Floating obstacle course

This floating playground will open within two weeks at Louisville State Recreation Area near Omaha.

Plenty of Nebraska state parks and recreation areas have playgrounds, but soon kids and adults will get a chance to tackle one on the water.

A floating playground that state officials announced last year will open within two weeks on a lake at Louisville State Recreation Area, about a 30-minute drive from Omaha, said Jim Swenson of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

He described it like an “American Ninja Warrior” course, referring to a TV show where competitors navigate obstacles.

The floating obstacle course at Louisville is among the features of the new Venture Parks program that the commission is rolling out at four parks between Omaha and Lincoln to welcome a new generation of parkgoers.

People still want tranquil places where they can have a picnic or fish, but they also want some thrills, Swenson said.

“They want excitement,” he said. “They want adventure.”

The playground, which will be anchored in place, is made from a heavy-duty rubberlike material that is inflated with air, letting people bounce their way along. It will include slides, a trampolinelike dome and steps people can jump across.

Installation is underway this week.

Admission to the playground for a 90-minute session will be $18 for ages 13 and older, and $13 for ages 6 to 12. Life jackets will be required and will be provided with admission. There will be lifeguards.

Mike O'Connor started at The World-Herald in 1994 and has covered education, local government, religion, health, transportation, features and more. Follow him on Twitter @MikeOConnorOWH. Phone: 402-444-1122.

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