: July 2–20. Session III: July 23–August 10. Call 715-261-1550.
- Marathon Junction in Marathon Park — Marathon Junction will be open for the weekends May 25–28 and June 1–3 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Beginning June 8, the Junction will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Marathon Junction includes soft-serve ice cream, train rides, concessions, and a private rental room with air conditioning.
- Family Yoga — Family Yoga for ages 6 years and older (must include one adult). Runs May 29 through July 12 (no class the week of July 4). Tuesday/Thursday nights, 6–7 p.m. East Gate Hall, Marathon Park. $67 fee includes four family members. $11 per additional child or adult. Bring your own mat and water bottle. Stop in or mail registration form and payment to the Park Administrative Office, 212 River Dr., Suite 2, Wausau.
BEGINNING IN JUNE / JULY / AUGUST
- Splash Pad opens June 2 & 3. (Closed June 3–7). Beginning June 8, the Splash Pad is open daily 12 to 7 p.m. Ages 10 and under. Must be accompanied by an adult. $1 per person, infants under 1 year are free with paying adult.
- Public Swimming Pools — Open June 10. All pools feature Open Swim 1:00 to 7:50 p.m. daily. Memorial Pool: 500 Memorial Park Rd., Kaiser Pool: 900 E. Bridge St., Schulenburg Pool: 1533 Summit Dr.
- Wausau City Morning Playgrounds — Runs June 11 through August 3. Grades K–4. Mon/Wed & Tue/Thurs. Friday (morning & afternoon). Closed July 4. Supervised sites. $35 Residents; $44 Nonresidents.
- Splash Into Safety (FREE) — Family Water Safety Fair on June 16 from 10 a.m. to noon. All children receive a FREE life jacket. Parents must accompany children. Memorial Pool. Pre-registration required. Max. 100 people. Call 715-847-2380 to register.
- Wausau City Tennis Camp — June 11 to August 13. (No camp July 4.) Ages 5–17 years. Week-long, half-day camps. Times and fees vary by age and residency. Call 715-261-1550 or visit our tennis webpage for details.
- Family Tennis Lessons — Session I: June 11–28. Session II: July 2–19. Session III: July 23–August 9. Mon/Tues/Thurs nights from 6:00 to 7:15 p.m. Up to four family members. (Must include one adult.) Ages 5 years and up. Learn and play tennis together. Oak Island Courts. $70 Residents; $91 Nonresidents. (Add more kids for an additional fee.) Register in advance.
- Dog-Gone Pool Parties — June 24, July 30, & August 12. Door prizes! Splash Pad Marathon Park. Two dogs per adult. $5 per person. Ages 12 years & under free with paid adult. Collar or harness & proof of current vaccinations required.
- Cross-Fit in the Park — Tues/Thurs nights from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. July 10 through August 23. Join LIFT-certified L1 coaches in an outdoor, 6-week strength, endurance, and core-to-extremity workout. Meet behind Marathon County Public Library in downtown Wausau. Class will use the River Edge Trail from Oak Island Park to WOW. $65.00 (No class the week of July 29.) Register in advance at the Park Department.
- Bike to Pools Days — Kaiser Pool: July 16; Memorial Pool: July 17; Schulenburg Pool: July 18. Ride your bike to the pool! Arrive between 1:00 and 2:30 p.m. and get one FREE helmet from The Safe Kids Wausau Area Coalition. Riders also receive FREE entry into the pool for the day and a coupon for a FREE cone or train ride at Marathon Junction in Marathon Park. (Rain dates: July 23, 24, 25.)
- Treetop Explorer — Reserved Climb #1: August 12, Noon to 2 p.m., Marathon Park, West of Big Kitchen. Reserved Climb #2: September 27, 4–6 p.m., Pleasant View Park, corner of 10th & Sumner Streets. Tree climb is run by certified arborists. Children and adults get a bird’s-eye view of their community. Register in advance at the Park Department. $35 for 2 hours (4 to 5 climbs, depending on group size). Ages 7 & up.
- FREE Drive-In Movie & Family Pajama Party —August 23. Carnival games 6–8 p.m. and family-friendly outdoor movie 8–10 p.m. LOCATION CHANGE: Marathon Park Grand Stand, 1201 Stewart Ave., Wausau. Rain location: Marathon Park Multi-Purpose Buildings (ice arena). Sponsored by the Wausau Noon Optimists.
Hope to see you out and about this summer!
Recreation Superintendent | Wausau / Marathon County Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department
Karyn Powers joined the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department in 1991. Prior to settling in Marathon County, she spent 5 years working for the Department of Defense in Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Services for the U.S. Navy in Iceland and the U.S. Army in South Korea. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Park and Recreation Administration and a master’s degree in Education. In addition to being the city/county Recreation Superintendent, she is a published poet and author. Karyn fell in love with Marathon County as a college senior when she interned here in 1979, then traveled halfway around the world to get back here as soon as was possible. Email Karyn Powers.
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