5 Ways to Stay Cool with Your Kids
School’s out, and summer is heating up. Entertain your kids with some local splash fountains and natural spots that are super-easy for taking a dip.
By Katie Pollock Estes
1. Jordan Valley Park635 E. Trafficway St., Springfield
The Ozarks Fountain and Stream splash area at Jordan Valley Park is seriously fun with a shallow stream tumbling down the hillside perfect for smaller children and a plaza at the bottom of the hill with jets shooting water 8 to 10 feet in the air for older, more daring kids. Kids love to race in and out of the shooting fountains to cool down, and there’s plenty of grassy expanse around it where kids can run and play too. On the other side of the park, the K-Man sculpture makes for some interactive fun (you can move his arms and legs!), and the covered wagon play area is great for climbing around.
2. Farmers Market of the Ozarks2144 E. Republic Road, Springfield
The best way to bribe your kid to go shopping with you at the farmers’ market is to promise them a little time at the splash fountain. Jets of water sporadically pop up out of the concrete, eliciting tons of giggles from the kids playing around in the fountain. Pair that with Saturday market’s live music and tasting vending trucks, and you have a plan for a fun afternoon.
3. Grand Falls5400 S. Riverside Dr., Joplin
One of the easiest-to-access waterfalls in the Ozarks is Grand Falls in Joplin, and it’s great for wading too. The 12-foot-tall, 163-foot-wide waterfall spills down to a great swimming hole with tons of room for visitors to spread out—and that’s a good thing because this spot can be very busy in the summer.
4. FireHouse Splash Yardat Silver Dollar City, 3505 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson
If you find yourself at Silver Dollar City, baking in the heat of the summer sun and getting wild on the rollercoasters, you can take the kids to cool down at the FireHouse Splash Yard. It’s located at Fireman’s Landing (near the FireHouse Play Place—another great spot for small kids) and it features jets of water and squirting fire hoses perfect for toasty days.
5. Moonshine Beach3778 Historic State Highway 165, Branson
Did you know Table Rock Lake has a sandy beach that’s open to the public? At Moonshine Beach, visitors can kick around at the water’s edge or venture farther in and swim a bit. When you get tired, there are pavilions where you can rest and eat lunch, and there are bathrooms on-site, a playground and places where you can change clothes. If you want to beat the summer crowds, come early in the day.
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