Wagga residents want to see more activities and entertainment facilities light up the city, with some saying nearby towns are pulling ahead as attractions.
Almost 200 respondents to a Facebook call out shared by The Daily Advertiser agreed the city needs more alternative entertainment drawcards, both for tourism and for locals to enjoy.
Mum of three Janelle Moeck was one of dozens who called for a water park to be built by one of the city's water bodies.
"I often hear people asking for a water park.... it doesn't need to be crazy big," Mrs Moeck said. "You just need some sort of water play with puddles [etcetera] for the little kids and then some bigger equipment for the older kids. Anything that will encourage families to get outdoors and having fun together is a good thing."
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Fellow mum Annaliese Hays said a lack of options forces her and others to look outside the city for family fun.
"I know myself and a lot of other families travel the short distance to Albury, Griffith [etcetera] to access basic things like parks and fun zones," Mrs Hays said. "We like to support and promote local, and do when we can, but sometimes you need a bit more."
Other venues people called for included a permanent ice skating rink off the back of the success of the temporary Skate Wagga Wagga rink run between June 26 and July 11 this year. Some, excited by the recent arrival of a smash room in the city, wanted more in that vein - a roller skating venue, escape rooms, rock climbing or putt putt golf
Therese Paul runs one of a handful of dynamic entertainment venues in the city, having purchased LaserTag Wagga in 2019. Ms Paul said demand is high for venues like hers, and she agreed the city could benefit from more options.
"In Wagga we have Noah's Ark for the younger ages, then Flip Out and [my] laser tag for the middle range, and bowling for the older ones but I guess there's not really much else," she said. "There's no roller skating or big arcades or things like that."
Ms Paul said one reason for this is likely the cost of setting up shop in Wagga compared with nearby towns.
"Establishment costs and ongoing costs like rent would have an impact," she said. "Rents down the main street are very expensive in Wagga which is why a lot of those shops are empty, so it's those sorts of costs that are prohibitive."
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