Not Going To The Beach? 17 Ways to Have a Splashing Summer at Home

water fun at home, running through sprinklers

A beach vacation is an iconic way to snag summer fun, but it also takes time and money, especially if you don’t live near sand and surf. And if you have a family, the cost of a vacation increases exponentially. But don’t worry, you don’t need the beach to beat the summertime blues.

Stay cool and have a splashing good time without leaving town. Many of these activities are possible in your very own backyard for minimal to no cost, making it easy to find something that appeals to any budget.

1. Rent A Water Inflatable

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Check out local party companies to find ones that rent inflatables. Many feature various water slides, lazy rivers, and other wet options in addition to regular bounce houses. The water inflatables range in size from toddler-friendly to over 20 feet tall. If you’re going to use an inflatable frequently throughout the summer, consider purchasing one. Check with neighbors, friends, or family who plan to join in the fun to see if they’re willing to split the cost.

2. Book Time At A Local Hotel Pool

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You don’t always have to stay at a hotel to take advantage of their pool. Depending on where you live, many hotels offer day passes to locals during the summer, especially if it’s their slow tourist season. These hotels are often ones with a more upscale vibe or located in a popular area, so they usually have a nice pool layout. Of course, you could always look for a great overnight deal and enjoy a mini staycation while you swim.

3. Set Up A Kiddie Pool And Sandbox

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Recreate the beach on a smaller scale with a sandbox and kiddie pool. Set the two up at a distance from each other with a shallow bin of water in between to rinse off sandy feet. For added fun, get two sandboxes. Use one for dry sand play and the other for wet. For example, put digging toys, cars, scoops, and dinosaurs in the dry sandbox. In the wet sandbox, put buckets and sandcastle molds and host a sandcastle-building contest.

4. Plan A Day Of Water Games

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Invite friends and family over for a day of water games or organize a water olympics. Stock up on water guns, Nerf blasters, buckets, water balloons, a slip-and-slide, and kiddie pools. Play water-gun tag, balloon toss, bucket relays (fill a bucket with water one scoop at a time), and so much more. The activities can be as simple (splashing in a kiddie pool) or as elaborate (making a slip-and-slide) as you want to make them.

5. Play In A Splash Pad

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Check out local splash pads in your area or visit splash and spray fountains to get a refreshing break from the heat. Make sure to look over guidelines before you go in case they have special requirements (i.e. wearing water shoes, age limits, etc.). Another option is to get a mini splash pad for your yard if there are none nearby. Hook the pad up to your hose and let the water fun begin.

6. Play Garden Hose Tag

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Pull out the garden hose and pick who’s it for a game of water tag. One person stands with the hose as others run around trying to avoid the spray. Of course, it’s pretty much impossible not to get wet, but that’s the whole idea. When the sun is blazing, no one’s complaining about a blast of cold water. To make the game extra interesting, use a nozzle with different spray options.

7. Turn On The Sprinklers

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A classic never goes out of style, and running through the sprinkler on a hot day is the epitome of backyard summer fun. It’s also the perfect way to multitask — you give your lawn and garden a much-needed drink as you cool off and play. Add a rotating sprinkler attachment to create 360 degrees of splashing fun.

8. Get An Inflatable Pool

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No pool, no problem. With so many options of above-ground pools available, it’s easy to find one that fits your lifestyle and yard. Inflatable pools are a breeze to set up and come in a bunch of sizes and depths. C

hoose one that meets your needs and make sure to get the necessary supplies to maintain it throughout the summer. Also, ensure your yard can accommodate the pool’s maintenance requirements. For example, larger pools typically require a filter, so you’ll need access to an electrical outlet.

9. Have A Truck? Make A Portable Pool

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What if you could take a pool with you anywhere you go? Well, if you have a pick-up truck, you can do just that by using an inflatable truck bed pool. There are also special bed liners available to turn the back of your truck into a portable pool (just no swimming while the vehicle is in motion). If you’re planning a summer camping trip instead of heading to the beach, this could be an excellent compromise.

10. Use Rapid-Fill Water Balloons

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Water balloons are a lot of fun, especially when it’s hot and you’re looking for a way to beat the heat. But prepping a bunch of water balloons isn’t as fun as playing with them. It takes time, and you usually lose quite a few in the process, making the whole activity less appealing. But not anymore. Spend more time playing with water balloons instead of filling them with rapid-filling water balloons. These easy-to-use gizmos are a must for your summer fun plans.

11. Stock Up On Pool Accessories

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If you have a pool, gear up for summer with fun new pool accessories to maximize your splash time. A comfortable water lounger, a fun flamingo pool float, water balls, pool volleyball, and classic beach balls are all excellent ways to up the ante when it comes to summertime fun at home. If you don’t have a pool, check out Swimply, which is like Airbnb for swimming, and pay a small fee to use someone else’s pool.

12. Go Fishing

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Having fun in the water doesn’t always have to be about splashing, sprinklers, and pools. Head to the lake or a nearby pond for a day of fishing. Check ahead of time to see if the lake allows swimming so you can plan accordingly. If you’re really lucky, you’ll cool off and catch dinner at the same time.

13. Check Out A Nearby Water Park

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Get ready for a day full of splashing, sunshine, and more with a visit to a nearby water park. Pack everything you need for the day, including a change of clothes, sunscreen, goggles, snacks, and water shoes. Get your tickets ahead of time to ensure you can get in when you arrive. Also, review park rules before you go so you don’t end up with any surprises putting a dent in your plans.

14. Build A Pool Noodle Kid Wash

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If you love DIY projects, get ready for some water fun using PVC pipes and pool noodles. Make a kiddie car wash for hours of fun in your own backyard and to get relief from the summer heat. Once built, all you need to open your car wash is a garden hose. Don’t let the name fool you. Adults will love taking turns, too.

15. Enjoy A Meal In The Pool

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A popular pastime during summer is a picnic, but sometimes it’s simply too hot to enjoy eating outside. But what if you could enjoy your meal in the pool? Use a floating tray to have lunch from your pool steps or as you relax in an inflatable pool lounge. It’s a great way to relish the sunshine without breaking a sweat. (And, no, you don’t have to wait 30 minutes between eating and swimming — although a few minutes would be wise to avoid a belly ache.)

16. Have Fun Washing The Car

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Check an item off your to-do list and snag some sneaky splash time with a group car wash. Wash the family car, offer to clean your neighbor’s car, or kick things up a notch and organize a car wash fundraiser to collect money for a local charity.

17. Create Your Own Bubble Run

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Every year, the Bubble Run comes to cities across the US to give people a chance to run and dance their way through a colorful, foam-filled 5K course. If your city isn’t hosting this sudsy event, recreate a mini bubble run in your backyard using kiddie pools, bubble bath, and colorful bubble solution.