5 ways to have fun in the water while avoiding red tide

By Amanda Castro - Reporter/Anchor
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ORLANDO, Fla. - Red tide is sweeping across beaches on Florida's Gulf Coast this summer and it could last for several more months.

Here are five ways you can still enjoy the water and avoid the red tide that is littering the shores with dead fish and other aquatic animals.

1. Take a trip to the East Coast beaches

Instead of heading west to the Gulf Coast, drive east. There are several beaches up and down the east coast, including Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Flagler Beach, New Smyrna Beach and the Canaveral National Seashore. Red tide is not impacting east coast beaches. 
 
2. Cool off at water parks

Central Florida is no stranger to theme parks and water parks. There are several places you can go to enjoy the water,  without any algae threats. Cool off at Disney's Blizzard Beach, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, SeaWorld's Aquatica, Universal's Volcano Bay and Legoland's Florida Water Park. 
 
3. Splish splash on splash pads

Many people, especially little ones, love running through fountains of water. Several cities and counties across Central Florida offer splash pads: 

  • City of Winter Park Spray Pads at Capehart Park at 715 Capehart Drive, Orlando and Barnett Park located at 4801 W. Colonial Drive, Orlando
  • Trailblazer Park at the Lake Mary Sports Complex at 550 Rantoul Lane, Lake Mary. Daily pass costs $2 per person
  • Dr. P. Phillips Community Park at 8249 Buenavista Woods Blvd, Orlando. Costs $1 per person per session on weekends and holidays and weekdays June - August
  • Winter Springs Splash Playgrounds at Torcaso Park at 104 N. Moss Road, Winter Springs and 701 Northern Way, Winter Springs. Both splash pads are open until October 31. Free for residents, $3 per person per day for non-residents
  •  Oviedo Splash Zone at 148 Oviedo Blvd, Oviedo. Open weekends noon to 5 p.m. until September 30. Costs $5 for residents, $9 for nonresidents
  • Champions Splash Park at 100 Third St., Clermont. Open Wednesday - Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Costs $2 per person
  • Downey Park at 10107 Flowers Ave., Orlando. Costs $1 per person 

 4. Take a dip in a spring

Enjoy the cool waters of the springs and all the fun they have to offer. Maybe you'll spot a manatee at Blue Springs State Park, take a glass bottom boat tour at Silver Springs State Park, or take a swim at Wekiwa Springs State Park.

5. Grab a hose and turn on the sprinklers

Cool off in the comfort of your own home. Grab a hose and sprinkler and turn your yard into a water park. You can even get creative and build your own slip and slide. Just be careful, parents are urged to watch their children at all times while playing in the water. 

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