Go for a Hike
Wausau’s best kept secret is the old quartzite quarry (pictured above) at the top of Rib Mountain State Park. The quarry can be accessed via a trail at the top of Rib Mountain or via a trail at the end of Grouse Lane. If you start at the top of Rib Mountain State Park, make sure to check out the observation tower! Another great place to hike is along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, which has multiple segments in the Wausau area. One of these segments passes through Dells of the Eau Claire County Park, which is a unique and beautiful place to hike.
Visit Riverlife Park and Briq’s Soft Serve
Riverlife Park is one of the most unique playgrounds in the Wausau area. The huge slide can only be accessed by climbing up the rope sections and there is an area with outdoor exercise equipment for adults! If you want a cool treat after working up a sweat, there’s a Briq’s Soft Serve shop just a few steps away. Briq’s is the “home of the 1 lb cone” but they sell all kinds of frozen concoctions. There are also “dancing fountains” next to Briq’s which kids love to play in! (Hint: The kids might need a change of clothes.) If you’re in the mood for a relaxing river-front stroll, the River Edge Parkway (and the Wisconsin River) are right next to this park!
Go Mountain Biking
The Wausau area has some world-class mountain biking trails! The largest network of trails is at Nine Mile County Park. Other trail systems are located at Sylvan Hill Mountain Bike Park and at the Ringle Mountain Bike Trails (pictured above). Sylvan Hill has mainly downhill mountain biking with jumps and gaps whereas Ringle has flowing trails with options for riders of all abilities. Sylvan Hill also has a pump track and skills area. (In the winter, the Ringle Trails are groomed for fat biking.) If you want to rent a mountain bike, check out Rib Mountain Cycles.
Cool off at a Pool or Splash Pad
There are six outdoor pools in the Wausau area! All of them have water slides and kid-friendly features. In addition to a pool, the Rothschild/Schofield Aquatic Center also has a splash pad. Other splash pads can be found at Marathon Park (which also has a small train) and there’s even a free one at Wausau’s new inclusive playground, JoJo’s Jungle (pictured above)!
Enjoy a Picnic Near the River
The Wisconsin River shore is the perfect place for a picnic. Whitewater Park (pictured above) in downtown Wausau is a great choice not only because of the view but also because of its proximity to places to pick up picnic foods! You can pick up baked goods and coffee at the Farmer’s Market of Wausau on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, a cheese and charcuterie lunch from The Milk Merchant, or takeout from one of Wausau’s many downtown restaurants. If you’d like to see a whitewater kayak race, check out Wausau Whitewater’s website before you plan your trip.
Watch the Wausau Woodchucks
“Take me out to the ball game…” is a popular sentiment on warm summer days. For a reasonable price you can take the family to watch the Wausau Woodchucks and enjoy some ballpark snacks too. In addition to giveaways and added entertainment (contests, races, etc.), many of the evening games feature post-game fireworks!
Visit Monk Botanical Gardens
Monk Botanical Gardens is known as Wausau’s “Happy Place”. When you’re there, it’s easy to see why! Trails wind through the forest, past vegetable plots, through a meditation garden, along a pond, and up a ramp to a tree house. There are many benches where visitors can sit and absorb the relaxing environment. Monk Gardens hosts many fun events throughout the year for people of all ages, so make sure to check their website!