Summer weather spurs searches for amusement parks, paddleboarding, July 4th fireworks

Summer only officially began Sunday but much of America has already has sunshine and vacation on their minds for weeks.

The latest Google search trends show folks are ready to unwind outside and dive back into activities, even with a crowd, as more of the country gets vaccinated and opens up.

July 4th celebrations return

Celebrating independence has a renewed meaning as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, and online users are already searching for ways to make America’s birthday special. Search terms “July 4th activities near me” and “what to do on July 4th” have been trending on and off since late May.

Both of Washington's big July 4th events, a Capitol Fourth and the fireworks at the National Mall, return this year after being canceled due to COVID in 2020. (Photo: Cliff Owen/AP)

After much deliberation, the Boston Pops Firework Spectacular is returning this year and Washington’s Capitol Fourth are back as well. Many other cities are ready to get cracking. From Tampa to Toledo, Austin to Jersey City, officials are planning the return of fireworks displays. Cue “The Overture of 1812!”

Cool off for free at these public pools

The 800,000-gallon Venetian Pool once served as a backdrop to sales pitches from politicians William Jennings Bryant about the virtues of owning Florida real estate. (Photo: HERALD-TRIBUNE STAFF PHOTO / HAROLD BUBIL)

When the temperature heats up, the searches for places to take a dip or make a splash rise right along with it. Public pools offer affordable family fun and some even come with water park style amenities from slides, to snack bars.

Take the Coral Gables Venetian Pool in Florida, for example. Created in the 1920s, it’s fed by an underground aquifer and features waterfalls and lookout towers. (Admission for city residents is around $11; tickets for non-residents start around $32.)

Others offer an oasis in the city, like the Rosedale Pool in Washington D.C., complete with slides, a shallow splash area and lap swimming. (Admission is free with proof of DC residency; non-residents can pick up a pass for under $10 per person.)  To maximize your fun at any of these community pools, remember the early bird gets the best poolside lounger.

Cool off at an urban splash pad

The International Fountain at the Seattle Center is expected to reopen in July. (Photo: Elaine Thompson/AP)

You don’t have to break the bank to make a splash with your family. Your kiddos can cool off at a community splash pad for free. From the Brooklyn Bridge Park Water Lab the Seattle Center International Fountain (closed until the end of June for maintenance) to the Dinosaur Place splash pad in Oakdale, Connecticut, splash pads offer breaks from the heat close to home. Why drive to the beach when you can head downtown and let the kids burn off steam on the steamiest of days?

Soak up nature while river tubing

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