“Daaaaad…I’m booorrred.”

At least 23 times per day.

“What are we going to do? Are we going outside? Can we ride bikes? Is it going to rain again?”

“Dad. I’m. Bored.”

Yup. It’s summer.

Summer’s in full swing and for most people that means school’s out and it’s time to keep the kids busy. Although we homeschool our kids, they still have some semblance of summer.

A HOT summer.

It’s hot here in FL. And humid. And miserable.

Hot enough that our air conditioner can barely keep up.

So I thought about evaporative cooling. Yeah, I was watching Electric Company the other day with my oldest and they were talking about evaporative cooling. You know, how one of those fan misters work allowing water to evaporate off your body and it takes some of the body heat with it.

As we are among the .01% of Floridians that do not have a pool, and the Y is super-packed with summer camp kids, I started looking at other options.

I searched the interwebs and found some cool stuff. To keep cool. And not the $$ water attractions that saturate our theme park-dotted landscape.

Enter the splash park. Run by our own parks department.

Apparently we have two of them within a few miles. I bet you have one too.

Think glorified garden hose and sprinkler. I think when Pete and I were in elementary school they actually hooked up and sprinkler and let us run through it one day.

Anyway, there were funky calder-like sculptures that spray, drench, mist and plain out shoot water. Fountains that shoot up from the ground.

Dr. Philips splash park in Orlando, FL

The twins try out Dr. Philips Splash Park in Orlando, FL.

And water guns that get dominated by the bigger kids.

I told Forrest when he wants to use one to tell the kid his mom is calling him. It worked everytime. Ha.

It reminded me how Pete’s dad use to play the old fake cop role or whatever it was. Pete and I at the arcade…some kid is hogging the Defender game…enter Mr. Fazio and he’d flip his wallet around and say something like “game inspector, I’ve got to check out this machine…” and Pete and Marty would get to play now. Ha. Again.

And it was awesome. Oh, the splash park, that is.

Only $1 per child and they can run within a gated, monitored area, get soaking wet and simultaneously get cool by evaporation (well…kind of). There was something for all ages, my oldest was manning the squirt guns, the twins were turning the wheel for the “dumping bucket” and my toddler was fascinated by the water fountain coming right out of the ground.

So a few tips if you go:

  • Pack a little cooler with snacks, water
  • Do I have to mention sunscreen?
  • Water shoes. I got some for the family at Target and Wal-Mart. The park is made of concrete and helps to keep feet from getting all raw
  • Watch the little ones close as the bigger ones tend to run and collide with them.
  • Bandages and that spray disinfectant/pain reliever. Concrete…and collisions, remember?

Okay so I’m writing this like I just discovered it, but in reality I did last summer. And when I took the kids to Grandma’s house in North Carolina, I had sought out a splash park there too. Even tiny Morganton, NC had one, so like I said, I’ll bet you do too.

a dad takes his children to a splash park

We picked a nice slow day to visit the park.

Alright, fight summer boredom and search out a splash park. As a bonus, your kids will get exceptionally tired and go to bed early, unless of course, some kid poops in the park and they shut it down early. Did I mention swim diapers above?

p.s. It wasn’t my kid who pooped.

Thanks for coming.

If you liked what you saw, please like us on Facebook. You won't regret it: