Carrie’s Note: The temperatures are heating up and it’s time to play. Dalia Colon, our VISIT FLORIDA Smart Travel Insider shares her favorite spots around the state for little ones to stay cool and have fun.
Here’s what I know: To kids, water is water. My 2-year-old daughter is just as happy splashing in our neighborhood pool as she is at a fancy water park. So as the weather heats up, we’re always delighted to discover inexpensive ways to stay cool.
If your family is also looking to chill out this summer, check out these Florida splash pads.
1) Lake Buena Vista: You could shell out some bucks to visit a Disney water park. Nothin’ wrong with that. Or, for free, you can take the fam to Downtown Disney and enjoy the Magical Water Fountain splash pad near the Rainforest Cafe. Just sayin’.
2) Tampa: One of daughter Norah’s favorite free outings is Ballast Point Park. In addition to the interactive splash area, there’s a playground, fishing pier and even a restaurant. After Norah’s finished playing, we like to walk across the street to watch the older kids riding horses at the stable.
3) Jacksonville: Taking the kids to monkey around at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens? Bring their swimsuits so they can cool off in the splash ground. Access is free with zoo admission, which costs $15.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids ages 3 to 12.
4) Miami: You don’t need to live in the Village of Pinecrest to take advantage the splash ‘n play area in Pinecrest Gardens. It’s free and open to the public.
5) Lakeland: Locals flock to Barnett Family Park to enjoy its free splash pad, playground and picnic area.