Activities & Ideas for Celebrating National Park & Recreation Month This July (Plus a preview of August Outdoor Happenings You Won’t Want to Miss!)

Written by Jamie Polley

Summer is here, and what’s the best way to enjoy it?

Get outside and visit our parks!

Our local parks are often our first experiences in nature and our introduction to a favorite hobby or physical activity. They are places to gather with friends and family, spaces to celebrate life’s special moments, spots of respite and healing, sites that connect us with essential community services, and so much more.

Parks are at the center of endless happy experiences and memories — special moments that park and recreation professionals help make happen. Staff at the Wausau & Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department are leading initiatives and providing opportunities for people of all ages to achieve healthier lifestyles, to better understand and appreciate nature/conservation, and to come together as a community through a variety of outdoor programming and events.

2021 Youth Pickleball session at Marathon Park. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Ingvalson.)

In Marathon County, we encourage you to celebrate Park and Recreation Month this July by visiting one of our City of Wausau Parks or our County Parks to:

Participants in the Tree Explorers program experience a view from the treetops at Marathon Park in Wausau. (Photo courtesy of Sarah Thurs.)

View our Spring & Summer Recreation Guide, which is jam-packed with outdoor activities and programming that your local park and recreation professionals have planned for you to enjoy in Marathon County this year!


A Bit of History & a Social Media Invitation

Created by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) in 1985, National Park and Recreation Month highlights the vital and powerful role that local park and recreation professionals play in building stronger, more vibrant, and more resilient communities all across the country. They’ve created a social media challenge for you to celebrate National Park and Recreation Month this July.


Share how parks and recreation in your community has impacted your life with the hashtag:


For more information on the challenge, visit, or visit our Facebook page to learn about the exciting Park and Recreation Month activities planned for Wausau and Marathon County this July — and beyond!

August 2021 Events

As long as we’ve got your attention, here’s a small sampling of some exciting August events to mark your calendars for, too…

Wisconsin Valley Fair (Aug. 3–8)

See Kaitlyn Bernarde’s article in this issue for details on the 2021 Fair at Marathon Park running from Tuesday to Sunday, August 3–8. Or visit for more information.


Dog-Gone Pool Party (Aug. 8)

Looking for a special summer event for your 4-footed family member? Join us at Memorial Pool in Wausau on Sunday, August 8, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. for a Dog-Gone Pool Party! $10 per adult. Fees collected will go to help families in need gain access to the Wausau outdoor pools and swim lessons.

All dogs must be on a leash until inside the fence. All owners must provide proof of current rabies and distemper shots for their pets prior to being allowed into the event. Children under 13 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. No more than 2 dogs per person. (The pool will be closed for the season after this event. The facility will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.)


Movie in the Park & Family Pajama Party (Aug. 19)

The Wausau & Marathon County Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department staff invite you to our community Movie in the Park & Family Pajama Party near the Big Kitchen at Marathon Park in Wausau on Thursday, August 19.

Join us for HUMAN FOOSBALL and a variety of FREE CARNIVAL GAMES before the big show. This will be a family-friendly feature on a 35-foot screen. Families can spread out on blankets or camp chairs under the stars. The park’s concession stand will be open to purchase movie snacks. Carnival games: 7:00-8:30 p.m. / Movie: 8:30-10:30 p.m. (Rain/Wind site: Multi-Purpose Building, Marathon Park)


Marathon County Park 100+1 Anniversary Event (Aug. 28)

101 Anniversary poster

Get out there and enjoy ALL that our City and County Parks have to offer this summer!

And remember to tag your photos on social media with the hashtag:



Jamie_PolleyJamie Polley

Director  |  Wausau / Marathon County Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department

Jamie Polley is the Director of Parks, Recreation, & Forestry for the City of Wausau and Marathon County. She is a native of Marathon County and after living in Minnesota for 11 years, she made her way back home in 2018. Jamie is excited to lead this unique City/County department forward and tell the story of what the Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department is and does so that all citizens know of the opportunities available to them. Jamie has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science and a master’s degree in Sports Management. Outside of work, Jamie is an avid runner and loves to spend time with her family enjoying the outdoors.  Email Jamie Polley.

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