Summer is the season of childhood, a golden three-month reprieve from the crushing institution of school. As soon as that last buzzer rings, you're out the door and never looking back. It's one of the only times that, as a child, you truly have freedom. You have the whole world at your fingertips and you can do anything, as long as Mom is able to give you a ride.
There are a number of activities to keep kids occupied during the summer months; everything from sports like baseball and basketball, to camping, to simply exploring nature are excellent ways to while away the long days. But with the summer comes something that is inescapable — the heat. It's almost cruel irony that the season where we have the freedom to be outside is also the hottest time of the year.

Some of the best summer activities are ones that let you have fun and beat the heat at the same time. The obvious answer is a pool, but sometimes going to the public pool can be a miserable experience. On extremely hot days they are especially crowded, and not only that — you also have no real room to swim. Lakes can be better, as they are much larger, but going to your favorite lake can get pretty boring. That brings us to our third alternative — water parks.

Water parks are cool, both literally and figuratively, and they provide you with a chance to combine the refreshing water with the thrill of action. According to the World Waterpark Association, in the summer of 2009, about 80 million people in North America visited water parks. The video below is footage shot in BSR Cable Park located in Waco, Texas. The park itself offers a ton of options, but this slide might be the pièce de résistance.

It is a place such as this that allows us to hark back to the thrill we would feel as children when that final school bell rang. A time when we realized we had the whole world open to us, and we would live every moment that we could having fun. Places like these should be enjoyed by adults more often, because the more we can get in touch with our inner child, the better.