Waterful Tips for a Wonderful Vacation

Ah, summer: The perfect time to take a break from reality with a quick getaway surrounded by loved ones. Though plenty of vacation destinations this time of year revolve around water (think: beaches, pools and lakes), there are several other ways in which Earth’s most essential resource factors into your plans for getting out of town. 

Not sure what we’re talking about? Read on to see how you can ensure your summer vacation is a waterful one. 

Before you hit the road: 

●      This one’s obvious: Make sure any of your furry or feathered friends who are staying home are taken care of when it comes to food and water. Hydrated pets are happy pets!

●      While you’re at it, see if your pet sitter, a friend or a neighbor can stop by the house to water your plants. Different plants have different water needs, so do your research in advance to know how many visits to plan. 

●      Want to keep the yard in tip-top shape while you’re away? See if you can put your sprinklers on a timer system so that they automatically turn on throughout your trip. 

●      Does your swimming pool have an automatic cleaning pump? If so, ensure the pool is filled up with water before you head out so that the motor runs smoothly and doesn’t burn out. 

●      Take a walk through the house and make sure none of your faucets are leaking water. You certainly don’t want those leaks adding up while you’re away. 

●      Sign up for WaterSmart alerts from Aqua to stay up-to-date about any changes to your water service while you’re away so you’re not caught off-guard when you return. 

For the drive or flight:

●      If you drive to your destination, bring along a reusable water bottle that you fill up at home. That way, any time you stop somewhere for a bite to eat or to stretch your legs, you can refill it at a soda machine or water fountain. 

●      If you fly, you can still bring a reusable water bottle with you—just make sure it’s empty when you go through airport security! Afterward, you can fill it up at any food vendor’s soda machine or water fountain so you have plenty of water for the flight. 

●      Don’t forget: Plenty of foods contain water, too. Pack fruits and veggies to snack on during your trip so you stay hydrated—the tasty way. 

During the trip:

●      Remember that reusable water bottle you brought along? Always throw it in your beach bag or backpack no matter where you go.

●      Don’t forget to drink plenty of water even though you’ve pressed pause on your usual routine. For example, if you’re used to drinking water at your desk all day, it’s easy to forget to do so when you’re away from the office! Try setting reminders on your phone to make sure you — and the whole family — drink plenty of water on each day of your trip.

●      If you hit the beach, pool or lake, make sure you apply plenty of sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses to keep your skin safe from the bright sun. 

●      If you plan to be super active during your trip (think: hiking, surfing or other kinds of adventuring), consider bringing packets of powdered sports drink mixes to drop into your water bottle to keep your energy levels up.

●      Just for fun: Keep track of how many different types of water you encounter if you visit a new place. Between pools, oceans, rivers, lakes and waterfalls, the world is full of watery wonders! 

Whether your summer travels take you to the other side of the state or the other side of the world, remember that water is an invaluable part of everyday life, from the day-to-day tasks of home, to the adventures of a vacation. 

Have a safe, enjoyable and waterful trip! 

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Sweeten Your Summer with DIY Fruit-Filled Water Popsicles

With Memorial Day weekend just days away, people all across the country are dreaming up ways to stay cool and have some fun in the sun while celebrating the (unofficial) start to summer.

You might remember that during last year’s Drinking Water Week, we whipped up some tasty and healthy recipes to bring fruity flavors into your regular drinking water. Now, to shake things up a bit, we’re back with some ideas for how to transform those refreshing drinks into icy popsicles.

Here are four different types of water-based fruit popsicles to quench your thirst—and your sweet tooth!

What you need:

●      16 ounces of prickly pears

●      6 cups of water

●      Popsicle molds

What to do:

The first step is to get the juice out of the prickly pear. You can do this with a juicer or by scooping out the insides. Put the fruit and the water into a blender or food processor and blend everything to a smooth, watery consistency. Pour mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze. Once frozen, remove the popsicles from the mold and enjoy!

What you need:

●      6 cups of water

●      2 cups of blackberries

●      ½ cup of mint leaves

●      Popsicle molds

What to do:

Cut one and a half cups of blackberries in half. Mash one half cup of blackberries. Lightly chop all mint leaves. Combine mashed blackberries and lightly chopped mint leaves with water and warm over low heat for about 5 minutes to allow the mint to infuse with the water. Let the mixture cool and mix in halved blackberries. Pour everything into popsicle molds and let sit overnight before eating.

What you need:

●      2 limes

●      8 mint leaves

●      6 cups of water

●      Popsicle molds

What to do:

Juice and zest both limes. Lightly chop mint leaves. Combine the juice, zest, mint leaves and water. Warm over low heat for about 5 minutes to allow for the mint to infuse into the mixture. Allow everything to cool, and then pour into popsicle molds.

What you need:

●      6 cups of water

●      2 mandarin oranges, sliced into wedges

●      Handful of blueberries

●      Ice

●      Popsicle molds

What to do:

Juice one mandarin orange. Peel the other mandarin orange and slice into small wedges. Mix the juice, water, orange wedges and blueberries. Pour mixture into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

Get excited: You’re heading into Memorial Day weekend with four different types of popsicles to keep you and your family hydrated and happy. Tap into our Facebook and Twitter pages to stay updated on more fun activities to do with water all summer long.

 

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Take a Whirl on America's Tallest Water Slides

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DIY Snow Cones: A Natural Taste of Summer

Ah, summertime.

Favorite memories of the season often include a combination of sun, water and delicious frozen treats, one of which is the classic snow cone. This flavored crushed ice is a simple but universal staple of many memorable summer adventures.

Unfortunately, snow cone syrup is often packed with chemicals, food dyes and hidden sugars that aren’t quite as nutritious as they are fun to eat. If you’re looking to capture the magic of summer in a delicious snow cone without any of the pre-packaged or way-too-sugary syrups, look no further! Here’s how to have fun while making healthier choices this summer.

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 cup of 100 percent fruit juice
  • ½ to 1 cup of sugar, depending on your preferred tartness of juice
  • Ice
  • Blender, food processor or snow cone maker to shave ice
  • Small saucepan

Image via Flickr user L.A. Foodie

What to do: 

  1. In a small saucepan, combine fruit juice and sugar.
  2. Set saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn to low and simmer for five minutes, stirring until sugar completely dissolves.
  4. Pour syrup into a jar and allow it to cool completely.
  5. Refrigerate for several hours before use.
  6. To make snow cone, mound shaved ice in a snow cone cup or bowl. Pour your homemade syrup over the ice and dig in!

Bonus recipe: 

August also happens to be National Coffee Month. If you’re a kid at heart who still needs their afternoon caffeine, here’s a recipe for a delicious coffee syrup for a cold treat fit for grown ups.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of strong coffee
  • ½ cup of water
  • 2 tbs of lemon juice
  • Small pan

What to do:

  1. Boil ingredients in a small pan.
  2. Set in fridge to cool.
  3. Pour over shaved ice.

The summer celebrations don’t have to stop when school starts! Keep a taste of summer going as long as possible by enjoying after-school snow cones to cool off and celebrate a long day of learning.

What’s your favorite DIY snow cone syrup flavor? Let us know!

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DIY Water Parks: Build a Backyard Aquatic Adventure

With Summer in full swing, it’s no surprise that the weather outside has been getting hot, hot, hot!

Instead of shelling out money, waiting in line, and dealing with the stresses of taking the family to a water park, we have another idea: bring the water park to you! By skipping the hassles of a busy water park and working together to set up these fun water games in the grass, you’ll have tons of fun as a family.

Read on for some easy and fun ways to transform your backyard into an amusement oasis for the kids —and the kids-at-heart!

Water Balloon Piñatas

 

Water balloons are a summer classic. Turn the hot weather staple into something new by hanging oversized water balloons from a tree branch or the monkey bars, then take turns breaking your water piñatas with a baseball bat. (Just make sure you clean up all the broken balloons once you’re done so any furry friends don’t accidentally eat them.)

For a little extra fun, award a popsicle prize that corresponds with the color of each balloon you break!

Pool Noodle Sprinklers

Image via Wikimedia Commons

It’s easy to transform a pool noodle—another classic summertime staple—into a refreshing sprinkler. Just poke holes into your pool noodle, plug the opening on one side and then attach the mouth of a garden hose into the other side. When you turn on the water, you’ll have a fun H2O gadget ready for any party. Read even more detailed instructions here.

Human-Sized Bubble-Maker

via GIPHY

Blowing bubbles and a warm summer breeze go together like peanut butter and jelly. These human-sized bubbles will put wonder and awe into the eyes of your guests.

All you need is a lot of bubble solution, a plastic kiddie pool and a hula hoop. Fill up the pool with the bubble solution, then have one of your guests stand inside the hula hoop inside the pool. When they pull up on the hula hoop, the bubble will envelope the person inside. This is a great way to add some whimsy to your backyard waterpark.

Slip ‘N-’ Slide

Photo via Flickr user Fred Rockwood

No backyard water park would be complete without a slip ‘n-’ slide. As it turns out, DIY slip ‘n-’ slides tend to be more durable than their storebought counterparts. Gather up heavy plastic sheeting, dish soap and stakes to secure the plastic to the ground. For full instructions on how to build a heavy-duty slip ‘n-’ slide that’ll be a hit all season, head here.

We hope these ideas have sparked your imagination and added some fun to your summer. Always remember to stay hydrated when you’re outdoors—even when you’re surrounded by water!

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