Summer means relaxation and no school, but with it also brings triple-digit temperatures and persistent moms armed with SPF 90 sunscreen. (Pro-tip: There's no need for a SPF higher than 50, says the Skin Cancer Foundation.)
In the mood to cool off? Aside from the local splash parks and spraygrounds that are open for the summer, beat the Texas heat with these activities and events. Bikinis, balloon fights and berry popsicles will ensure what D-FW native Demi Lovato said best: You and I, we're cool for the summer.
Dive-in movie nights
Take a dip in the pool, refresh with a tropical smoothie and relax poolside while watching movies and the Texas sunset in the background. No, this isn't a scene from a movie; it's happening at many spots here in North Texas.
Dive-in movie nights are on the calendar at The Fairmont where hotel guests can enjoy family-friendly movies, including Sing and The Jungle Book, from May 6 through Sept. 9 on its rooftop terrace.
For a good bargain, NRH20 Family Water Park's admission tickets reduce to half price after 5 p.m from May 30-June 2, so enjoy rides and attractions for a few hours before winding down to kid-friendly movies at dusk. Click here for more information on NRH20's dive-in movie series.
Visit Frisco Water Park for its splash features and water slides during the day but stay until sundown for its dive-in movies on June 23, July 21 and Aug. 4 ($10 per person).
Fort Worth's Forest Park Pool is also hosting a dive-in movie night with a showing of The Incredibles on Aug. 8 ($8 per person, $30 for family of four).
Popsicles by the pool
In need for a sweet treat after a few hours under the sun? Gaylord Texan's Paradise Springs water park in Grapevine is partnering with local popsicle shop Berrynaked on W. Lovers Lane in Dallas to bring pops poolside for guests. Cool off and indulge on these all-natural pops, with flavors including mango, chai latte and cookies 'n cream ($4-$5). Warning: If you try our recommendation, strawberry limeade, you'll be back for seconds.
Paradise Springs at Gaylord Texan, May 29 through Sept. 2 at the Gaylord Texan resort's Paradise Springs water park, 1501 Gaylord Trail, Grapevine. For resort guests only. marriott.com.
Workout and get wet? Count me in. The Splash Dash Race on July 22 at Bahama Beach offers both a 1K and 5K race, as well as a free water park pass with every race entry purchase. Besides water zones located periodically throughout the course, water gun gangs will drench you and help you cool off from the Texas heat. If you aren't in the mood to run the race, Splash Dash is looking for volunteers to help soak people. No matter what, no one is leaving the water park dry! Athletic water shoes are recommended.
Splash Dash Race, July 22 from 8-11 a.m. at Bahama Beach, 1895 Campfire Circle, Dallas. $40-$55. splashdash5k.com.
The saying that everything is bigger in Texas now applies to water gun battles. Ever wanted to break a world record? This is your chance, for "largest water pistol fight" of 2,875 (or more) participants. This family-friendly super soaker battle at the University of Texas at Arlington's Maverick Stadium takes place July 22. Get stoked to get soaked.
World's Largest Super Soaker Battle, July 22 from 2-4 p.m., at Maverick Stadium at UTA, 1307 W. Mitchell St., Arlington. $15. loabros.com.
Paddle with your pup(s)
Swim and splash alongside your furry canine friends at dog-friendly pool parties this summer.
First up, Cedar Hill's Crawford Park Pool is throwing its annual Paws in the Pool-ooza Party, whose proceeds will go to benefit Tri-City Animal Shelter (Aug. 12, 8 a.m.-noon, $5 per dog).
Water parks are also joining the fun during events including Pooch Plunge at Wet Zone (Aug. 13, 4-7 p.m., $10 per dog), Paco's Poochie Plunge at Bahama Beach's Calypso Cooler (Aug. 26, noon-2 p.m., $5), the Wags and Waves event at Garland's Hawaiian Falls (Sept. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., $22 per person and two dogs) and the Bow-Wow Luau at The Colony's Hawaiian Falls (Sept. 10, 1-5 p.m., $15-$20 per person and two dogs). Other parties to bring along man's best friend include North Richland Hill's Doogie Beach Bash, Mesquite's Doggie Splash Day and University Park's Doggie Splash Day.
Two-thousand people. 60,000 water balloons. Yes, you read that right. Deep Ellum is hosting an all-out water war for adults only on Aug. 27 behind music venue Trees. Featuring water balloon fights, dunk tanks, water slides, food and music, this end-of-summer splash extravaganza will leave you soaked from head to toe. Tickets start at $15 for general admission, and the VIP package at $30 includes an event t-shirt and swag bag. All proceeds go to Dallas-based mental health and addiction awareness organization Foundation 45.
Deep Ellum Water Balloon Wars, Aug. 27 from noon-6 p.m. at Trees, 2709 Elm St., Dallas. $15-$30. deepellumtexas.com