Splash through the end of summer

"Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink!" Maybe, but there's plenty to play in. (Photo by Jenna Shaw)

With only a few weeks remaining before children go back to school, you may be looking for ideas of how to survive the last days of summer. With that in mind, we bring you ideas of where children can play in water, stay cool, and expend some energy.

Splash pads

Splash pads are wonderful spots for children to play in the water. It’s much better than playing in the hose in the front yard! (Margie Williamson/Now Habersham)

Children love splash pads. The splash pad in Cornelia is fairly small, but it offers covered benches, a toilet, and lots of fun. There are not many splash pads in Northeast Georgia, but there are a few within driving distances. Check out:

  • Cornelia Splash Pad is located at 102 Grant Place, Cornelia, Georgia 30531.
  • Yahoola Creek Park is located at 464 Mechanicsville Road, Dahlonega, Georgia 30533.
  • Laurel Park is located at 3100 Old Cleveland Highway, Gainesville, Georgia 30506.

Don’t forget to take a change of clothing for the drive home. My grandchildren were soaking wet from head to toe.


Lake Lanier Islands offers the premier water park experiences in North Georgia. (Photo lanierislands.com)
  • Helen Tubing and Waterpark has just been recognized as one of the best in the United States. You can read about it here. It features a pool with tall slides and a lazy river ride. It also has tubing trips down the Chattahoochee River. Helen Tubing and Waterpark is located at 222 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen, Georgia 30545.
  • Splash Island is located at 3379 S US Highway 76 Bypass, Hiawassee, Georgia 30546. It offers an inflatable obstacle course that is fun for all ages. There is a charge based on the hour(s) of usage. Before going, check out the details and prices on their website.

There’s also a waterpark at Lake Lanier Islands. The information for it is provided below.

Lakes and beaches

Northeast Georgia has an abundance of lakes and swimming areas.

We are blessed in Northeast Georgia with an abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams. For a wonderful day at the beach, consider taking the kids to one of the nearby Georgia State Parks:

  • Unicoi State Park has a beach and picnic area. It also has boat rentals of kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and pedal boats available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The park has a $5.00 daily parking fee. Unicoi State Park is located at 1788 GA-356, Helen, Georgia 30545.
  • Tallulah Gorge State Park has a sand beach, a picnic area and a playground. It is located at 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Drive, Tallulah Falls, Georgia 30573. The park has a $5.00 daily parking fee.
  • Don Carter State Park is located on the north side of Lake Lanier. It offers sand beaches, a boat ramp, and picnic areas. The park’s address is 5000 North Browning Bridge Road, Gainesville, Georgia 30506.
  • If you want something a little “splashy-er”, try Lake Lanier Islands. It offers a large sand beach and a water park with all the trimmings. Check the website for admission costs and to make reservations. Lake Lanier Islands is located at 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford, Georgia 30518.

If all else fails

Get creative! There’s no end of how to have fun with water at home!

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