A pair of new parks build upon the variety of fun outdoor options for kids

The Greater Wausau area offers a variety of great venues for kid-friendly fun. The newly opened Riverlife Park on Wausau's east side and planned JoJo's Jungle on the city's west side offer unique play opportunities for children of all ages and abilities.

Wausau opened Riverlife Park on the east side of the Wisconsin River in the summer of 2019. The park is located just north of the WOW Family Entertainment Center and offers a unique playground design, with a skywalk and covered slide.

The park also features climbing nets, boulders, spinners and more for kids ages five to 12, while also offering play equipment for children from two to five years in age. The park has a poured rubber surface, making it accessible for those with disabilities.

"Riverlife Park is a unique destination playground that connects the community to the River." said Jamie Polley, director of the Marathon County Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department. "It not only is an amazing park for families to be active, it also highlights the asset that started Wausau, the river."

Riverlife Park was not only built for children. The park offers plenty of exercise options to keep adults busy as well, including a large fitness area with cardio machines and static weight machines. The park also includes the city's first Challenge Course (think American Ninja Warrior) with a timing system.

And for those who need to cool off after some time at Riverlife Park, a new Briq's Soft Serve location has opened in the nearby concession building.

JoJo’s Jungle on Wausau's west side will include separate play areas for children of different ages. The playground will include a 'jungle' for older kids, an open concept design for two to five-year-olds and a shaded area for toddlers.

"Our goal is to enrich social skills, sensory learning, and promote physical fitness in a safe environment for every child in our community." Patrick Hoerter said. Hoerter's adopted son Josiah passed away due to a rare genetic disorder in 2015 three months shy of his third birthday.

After four years of fundraising for the $2 million project, Hoerter is looking forward to the addition of the playground at Wausau's Brockmeyer Park.

JoJo’s Jungle will also offer a zipline, a wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round and a butterfly garden.

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