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Eau Claire: 11 Favorite Places to Play

If you’re looking to plan a family day trip or need to entertain the kids for a few hours, you’re in the right place. In 2016, Eau Claire was designated as a “Playful City USA” by Kaboom!, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing play to all kids. The city gained well-earned recognition for taking action to ensure all kids have opportunities for active play. Check out some of the places that make Eau Claire such a playful city. Here are some of Eau Claire’s favorite places that are kid-tested and parent-approved:

1. Action City & Trampoline Park

Action City Trampoline Park in Metropolis Resort

Where does the fun never stop? Action City, of course. This family fun center is complete with indoor go karts, bumper cars, laser tag, a super arcade, an outdoor mini golf course and a 20,000 square feet Trampoline Park. The park also comes with dodge ball courts, Slam Dunk basketball, ninja warrior obstacle courses and more. The whole family will enjoy hours of high flying entertainment.

2. Children’s Museum of Eau Claire

Children's Museum

Ever wanted to milk a cow, make a parachute or climb through the gastrointestinal tract? Sound a little strange? Maybe, but in the best way possible. Well, you'll get all of that and more at the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire. Kids will enjoy grabbing a bite in Bitty City, making a splash at Water Works and roasting some marshmallows in the Under Wisconsin Skies area. Don’t forget to put on your lab coat and explore the Nano Exhibit or check out the new S.T.E.A.M. Fab Lab and Makerspace as well. 

3. Chaos Indoor Water Park

Child at Chaos Water Park in Metropolis Resort

Let the kiddos get wet and wild while playing at Chaos Indoor Water Park. As a part of Metropolis Resort, make this a dual trip when you go to Action City. With two crazy slides and an awesome structure to climb and play on, the kids will have the time of their life while you relax in the lazy river or hot tub. Don't worry about packing the snacks along, there is a fully loaded pizza and snack bar with fun beverages the whole family can enjoy! 

4. Eau Claire YMCA Sports Center

Eau Claire YMCA Indoor Sports Center Photo provided by Eau Claire YMCA Sports Center.

Get ready to play your way at the Eau Claire YMCA Indoor Sports Center. This is a perfect destination for kids and their friends. The Center offers Friday Family Nights from September through May where kids can play sports, jump on large inflatables and watch a movie with free popcorn. For younger kids ages 0-6, they also offer the Family Fun Zone program. Get ready to explore the large turf field and play with toys and games. Sounds like a kids dreamland.

5. Paul Bunyan Logging Camp

Paul and Babe at Paul Bunyan Logging Camp near Cason Park

Channel your inner lumberjack and travel back in time to the lumber days of Eau Claire at Paul Bunyan Logging Camp. Learn the history and daily life of a logger with a fun trip to the museum. See the man Paul yourself and his trusty friend Babe, the blue ox standing outside the museum. 

6. Chippewa Valley Museum 

Chippewa Valley Museum Pig and Open Door

Don't let the learning fun stop there! Take a trip to the Chippewa Valley Museum to learn the local history of the Chippewa Valley. With awesome exhibits and fun programs to participate, the entire family will have a great time while enhancing your knowledge of Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls. 

7. Downtown Micon Cinema

micon

Treat your family to a night downtown while maintaining a budget with a visit to Downtown Micon Cinema. With movie admission costing $3-$5, it's one of the best ways to catch dinner and a show. That's right! Order a pizza and other various snacks to be delivered right to your seat while taking in every moment of your favorite movies on the big screen. 

8. Carson Park

EC Express MVP Experience

Carson Park is an Eau Claire classic for a reason. You can catch an Eau Claire Express game, visit the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp and travel back in time at the Chippewa Valley Museum. There is also plenty of playground equipment to monkey around on. Remember to soak in some nature while you’re here, too. Bring the canoe to explore the river or find a fishing hole along the shoreline. There are also plenty of trails for walking, biking and even snowshoeing during the winter months.

9. River Prairie Park 

Sliding at River Prairie Park

Take a trip to River Prairie Park. In the summer months, cool off in the stream or run the kids through the splash pad. Run free and play on the wooden playground. Feeling competitive? Play a game of Ping Pong on the outdoor table tennis court. With a enough grassy space, get a family game of Kubb started. Looking to learn how? Don't worry, we have you covered right here. River Prairie offers endless opportunity for adventures and play with a location right on a riverside bike path. What are you waiting for? Grab the kids and head over now. 

10. Eau Claire Games & Arcade

Eau Claire Games and Arcade

Get your game on at the Eau Claire Games & Arcade. This local favorite has regular weekly events for kids of all ages (and adults, they didn't forget about you). You can play a board game or two, check out the arcade or even join a tournament (Magic The Gathering, Yu-Gi- Oh!, and more). Plus, you won’t want to miss the delicious food and drink menu. Zombie Sodas, anyone?

11. Lowes Creek Trails

Lowes Creek with Kids

Need a breath of fresh air? Then lace up your boots and gear up the kids for a trip to Lowes Creek County Park, a 250-acre park with approximately five miles of trails. Here, kids can really experience the sights and sounds of Mother Nature as they hike, ski or mountain bike around the park. Teaching kids to explore, respect and have fun in nature at a young age is something that Eau Claire does well. The upper loop of the trail system even offers a fitness program if they’re up for a fun challenge.

These are just some of Eau Claire’s many options for kid-friendly activities that the whole family can enjoy. And with all these choices, you’ll never have to hear the word ‘bored’ again.