4 Free Ways to Cool Off This Summer

By Morgan Hill


It’s hot outside. There’s no denying it when the temperature slowly climbs into the high 90s by midmorning each day. If you keep your kids inside where the air conditioning is on full blast, they’ll play video games all day, but if you send them outside to play, they won’t last more than five minutes in the heat. The remedy to playing outside during a hot Florida summer? Just add water! Check out these 4 free ways to cool off this summer! 

Splash Pads

To get out of the house for a few hours and play outside, visit one of Gainesville’s local parks that have a splash pad feature. Visit Depot Park’s Blue Grotto Splash Pad or the Alachua Splash Park to cool off this summer. Both parks have shaded areas nearby so you can stay out of the sun while watching your kids…or join in the fun! 

Swimming Pools 

If you don’t have a swimming pool at home, visit one of Gainesville’s three community pools! The Andrew R. Mickle, Sr. Pool has free admission Family Fun Nights on Thursday and Friday from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Take turns with your significant others watching the kids and swimming laps, making family fun time a workout, too. 

Hose in the Yard 

A few buckets and a garden hose can turn any frown upside down. It may seem a little old school, but putting on their swimsuits and giving them the chance to play games, water the plants and splash in the front yard will help them cool off this summer and put a smile on their face. If you have older kids, take a quick trip to a hardware store and purchase a tarp. Grab some soap lying around your house and make your own Slip ‘N Slide!


If you’re up for a day trip to St. Augustine, the St. John’s County Ocean Pier and Courts has free parking. This beach also has a pier to explore, a splash pad, and restrooms on site. Pack a cooler and head to the coast for a day in the sun and surf!