Back in 1978 Park Rapids had a few tourist attractions. One was called Aqua Park or “The Aquarium.”
The little non blondes are cousins of Jessica and Melissa who are on the far right. Our daughters; Trica and Jennifer are the other two blondies. ( Jen’s shirt is dirty from holding after a rain shower bunnies.)
Aqua Park had a gift shop with oodles of made in Japan “stuff” that our girls were enthralled with. You know…Native American drums with feathers, Native American dolls, Yo Yos, Slinkys, playing cards, souvenir pencils and every kind of plastic or rubber animal you can imagine( snakes would be held up and wiggled just to scare their Mom).
There was one display case that was a revolving stair step design, you pushed the button and a new row of jewelry would appear just like magic. Of course they would have to take turns pushing that button and making sure that one got as long of a turn as the other.
Aqua Park was also known as the Aquarium. I am not sure of the sequence. I think it was the Aquarium first and then Aqua Park. The Aquarium was just that…beyond the gift shop you could enter a darkened room that held huge glass tanks filled with fish. On a hot day it was a wonderful place to visit. Aqua Park had animals; deer, ducks, geese, rabbits, goats and a trout pond. You could buy food out of a dispenser to feed the animals. 10 cents I think was the going rate for a hand full of some kind of pellets.
Trica and Jennifer with the rabbits.
Jessica and Jennifer
I used to babysit for Jess and her sister Missy. They lived just down the street from us when we lived in Regal Estates in Moorhead Minnesota. Jess was hearing impaired and wore an external hearing aid. She learned how to read lips all by herself. I went to grade school with Phillip, Jess and Missy’s Dad, he was a year older than me.
I am looking for old photographs of the outside of the Aqua Park/Aquarium building for the museum. This one wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but that bear must have had a bit of history himself. I know he was on wheels so they could bring him inside overnight.
Just like so many small businesses in small towns, this one is no longer in business. Back in the day it was the place to go if you had little kids!