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Summer Sports: 10 Ways to Splash Yourself Cool this Summer

rafters and zipline

credit: Arkansas Valley Adventures.

We live in a landlocked state, but Colorado has plenty of ways to enjoy a wet and wild summer. From backyard sprinkler runs to fly-fishing, kayaking, boating, tubing and more, there is no shortage of splash-tacular fun to be had. Grab the whole family and enjoy these 10 different ways to stay cool all summer long. Just be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen!

Boulder Creek and the Saint Vrain River are in perfect shape for some summertime tubing. Float your cares away and enjoy some high energy fun while you and friends fly down the river on your own cushion of air. Rent single and double tubes at WhiteWater Tube, then simply take your tube to the Boulder Creek and set out for a day of fun. If you’ve never been tubing before, spring for a guided trip so a knowledgeable expert can guide you through the rapids safely. whitewatertubing.com

A diving school in Colorado? Yes, it’s true, and Ocean First Dive is the perfect place to learn all the skills needed before you take that big summer beach vacation. Ocean First Dive offers interactive scuba classes for all ages and you’ll earn your SSI dive certification before you know it. Classes here are for all ages and levels, with the training done in Ocean First’s indoor pool, which is a comfortable 89 degrees. The pool also features LifeGuard Technology, which uses less chemicals than any other pool its size. Get all the info and plan your scuba classes early. oceanfirst.blue

You’ve got the most amazing playground right in your backyard, so take advantage of it with a fly fishing trip by Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides. This team of knowledgeable fly fishing experts will take you to the best locations in Colorado near Denver, Boulder and Estes. They select a location based on your experience, goals and abilities, so you have the best time on your fishing trip. Colorado Wilderness offers four-, six- and eight-hour trips, plus you can also look into their multiday trips for a longer excursion. coloradowildernessridesandguides.com

The Broomfield Bay Aquatic center is always a popular spot for some summertime splashing. The ADA accessible water park features a body slide, pool, tube slide, interactive spray ground and a special pool just for the little ones. There are several picnic shelters and areas set up for a birthday party or other special occasion. Grab the family and take advantage of the special Friday Night Family Nights, where you can enjoy admission for up to a five people for just $10 for Broomfield residents or $20 for non-residents. You can’t beat that cost and it’s the best way to beat the summer heat. ci.broomfield.co.us

You may not have the ocean nearby, but Boulder Reservoir has 700 acres of fun just waiting for you and your family this summer. There is no shortage of different ways to enjoy this massive park. Go for a swim with the kids, grab a line and try for some fish or rent a boat and for a leisurely trip on the water. It also helps that a day at the Boulder Reservoir isn’t going to break the bank. Admission ranges from $4-$7 per person, so you bring out the whole family for this day of fun. bouldercolorado.gov  

If you’re looking for some swimming in Boulder County, you can’t go wrong with Scott Carpenter Pool in Boulder. It’s an expansive 50 meter pool, which is great for lap swimmers and athletes, but there’s also a big slide and springboard for kids to enjoy. Check out Friday nights with the kiddos for Family Nights, where the pool turns into an Olympic playground with water polo, large inflatables and more. You’ll also want to remember to bring Fido to the Pool in September — when the whole pool turns into an aquatic dog park for two weeks of the year. bouldercolorado.gov

No list of water activities in Colorado would be complete without at least a mention of Water World in North Denver. As one of the largest parks of its kind in the country, Water World features 46 different attractions to keep you cool all summer long. Thrills abound as you fly through the tube slides, swim in the wave pools or float down the lazy river. With lots of picnic areas and covered pavilions to enjoy, Water World is the perfect place to celebrate a summer birthday or just to keep cool on a particularly warm day. Admission to Water World ranges from $37-$42 with lots of different packages available. waterworldcolorado.com

Denver’s other huge cool-down spot is Elitch Gardens. Take the trip into town for a day packed. The water park here is huge with lots of thrill rides, including the brand new SlideZilla, which reaches an impressive six stories of splish-splashing fun or the Acapulco Cliff Dive, which is a 65-foot high-speed free-fall slide. Families will also enjoy the tamer rides like Castaway Creek, Commotion Ocean and Hooks Lagoon. Admission to the water park is free with admission to the theme park, which ranges from $30-$50. elitchgardens.com

Have you ever tried paddleboarding? Learn everything you need to know about Stand Up Paddleboarding thank to Rocky Mountain Paddleboard, which offers classes at both the Boulder Reservoir in Boulder and Union Reservoir in Longmont. You can get all the accessories you need at the retail store in Longmont, then bring your board and paddle to the reservoir for a fun day of classes on the water. You can even check out the first ever Paddle the Rockies Stand Up Paddleboarding Classic and Paddle Festival, with competitions and dates all summer long. paddletherockies.com

Boulder-based AVA Colorado Rafting has 75 different rafting adventures to please even the most active and thrill-loving Colorado water fan. There are white water rafting trips for every skill level with highly experienced guides helping you through the whole day. Check out the different packages available and plan a weekend trip with a few friends. You can even incorporate ziplining into your white water adventure weekend for more of thrill-seeking fun. Discover everything the rivers of Colorado have to offer with an adventure package from AVA Colorado Rafting. coloradorafting.net

Looking to keep the kiddos cool at home? From the classic backyard sprinkler to the beloved Slip’n’Slide, here are a few great ways to amp up the fun in your backyard this season.

Sunny Patch Pretty Petals Sprinkler Toy

Melissa & Doug is a great brand featuring fun water-based toys for kids of all ages. The Sunny Patch Pretty Petals Sprinkler Toy attaches to any garden hose and provides hours of fun with 12 different petals that each squirt water. $20 on amazon.com

Banzai Aqua Blast Obstacle Course

Go all out in your backyard with this huge obstacle course. You’ll enjoy a water slide, inflatable hurdle, tire jump sprinkler, two water tubes and more with this affordable toy. It has built in sprinklers and should be pretty easy to set up so all you’ll have to do is get the kids into their bathing suits for hours of cooling off at home. $32 on amazon.com

Kiddo Jump ’N’ Water Slide Fun Bounce House

Want to go all-out this summer? Do you have a big birthday party to plan? Are you willing to spend more than $600? Then check out this amazing bounce-house-meets-water-slide. It has two slides that empty into a small splash pool plus it’s connected to the ever-popular bounce house. It’s a smaller bounce house that fits about five kids, but your kiddo would be the only one on the block to say he owns his own bounce house. $610 wayfair.com

Zuru Bunch O Balloons

You’ve probably seen the video on Facebook. It shows one person inflating up to 100 water balloons in just one minute thanks to this genius gizmo. It has 100 balloons attached to a fitting that secures to your garden hose. Then you simply turn on the hose, detach the balloons and prepare for the backyard battle of a lifetime. $16 amazon.com

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