If you could take your kids to ONE place for a full day of fun, where would you bring them? Before you jump to answer that question, let us plead our case for why that place should be River Prairie in Altoona, WI. River Prairie is just a short 3-mile drive from downtown Eau Claire and it has its own character and charm that is definitely worth experiencing with your family. Here are the 6 reasons why River Prairie is a kid's paradise. 


1. There's not one, but TWO places to go for ice cream

It's safe to say that ice cream is the way to a young kid's heart. When the adults give the green light for a sweet treat, River Prairie has two places where you can pile your ice cream cones with scoops. 44 Below located at 44 North serves up some serious sweetness, while right across the street, Olson's, located inside Somewhere Pub, has a selection of flavors of their handmade ice cream as well. Each place has its own flair, but their ice creams are both equally as tasty.

A hand holding an ice cream cone with blue ice cream in front of 44 Below in River Prairie

2. The playground is the perfect place to let their imaginations run wild

They can run, climb, slide, and just play however they'd like at the River Prairie playground. Let their imaginations run free; the playground can be a castle, the ground can be lava, and they can be heroes running around trying to save their kingdom from going up in flames. That scenario might be a little dramatic, but you get the idea. This is a place where kids can just be kids! 

Young boy playing on a slide at the River Prairie playground

3. There's places to cool down and splash on hot summer days

River Prairie has both a splash pad where water shoots up and sprays in the air and a man-made stream that peacefully meanders and runs through the park. This stream is perfect for the little ones who want a place to wade or just dip their toes. On a hot summer day, it's just what the kids will need to cool down while having some fun outside too.

The stream at River Prairie park in Altoona, WI

4. They can make friends with the sleeping trolls 

The trolls are three solar powered sculptures that lay dormant until you find the specific tile to wake them up. Once you find the right one, the trolls wake up from their slumber and let out some fun musical sounds. To find the trolls, look for them in between Cowboy Jack's and 44 North. Fun fact: the mastermind behind this project comes all the way from Sweden! Karl Johan Ekroth created the artistic and musical design and the project came to life with some help from Artisan Forge Metalworks right here in Eau Claire at Artisan Forge. Will you dare to wake the trolls?!

Trolls Statues in River Prairie, Altoona, WI

5. The arcade at 44 North is made for thrill

As soon as your kids walk inside 44 North, their eyes will light up. The first floor of 44 North is an arcade filled with a variety of different games. The kiddos can load up their cards with game credits and go head to head to see who can get the most tickets. Afterward, head to the large wall of prizes to redeem your earnings! While the kids play, the adults can feel free to pull up a seat at the bar and grab a drink. But, no judgment if you're a kid at heart and want to join the kids in the arcade for some skeeball!

The arcade at 44 North in River Prairie

6. River Prairie's Summer Concert Series is a serious party

If there's one thing we know about kids, it's that they have A LOT of energy. What better way to tire them out than with a concert?! They can dance and sing along at River Prairie's outdoor summer concert series! There are 3 different free concerts throughout the week: Kickin' It Country on Monday nights, Rock'n On The River on Wednesday nights, and Fusion at Four Seasons both Monday and Wednesday nights! Bring your lawn chairs, some refreshments, and let's see some of those rad dance moves! 

Fusion musicians playing instruments on stage at Four Seasons in River Prairie Park


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