Before I left for vacation, the first staycation post I shared was to River Prairie Park. It's a new park in an new, upscale shopping district in our small town. For today's post, I'm going to share the complete opposite: a very old park with a lot of history in the area.
This park is located in a city near Eau Claire, Wisconsin called Chippewa Falls. If that name sounds familiar to you, it's because it's the same city "Jack" from the latest "Titanic" movie claimed to be from. Interesting bit of trivia isn't it? I tell you, when that movie was in it's prime people cheered at the local movie theater when "Jack" mentioned his home town.
In 1906, Chippewa Falls business man and lumber baron William Irvine and L.C. Stanley donated 165 acres of a land for a city park. Today the park has grown to 318 acres.
One of the biggest attractions of Irvine Park is it's free zoo. For a small zoo in a small town, it's actually quite impressive. They have made a lot of modern updates in the 25+ years I've lived in the area, the newest being the petting zoo.
In the background of the picture below is a pretty barn where many of the farm animals are held. In the foreground are memorial benches where individuals donated money to the park in memory of a loved one. There are also memorial pavers in the ground.
But this zoo has a lot more than just farm animals, there are large and small animals as well. Some of the animals are kept in cages, and some are behind attractive displays with large windows like this one. Other animals have acres of land to roam such as buffalo, deer, elk, and zebras.
Tigers and bears were some of the animals kept in large displays like those above.
Below you can see some of the memorial pavers along with Alethea examining a statue of a pig. I think she was more enamored with the pig statue than she was with the actual pigs. ha ha!
We were fortunate to see a volunteer interact with this beautiful Cockatoo.
But Irvine Park has so much more than just a zoo. They have multiple playgrounds for all ages, a splash pad, a pool, picnic pavilions, a Christmas Village (seasonal), trails, a rumbly bridge, a historic schoolhouse, a log cabin, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a dam overlook, and a pristine river runs right through it all!
After we visited the zoo, it was time to let Alethea out of her stroller to play. We took her to the toddler playground. She loved the swing!
When these pictures were taken, Alethea was still learning how to use the slide. Now she is a pro! Here is grandpa trying to teach her how to slide.
Another new experience for her was this old fashioned bouncing toy. She really liked this one!
Grandpa thought she was getting too much sun on her face and shoulders, so he put his own sun hat on her. Too cute!
But perhaps Alethea's favorite activity of all was wading in the river that runs the length of the park.
The rest of the photos are not my own, I got them off of the Pinterest board Irvine Park and Zoo. I wanted to share with you everything else this amazing park has to offer.
The Christmas Village
(Built in 1903)
Glen Lock Dam
The Rumbly Bridge
(Erected in 1907 and perhaps the only remaining metal truss in Wisconsin designed for an ornamental park bridge)
The Band Shell
(Designed in the 19th Century Romantic Tradition and erected in 1924 as a memorial for "Our Soldiers and Sailors". Today it is used for weddings and concerts.)
Have a Great Day! Amy
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