What do you do when your little one is too little to justify paying a big water park price?  You take them to the splash pad, of course!  It’s safer than the ocean but more fun than the backyard pool.  Best of all, we've got some great ones in our own Southcoast backyard.

1. Freetown State Forest’s Wading Pool & Splash Pad

Perks:  It’s free, fenced in, has 2 or more lifeguards on duty at all times and has fun features like a spray deck (sprinklers, shower tunnels and spray jets that come up from the patio) and has plenty of shady picnic space and open field for when your little ones are too water logged to wade any more.

2. Capron Zoo & Splash Pad, Attleboro

This is a great zoo, playground and splash pad all rolled into one!   Although there is a small fee for admission, it makes for a great way to spend a day- be it visiting the animals first and then getting soaking wet, or getting soaking wet and then drying off  with a stroll to the Lion exhibit. Parking is free and admission is $5.50 for adults, $4.50 kids, and FREE under 3yrs.

Don’t want to travel?   Local parks like Riverside Park and Brooklawn Park in New Bedford both have splash pad features that will cool your kids down just the same.