The summer heat is here, and now its time to cool off.
Tubing the Boise River from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park is a no-brainer, but its not the only way to splash and giggle.
If you dont want to haul the family hours away or spend a bunch of money on admission, here are some fun places in the Treasure Valley to get wet.
EAGLE ISLAND STATE PARK
Often overlooked, its a great place to get soaked.
Theres a water park with slides, and its at a family-friendly price.
A single ride on a slide is a dollar, a 10-ride pass is $7, and $12 gets you an all-day pass with unlimited rides.
Slides are open noon to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday most of the summer.
For a calendar and more details, go to parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/parks/eagleisland.aspx.
There are a lot of ponds in the Boise area, but Quinns Pond off Pleasanton Road and along the Greenbelt has docks and good water quality for swimming.
The pond is not supervised by lifeguards, so it is swim at your own risk, according to Amy Stahl, spokeswoman for Boise Parks and Recreation.
The pond is adjacent to the new whitewater park on the Boise River, which is a fun place to watch kayakers playing in the waves.
There are also boat rentals available at nearby Idaho River Sports so you can paddle around.
This beach is located at the base of Lucky Peak Dam, and its popular for its sand and clear, cool water.
Its a favorite place for families to hang out. Kids play in a pond with a big fountain in the middle.
There are showers, restrooms, changing rooms, and grass and shady areas for picnicking.
The park is open from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. Gates are locked after 9 p.m., so dont push your luck or you may get locked in. Pets and glass containers are not allowed.
Its within Lucky Peak State Park, so a $5-per-vehicle day-use fee is charged.
It may be a no-brainer, but you cant write about splashing and giggling without at least a mention of it. Tubing from Barber to Ann Morrison is a summer classic and an easy, inexpensive way to have fun.
Tubes can be rented at the top of the float and dropped off at the bottom, and a shuttle bus will take you back to the top.
It doesnt get much easier than that. If you havent done it before, spend a few minutes to learn the rules (yes, there are many) and logistics by going to adaweb.net/ParksWaterways.aspx and click on Float the River.
The Lower Dam Recreation Area is a good place to swim at this large reservoir south of Nampa and Caldwell.
The 32-acre recreation area is on the west end of the lake off Riverside Road. It has picnic tables, restrooms and a beach, as well as shady areas to escape the sun.
There is no day-use fee. Be aware that during the hottest parts of the summer, there are occasional algae blooms that make the water unsuitable for swimming.
Its been several years since the last one, and signs are posted when a bloom occurs.
Roger Phillips: 377-6215, Twitter: @rogeroutdoors