The Louisville Zoo is one of only several in the nation to feature a spraypark. The Calistoga Splash Park at Glacier Run
officially opened in 2007, and through unique theming and
forward-thinking design, it has helped boost zoo attendance and
extend visitors’ length of stay.
Developed for children of all ages — toddlers to tweens
— this Northern Seas nautical-themed spraypark offers zoo
guests a different kind of family-focused fun.
The facility features several amenities for families to escape
Kentucky’s hot summer days. The centerpiece is a
20-foot-long, 25-foot-high fishing boat play structure that
includes dump buckets and spray features on the deck; two kid-sized
slides running off the stern; a geyser that erupts from the mast on
a timed basis; an interactive jet spray launcher; and a series of
themed crates and barrels where kids can push buttons and pull
ropes to trigger various sprays and splashes.
Rounding out the aquatic elements are a life-sized polar bear and
seal, designed for climbing and photo opportunities, and a separate
Nonaquatic features include generous areas of shaded seating; two
picnic pavilions; and a restroom complex with two family restrooms,
which also can be used as changing areas. Safety features include
perimeter fencing, with only one entrance and one exit, and safety
Calistoga Splash Park is one part of what will be the zoo’s
Glacier Run area. Currently under construction, Glacier Run is
designed as an imaginary Far North mining town that will be an
interactive experience based on the idea that humankind and nature
The exhibit area will recreate the natural habitats of some of the
zoo’s most popular residents in ways that demonstrate how
humans have become part of those environments. For example, one
interactive feature will be a parked truck in which visitors can
sit while polar bears explore the truck bed behind them (separated
by a glass barrier, of course). In another section of the town, the
bears may travel over visitors’ heads along a walkway
resembling a mineshaft.
In addition to close encounters with the animals, guests also will
have opportunities to learn about conservation and become
temporarily immersed in life on the tundra. The town will include a
schoolhouse, a general store, and a spacious amphitheater for seal
and sea lion enrichment demonstrations.
NUTS & BOLTS
Aquatic space: 3,000 square feet
Year opened: 2007
Cost: $1 million (approximately)
Dream feature: Themed fishing boat play structure
with multiple interactive aquatic elements, including a spray
geyser and dump bucket.
- Dream Designer:The Weber Group Inc.
- Construction: Whittenberg Construction
- Waterfeature Contractor: Funtraptions Inc.
- Surfacing: Vitriturf
- Theming: The Weber Group Inc.
- Water-Play Structures: Funtraptions Inc.
View Calistoga Splash Park at Glacier Run in a larger map.