Now that swimming pool season is over, of course there will be scorching days in September and October. Fortunately there are lots of other fun ways to cool off with your kiddos and enjoy the water.
1. Splash pads are the best thing to show up at the playground since the wood-and-chain wobbly bridge and many are open past Labor Day. Don't need a swimsuit, swim diaper or lifeguard.
2. Natural waterfalls beat out the chlorinated kind any day. You just need to know where to find them. In Western Pennsylvania, McConnells Mill State Park features a kid-friendly fall and a solid soaking along the Hells Hollow Trail. Check out your state park agency or search the National Park Service for one near you.
3. Check out autumn foilage from the seat of a kayak or canoe. First timers and families -- hook up with a local guide for a how-to course or tour.
4. Water balloons are fun any time. We've been having a great time with a jug and pumper toy that lets the kids fill them without having to use the hose every time. Clean up after with a contest of who can find the most balloon bits -- make sure you have a motivating prize, like first dibs on chocolate cake.