The summer sun is HOT, and cooling off in the water is a favorite way to spend the day. There are plenty of places in and around Connecticut that make water play fun for the kids.

One favorite locale is your local playground. Many towns have splash pads where kids can play in the water in a fun, safe environment. They’re also a great alternative to swimming pools as there’s no standing water so there’s little risk of drowning. Be sure to search splash pads near you for some great options!

Connecticut also has several amusement parks with water areas. Lake Compounce in Bristol has a great section dedicated to water activities. There’s a pirate-ship themed splash pad for younger children, and slides and wave pools for older kids. Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury also has an interactive water play area with fountains, water cannons and bucket waterfalls, as well as giant water slides. Both parks also have lakes where you can enjoy a dip.

Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland is a different type of water park with lots of different activities. There’s a rope swing, scuba diving, water slides, cliff jumping and zip lines. There are also inflatable obstacles and water skiing!

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, there are a number of hotels in the New England area built with family entertainment in mind. Built to look like a rustic retreat, Great Wolf Lodge has multiple locations across the country. With water activities for kids of all ages, this makes a great one-stop vacation spot. Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont features 8 heated pools, 4 waterslides, and 2 freshwater reservoirs. Coco Key Boston offers an escape to the tropics – no passport required! This island-themed water park has thatched-roof huts and colorful attractions that are sure to delight your children.

Wherever you end up in your quest for relief from the summer heat, be sure to be safe and have fun!

Remember to download the PDF to make your own Summer Bucket List!