Located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Nay Aug Park is a park that houses swimming pools, a zoo, nature trails, a museum and an amusement area. This is the largest park in the city of Scranton, and is open to visitors throughout the entire year. During the warmer months, the park is also home to a number of outdoor festivals and other events, making it one of the most popular outdoor entertainment sites in Scranton.
Frederick Law Olmsted, who is known as the father of American landscape architecture and designed a number of other parks, including Central Park in New York City, designed Nay Aug Park around the turn of the century. The park is located along Nay Aug Gorge, which was created by glaciers during the last ice age. This area has been named a National Natural Landmark for not only its gorge, but also its many waterfalls.
In the past, this area was not just a park, but also a small amusement park. Originally a dance hall during the 1930s and 1940s, this amusement park was home to rides for kids such as trains, bumper cars, and a merry-go-round. It also was home to the Comet Coaster, a small wooden roller coaster. The amusement park was closed in the early 1990s, however, to make room for more green space in the park. Today, this area is large and open, and there is a small amusement area on the other side of the park, making it perfect for outdoor events. The park was also previously home to a zoo, which housed elephants and other exotic animals. This zoo closed in 1988, but that area of the park was reopened in 2003 as a small wildlife rehabilitation center. There are a number of animals on site, though it is a very small area and not always open to the public.
The park does still operate it's pool complex, however. Open from noon to 6:00 PM daily during the warmer months, Nay Aug Park has two Olympic-sized pools for swimmers of all ages, as well as a series of water slides. Pool complex fees are just $3 for residents of this area and $5 for non-residents. Guests can also purchase season passes for $50 or $75, or family season passes for $75 or $100. Along with swimming, kids can also enjoy the park's two large playgrounds, which have places to climb and crawl, swings, slides, forts, and more.
One of the park's identifying features is the David Wensel Tree House, which first opened in May 2007. This tree house was built over the gorge for a breath-taking view and stands 150 feet in the air. The tree house is fully wheelchair accessible and can accommodate many visitors at once.
The Everhart Museum is also considered a part of Scranton's Nay Aug Park. Founded in 1908, this public museum is the largest in the area and known for its focus on the natural history, animals, art, and culture of Northeastern Pennsylvania. They're open February through December annual, with hours on Monday, Thursday, and Friday from noon to 4:00 PM and slightly longer hours on the weekends. Entry costs just $2 to $5, and you can call 570-346-7186 for more information.