Marathon Park Splash Pad

By: Amanda Lutz
By: Amanda Lutz

It looks like a playground and feels like a water park.

The new splash pad sits on what used to be the old wading pool at Marathon Park, and it's giving kids a brand new reason to get wet.

"Spray parks are very popular in other cities. Green Bay has spray parks, La Crosse has spray parks, Milwaukee, too. Nationally, it's a trend," says Dan Fiorenta, the operations superintendent of Marathon County.

The splash pad has ground hoses, water buckets and mushroom waterfalls, and with no wading water, no lifeguards are needed to man the park. The water inside the splash pad is heated to a toasty 70 degrees, so even on a cool day kids won't feel the chill of the air.

"The water gets on me, and I really like that," says seven-year-old Emily Eaton of Wausau.

The new splash pad will save Marathon County several hundred dollars in upkeep costs compared to the old wading pool. Officials say it will be a welcome addition to the park.

"The wading pool was here for a long time, but it's really a new experience kids will have. I think it will be very exciting for the kids, and I think a lot of people will utilize this area," Fiorenta says.

The splash pad is open to kids ages 10 and under when accompanied by a parent or guardian age 13 or older. It's open daily from noon to 7 p.m. After the Wisconsin Valley Fair, it will be open from noon to 5 p.m. daily. The cost to get in is only 50 cents.