Pools, water parks and fountains

Splash around and cool down.

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  • Photograph: Michael Kirby Smith

    Teardrop Park

  • Photograph: Joe Alfano

    The High Line

  • Photograph: Michael Kirby Smith

    28 JUNE 2011 - Kids play at the Washington Square Park around the fountain.

    Washington Square Park

Photograph: Michael Kirby Smith

Teardrop Park

Water parks

Mountain Creek Water Park
Spend the afternoon jumping off cliffs and going whitewater rafting at this adult- and kid-friendly playground: Don't miss Cannonball Falls, where two fully enclosed tubes catapult you through darkness to a ten-foot free fall. On Sunday 10, Urban Sherpa is offering round-trip travel to Mountain Creek; the $65.50 price tag includes park admission and transportation. 200 Rte 94, Vernon, NJ (973-864-8444, mountaincreekwaterpark.com). Mon--Fri 10:30am--6pm, Sat 10am--7pm, Sun 10:30am--7pm; $25.99--$35.99, season pass $59.99. Urban Sherpa: Sun 10 8am--6:30pm; $65.50, reservations required. Register at urbansherpatravel.com.

Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags
Explore Six Flags' 45-acre tropical-island setting: You'll find a million-gallon wave pool, not to mention nearly 20 waterslides. And don't miss Tornado, an extreme tube ride that thrusts you into a manufactured storm, ascending seven stories into a tunnel before whipping you through a water funnel that measures 60 feet in diameter. Hop on a bus from Port Authority; NJ Transit offers direct service. Visit njtransit.com for more information and schedules, or call 973-275-5555; $17.50 each way. Rte 537, Jackson, NJ (732-928-1821, sixflags.com/hurricaneharbornj). Through Sept 5; $29.99--$39.99.

Fountains

Teardrop Park
This downtown green space was designed by renowned landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, and it packs a serious aesthetic punch in less than two acres: Teardrop is split by a magnificent, 168-foot-long ice-water wall, which sprays H2O in the summer months and naturally forms ice art in the winter. There's also a shady water grotto play area here, favored by kiddies, that shoots powerful jets straight out from the rocks. Warren St at Murray St (bpcparks.org)

The High Line
The Diller--von Furstenberg Sundeck, located between West 14th and 15th Streets (enter at 14th Street), has the best of both worlds: On one side, a sidewalk enhanced by trickling water offers a perfect spot for barefoot strolling; nearby there are four scattered signature "peel-up" benches for people-watching. The water feature runs daily 7:15am--10:30pm during the spring, summer and fall. Just opposite, wooden chaise longues entice visitors to soak up some rays. Gansevoort to W 34th Sts, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (212-500-6035, thehighline.org)

Washington Square Park
The park's central fountain—dedicated in 1852—predates the famed arch alongside it by about 40 years. The warmer months find visitors lazing around the fountain. The font and the park itself have undergone recent renovations—some of the park remains fenced off due to the construction, and the fountain was shifted to align better with the arch. In addition to all the work that's being done, Washington Square remains the unofficial quad of NYU, so the park is rarely quiet. But since college students don't often make for early risers, a morning visit will offer you greater solitude. W 4th St to Waverly Pl between MacDougal St and University Pl (nycgovparks.org/parks/washingtonsquarepark)

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