Hays Aquatic Park opening set to kick off summer season

File Photo: Puppy enjoys cooling off at Hays Aquatic Park Doggie Day


Tiger Media Network

This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer – a day both kids and parents alike count down to. One of the many indications of summer’s arrival is the opening of Hays Aquatic Park, which is set for Saturday.

Hays Recreation Commission (HRC) Superintendent Roger Bixenman said historically the Hays Aquatic Park typically opens on Memorial weekend.

“Memorial Day just seems like a good day to open. Mostly because of the three-day weekend and everyone wanting to spend that time in the sunshine,” he said. 

Another annual tradition at the Aquatic Park is the ‘Early Bird Special,’ pool passes that are sold during the month of May leading up to the big opening. Individual pool passes are $45 per person for people three years of age and older. Bixenman believes this is a steal.

“The season pass is nothing less of a bargain and definitely worth the purchase, in my opinion, specifically the early bird season pass of $45,” he said. “To break it down, the cost to go to the pool is $4.50 per day per individual. Any further use over 10 times is saving that person money.”

The Early Bird Special will run until Friday. 

In addition to the Early Bird Special, the Hays Aquatic Park offers scholarship passes to those applicable.

Per the website, individuals interested in scholarship passes must have an application filled out at least one week before purchasing the pass and passes may only be purchased at the Hays Recreation Office.

“If an individual is approved, the scholarship pass will cost $15 per person. Basically, the application takes into account the number of individuals and income within the household,” he said. “If you’re on the fence about whether or not you would be eligible for this deal, we follow the guidelines of the free or reduced lunch program that USD 489 has in place throughout the school year.”

Bixenman believes the aquatic park has a tremendous positive influence on Hays and the surrounding communities. 

“We still have patrons coming in from other towns and cities,” he said. “Even though other communities have water parks, we still are the premier aquatic park for the Northwest Kansas region.”

Bixenman says Hays Aquatic Park is the best option around.

“Our facilities are clean, affordable and safe. Our staff consists of a total of 105 employees, 53 lifeguards and management with the rest on the payroll as concession, admission and maintenance employees,” he said. “We all work together to provide a quality of life for our community and being held to these standards makes me proud to be a part of this operation.”

Looking past opening day and towards the rest of the summer, there are many ‘Special Events at the Hays Aquatic Park’ set for 2024, including the Dash 4 Disabilities Fun Run, the Father’s Day Special, the Aquatic Fitness Mixer, Judd’s Summer Slam Triathlon, and finally, the annual Doggie Play day and Dog swim.

Bixenman is excited about each of these upcoming events.

I like them all equally. I get satisfaction just from seeing people in the facility enjoying themselves. From the races, triathlon, swim meet to dog swim, they are all fun and bring the community closer together,” he said.

More information on all things Hays Aquatic Park can be found on their webpage on the Hays Recreation Commission’s website: https://www.haysrec.org/aquatic-park. The Hays Aquatic Park is open from 12:30 to 6:30 pm daily.