The hot, sticky Florida summer has arrived, that means having to find activities for the kids to help them cool down.
Fortunately, Cape Coral parents have a place to take the youngsters every day.
Sun Splash Family Waterpark begins its summer schedule Thursday, with new park hours every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
And if Memorial Day was any indication, it promises to be a very busy year for the city-owner park.
"There were about 1,500 guests just on Monday. We're anticipating a very fun summer," said Michelle Dean, marketing coordinator for the city Parks and Recreation Departmemt. "We've had a good amount of smiling faces so far and expect it to continue this summer."
There will also be numerous special events so the whole family can come out and enjoy the park.
SpongeBob SquarePants will be at the park on June 7 from noon to 3 p.m. and the following weekend, dads get in free with the purchase of a regular child or adult admission in honor of Father's Day.
On July 4 and on Labor Day, it's a day for the military as the park will offer free admission for active or retired military, disabled veterans and military reservists with ID or contract. A $5 discount is available for up to four family members accompanying military personnel.
A new event will be Christmas in July from July 25-31. Santa will be there and you can win some great prizes.
The always-popular Family Fun Nights will be June 14, July 12 and Aug. 9, featuring fun, music and raffle prizes, and Aqua Theatre returns on June 28 with the film "Frozen" and July 25.
"With temperatures climbing in the summer months, Sun Splash is the perfect place to cool down and beat the heat every day of the week," said Sun Splash manager Sandra Greiner.
"We are looking forward to hosting local residents and area visitors for safe and refreshing family fun all summer long," Greiner said in a statement.
Sun Splash's seven-day-a-week schedule coincides with the Lee County School District's summer break, which runs through Aug. 17, after which the park will remain open on weekends until Sept. 14, when it closes for the year.
"We usually close in late September, but with fall sports and homecoming it's hard to get people to come in on the weekend," Dean said. "We also have high school and college kids on staff. That makes it even more challenging."
Sun Splash is the largest water park in Southwest Florida, with more than 14 acres of pools, slides, tubes, and rides, including three speed slides, a Main Stream River Tube Ride and a Tot Spot for small children.
For more information on Sun Splash, call 574-0558 or go to www.SunSplashWaterpark.com.
You can also sign up to receive e-mail updates on the Sun Splash website, become a fan of Sun Splash on Facebook, and follow the park on Twitter at twitter.com/sunsplashcc