When the sun is high, and the days are long, families are always on the lookout for opportunities to have fun and stay cool all at once. An obvious way to achieve this goal is by turning to water activities. Playing in the water is the perfect way to enjoy a sweltering day, and the variety of water activities available make it an ideal choice for families. Whether you live near a lake or ocean or are traveling to a fantastic water destination, be sure to plan ahead for some fun water sports. Activities that require reservations can get snagged quickly on summer weekends, so be sure to make your reservations early to guarantee a spot.
Also, be sure to adhere to all safety precautions and make sure everyone is comfortable with the activity before beginning. Nothing ruins a family vacation more than a trip to the hospital, so take care, and follow all instructions carefully. Here is a list of five awesome water-based family activities to get you planning your next adventure. They range from easy to difficult and also vary depending on how extreme your family likes to go. Be sure to take ages, time, and skill level into consideration.
Now get out there and have a splash!
1. Water Inner Tubing
Water inner tubing is a fantastic water activity for families with children of varying ages. Great for kids as young as two or three with an adult and a careful driver, and fun for every age thereafter, inner tubing has come a long way from its early days and now includes a wide variety of tube styles.
Tubing can be either relaxing or heart-pumping, depending on a few factors. These include the speed at which the boat is traveling and the type of tube. There are now tubes on the market that are designed more like small benches, allowing you to sit up next to a buddy and be towed gently around the lake. Or you can ride belly down on a more traditional tube as the boat speeds around, skimming you across the water as you hold on as tight as you can. This range of options makes tubing an excellent choice for a family water sport.
2. Wake Skates or Wake Boarding
Wake skating is a new sport that adds a fun and adventurous element to its predecessor, wake boarding. The key difference is that there are no bindings.
Both wake skating and wake boarding involve being towed behind a boat and, using a tow rope, riding on the wakes with a single board. If you have never participated in this activity before, be warned that it can be notoriously difficult to even pull yourself into an upright position. Once you do cross that hurdle, though, wake boarding and skating are some of the most fun and athletic water sports out there.
The smallest skates and boards are designed for riders as small as 40 pounds (typically around 5 years old), which makes it another family-friendly option. Let everyone take a turn trying their hand at this challenging yet super fun sport. You never know who will surprise you and get up on their first try.
3. White Water Rafting
Although it is limited by location and requires a guide, white water rafting is a great water-based family adventure. Almost every state offers rafting and for those that do not, you don’t have to go too far to find a neighboring state that does.
Rafting can vary greatly in both difficulty and danger. For your first trip, stick to the recommended beginner route so everyone can get a sense of what this kind of adventure entails. While rafting, you will be paddling, helping to steer, and of course enjoying all the big splashes and views.
Best for children nine and up, white water rafting does have certain routes that are appropriate for younger children, and some boats have a special spot for young passengers to sit without having to be responsible for the difficulties of steering and paddling.
Your family will come away from this experience with memories galore. Most companies offer photography for a small fee, which can offer some amazing and hilarious photos of the trek. With or without the pictures, white water rafting is not an experience anyone is soon to forget.
4. Jet Skiing
Renting a jet ski is an easy way to get out into the water and experience it for yourself. For that reason, it is great for teenagers who seek a little independence. To rent your own jet ski, you typically need to be sixteen, but if you have a fourteen- or fifteen-year-old itching to get out there, there are exceptions to this rule listed here.
Young kids are free to ride with an adult and can often do so when very small with special equipment. Of course, it is advised you don’t drive too fast or wild when riding with or near younger participants.
Jet skiing is an excellent way to feel the wind in your hair and check out a larger body of water that you might otherwise not be able to get a good look at. Most rentals are by the hour, so consider spending a good part of your day on the water, and as always, don’t forget your life vests.
5. Water Park
For families that may not be near natural bodies of water, a water park is the perfect solution for a day of super-soaked family fun. Check out the nearest park to you and enjoy staples such as water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers. There are often areas designated for specific ages, which makes it another doable option for families with children from toddlers to teens.
With any of these activities, you want to be sure that everyone participating is aware of the equipment’s limitations along with any personal limitations. Safety first is especially true when you are enjoying activities that involve powerful equipment and water. As long as everyone knows what they are doing and how to use all the gear, you should have nothing short of a wonderful time.
Getting out and enjoying nature with your family is a terrific way to bond. Participating in any of these water activities together will surely get you soaked and create lasting memories.