13 free splash pads in South Florida

SOUTH FLORIDA — South Florida summers can be brutal. No joke, when you walk outside it sometimes feels like you might melt. When it gets this hot, outdoor fun can be a drag, especially for the little ones who can’t handle triple digit heat. Instead of heading to the nearest indoor activity that will likely cost you money, why don’t you take the kiddies to cool off at one of these 12 FREE splash pads.

1. John Prince Park – 2700 Sixth Ave. S., Lake Worth

Little ones can exert some energy on the Boundless Playground and cool off at the splash pad, while Mommy and Daddy enjoy a view of Lake Osborne.

2. Westgate Park and Recreation Center – 3691 Oswego Avenue, West Palm Beach

This splash pad is newly renovated and limited to 20 children.

Call the Westgate Park and Recreation Center to verify days and times of operation (561) 694-5455.

3. Congress Avenue Barrier Free Park – 3111 South Congress Avenue, Boynton Beach

This is a new wheel chair accessible park with splash pad.

4. Catherine Strong Splash Park – 50 NW First Ave., Delray Beach

Water squirts up from the ground and shoots out of sky-high structures at this nice sized splash park.

5. Pirate Cove Playground at Patch Reef Park – 2000 West Yamato Road, Boca Raton

The Pirate Cove Playground is part playground, part splash pad. There’s a huge pirate ship with nets and rocks to climb on and sea animals to ride. Plus there’s cannons that shoot water and palm trees that spray water too.

6. Plantation Woods – 5555 Palm Tree Road, Plantation

This woods themed park has a whimsical touch to the playground and splash pad. Be sure to click on the link to see a picture. The splash pad has ground sprays and colorful loops to run through.

7. Pompano Beach Splash Pad – Located on the beach where Atlantic Blvd. and A1A meet in Pompano Beach

This splash pad is pretty basic, but does the job with ground sprays and a turf grass to run through.

8. Osswald Park Splashpad -
2220 NW 21st Ave., Fort Lauderdale

This splash pad has animals to climb on, cannons that shoot water, plus ground sprays to run through.

9. Charnow Park – 300 Connecticut Street, Hollywood

The splash pad at Charnow Park sits along the Hollywood Boardwalk and has several interactive ground sprays to run through.

10. Miramar Pineland – 3600 S. University Dr., Miramar

The southeast portion of the park houses the splash pad. There you’ll find interactive animals and palm trees that spray water.

11. Founders Park Splash Pad – 3105 NE 190 St., Aventura

In 2014 the splash had a facelift to include new water features, shaded seating and tables. You can expect a lot of nozzles and other structures shooting out water.

*Free for Aventura residents. If you’re not a resident it will cost you $10 to get into the park, plus $5 for adults and $3 for children under 17 to get into the splash pad.

12. South Pointe Park
 -1 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach

This splash pad can be found at the southernmost point of South Beach and offers panoramic views of Biscayne Bay, Fisher Island, Downtown Miami and the Atlantic Ocean.

13. Sullivan Park – Riverview Rd, Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

The brand new Sullivan Park splash pad was built on the Intercostal Waterway of Hillsboro Inlet. It’s a beautiful park for to watch boats drive by, while letting the kids run around. One issue, the splash pad is pretty close to the water and currently there isn’t a fence, but the City of Deerfield is discussing the possibility of installing a fence. There is also a playground on site.

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Geocaching in South Florida (Wait, what’s Geocaching?)

SOUTH FLORIDA – If you haven’t heard of Geocaching, you’re late to the party. Geocaching is now a worldwide phenomenon, with more than 2 million Geocache locations. So what is it? It’s a treasure hunt using a GPS. Trinkets are hidden in parks, preserves or just around your community and can be found within steps of given GPS coordinates.

Here’s how it works.

First, create a free Geocache account.

Then, use your GPS to find your treasure. Look closely, because your treasure can be hidden behind a bush, or possibly up in a tree. Even more exciting, you never know what you’ll find.

Next, document what you find in the log book found with your treasure and also on your Geocache account.

Leave your treasure behind for the next person. Or if  you love your find so much, take it with you and put something else in its place.

I mean who doesn’t love a treasure hunt? You can search for a Geocache location nearest to you by typing in your zip code on the Geocache website or visit Broward County and Dade County. All participating parks are nicely listed.

For a directory of Geocaching Trails across Florida, Traillink by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is also a great resource.

Happy hunting!