In the old movie Biloxi Blues, Mathew Broderick’s character states, as he is getting off the bus from cooler climates, “Man it’s hot. Like Africa hot.” This describes the ‘dog days of summer,’ the time between mid-July and mid-September when the mercury climbs, and the sweat rolls down the back like a mountain stream, a steamy one.

Even as the school year stretches like a cat as it prepares to start the day, the cool breezes of fall hide like a mouse afraid to be pounced upon. This is the time when we all look for a cool place to find a sense of refreshment, one that not even an icy glass of sweet tea can quench. What is needed is a place to take the plunge.

Rutherford County offers five places to ‘dive’ into the water during these last days of summer’s heat before fall hits. Three are splash pads, two of the options are pools. There is something for everyone.

1. Boro Beach at Sports*Com

Not so many years ago this was just a boring old outdoor swimming pool, but then the city decided to turn the outdoor pool at Sports*Com into a water based mini-amusement park. There are umbrellas for shade, three giant slides, a small splash pad, and water features for smaller children. One reviewer calls it “…a fun pool with many levels of entertainment.” Concessions are available on site, as no outside food is allowed. A large contingent of life guards keep an eye on swimmers of all ages.

There is an admission charge of seven dollars for adults, and five dollars for kids, seniors, and members of the military. Discounts are available for Murfreesboro residents and those who own yearly facility passes.

From now until Aug 4, Boro Beach is open Mon-Fri 10 am – 6:30 pm, Saturday 10 am-4:30 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 6 pm.

August 5 through Sept 1, Boro Beach will be open from Friday 4 pm until 6:30 pm, Saturday 10 am until 4:30 pm and Saturday, and 1 pm until 6 pm on Sunday.

Boro Beach at Sports*Com
2310 Memorial Boulevard
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
(615) 895-5040
More information here

2. SplashTown at Smyrna Outdoor Adventure Center

SOAC, which is what Smyrna Outdoor Adventure Center is referred to by locals, had a pool, that, like Boro Beach, was just normal outdoor pool until the city made it a fun place for families to go when temperatures soar. Now there are two pools, one four feet deep, the other is eight feet deep. Also on the campus are sunbrellas, two big kid slides, a splash pad, a small kid’s slide, a play structure, and a drop bucket that pours cold water upon the unsuspecting.

Admission is five dollars for adults, and four dollars for kids and those over age 55. There are also group rates. For groups over 20, a reservation is required, and there is a $125 fee.

Splash Town is Open Monday through Saturday 10:00am – 6:00pm and Sunday Noon – 6:00pm. Beginning August 10th, SplashTown will be open on weekends only.

SplashTown at Smyrna Outdoor Adventure Center
100 Sam Ridley Parkway East
Smyrna, TN 37067
(615) 459-9710
More information here

3. The Fountains’ Splash Pad

Surrounded by great shops and restaurants, including the very popular Soda Bar, the Splash Pad at The Fountains is a great place for both kids and parents to cool off on a hot day. It is open nights and weekends until the end of August. There is no charge to enjoy the water.

Located in the central greenspace, when summer comes to an end, the area will be turned into a winter wonderland with a small ice skating rink.

Until the days get cooler, The Fountains will continue to have outdoor events in this central area, including live music, movies, and activities for the kids.

The Fountains at Gateway
1500 Medical Center Parkway
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
(615) 890-4651
More information here

4. Lucky Ladd Farms Splash Zone

Out in Eagleville, Lucky Ladd Farm’s Splash Zone will be open until the last Saturday of August. The Splash Zone offers showers of cool “rain water,” and the Bubble Blast Pool is filled with “mountains” of bubbles.

After getting a chance to cool off, families can explore the rest of the 60-acre park. The park includes encounters with farm animals, playgrounds, mega slides, rope mazes, tire swings, and nature trails.

Tickets can be purchased online. They are $13.99 per person for adults, and $10.99 per person for kids and seniors. Group discounts are available for 20 or more.

Lucky Ladd Farm is open from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. Splash Zone is only open on Friday and Saturday.

Splash Pad at Lucky Ladd Farms
4374 Rocky Glade Road
Eagleville, TN 37060
(615) 274-3786
More information here

5. Splash Pad at Gregory Mill Park

Smyrna Parks and Recreation Department runs the Splash Pad at Gregory Mill Park, as they are also in charge of Splash Town. The splash pad is a popular feature of the 48-acre park that was developed by the Town of Smyrna after renting the land for the United State Corps of Engineers. There is also a walking trail that is a half-mile long and connects to the greenway system in Smyrna.

The splash pad can be rented on a limited basis to groups and to school groups.

Hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm and Friday-Sunday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. Weekends only beginning August 10th. It closed down the last day of August.

Splash Pad at Gregory Mill Park
390 Enon Springs Road East
Smyrna, TN 37067
(615) 459-9710
More information here