If you’re a Florida resident like me, you know how tough this season can be on us or any visitor. Florida has splash parks all over to help us beat the heat.
By Sarah Correa-Dibar
Whether you live in a pool-less house, you don’t want to plan an intricate beach day, or your neighborhood doesn’t have a community pool (how dare they!), you can always count on Florida’s splash parks to do the Summer justice.
Alachua Splash Park
Also known as Hal Brady Recreation Splash Park, Alachua Splash Park has sprinklers and water buckets that soak anyone brave enough to stand under them. They also have picnic areas for when you’ve had a little too much Vitamin D and are craving snacks.
The park is free and open every day of the week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you want to reserve the park for a birthday party or other social event, contact the park’s event coordinator.
Depot Park Blue Grotto Splash Pad
Just when we thought Depot Park could not get any cooler, they have a play area complete with waterfalls, ground jets, water cannons and even fossils inspired by the underwater caverns of Central Florida for the kids to have an educational experience amid the fun.
The splash pad is free and open from dawn to dusk to all ages.
Bouncers Splash Pad
Known for its birthday party indoor playground, Bouncers also has a splash pad as well with different kinds of sprinklers and colorful toys to spare.
Bouncers Splash Pad is not open to the public but is available for 2-hour reservations for birthday parties or other social events.
Hawthorne Athletic Park
Why go play baseball and flag football at a grass-only park when you have Hawthorne Athletic Park’s splash pad to cool off right after the sweaty sports in the midday sun?
The park is open to the public and is always available for birthday reservations as well. All you have to do is fill out the reservations form on their website.
Kulaqua River Ranch Water Park
Don’t think for a second I would’ve forgotten to add a water park to the mix. Kulaqua River Ranch Water Park in High Springs is only available for reservations and they keep the public updated on their website with the dates available each month.
Another reason to keep an eye out of their website is for the specific dates the park is available to the general public for $14 per person and children under 3 enter for free with a parent.
The park includes a water slide to dive into their lazy pool and a wave pool complete with sprinklers. The inner tubes are free and food is allowed in the park. They are open from 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. As a Christian facility, they request modest swim attire or cover-ups. Food is permitted but no glass containers and no alcohol.
Lakeside Park Splash Park
With a mix of both open water and sprinklers, Lakeside Park in Lake Butler is a must-go. The park has a playground with recreational equipment, a spacious splash park and their designated lakeside swimming area.
Admission is free, and no dogs, alcoholic beverages, bikes or rollerblades are allowed at the park.
I don’t know about you, but after realizing I have all of these splash parks nearby, I know I’ll be cooling off more than heating up this summer.