With temperatures reaching well into the 90s, enjoy the summer with a little fresh air – and a lot of aquatic adventures. From epic water slides to relaxing river cruises, Cumberland County offers countless alternatives to your backyard pool in the way of affordable waterside fun.
Home of the famous Tarzan Swings, Jump Tower and Master Blaster Slides, Fantasy Lake is the perfect place to find a little adventure. While the children cruise down the mellow Banana Slides, sit back and relax in one of several porch swings over the lake or grill out at one of three picnic areas on-site. Let your little ones discover Fantasy Land, a smaller version of Fantasy Lake perfect for elementary school-aged children. Fantasy Lake is located at 5869 Permastone Lake Rd. in Hope Mills. Tickets are $10 for ages 3-10 and ages 60 and up or $16 for ages 11-59.
For a carefree day on the water, try a boat ride on the Cape Fear River. Captained by U.S. Coast Guard Commander Freddie Mims, these cruises come in 2-, 4- and 8-hour packages and vary in price depending on group size. Military and senior discounts, not to mention free rides for children under the age of 12, make these daytrips the perfect getaway for your family. Call 910-709-1758 for tickets and information.
Grab your life jacket and test out your kayaking skills on the great Cape Fear. Cape Fear River Adventures in Lillington offers kayaking and canoeing, white water kayaking, rafting and lazy-river tubing. Enjoy a trip lasting anywhere from an hour to two days, or take a group of 12 or more on a teambuilding retreat. Open seven days a week mid-May through August, trips vary in cost according to the amount of time spent on the water. Call 919-495-5555 to reserve your trip.
Waldo’s Beach features a family-friendly water park, fishing area and year-round RV campground. This exciting recreation area offers a variety of activities, to include waterslides, a lazy river and a shaded picnic area. The campground offers power and free Wi-Fi, not to mention hot showers and coin laundry machines to help you clean up after a long day at the pool. Daily water park tickets are $10 for ages 10 and under and $12 for ages 12 and up. Camp rates are $38 for a day, $245 for a week and $565-$595 for a month. Waldo’s Beach is located at 6742 Waldo’s Beach Rd. in Fayetteville.
Fayetteville has several public pools that are open through Labor Day. Head over to Chalmers Pool at 1520 Slater Ave. to enjoy a six-lane lap pool, water playground and an open wading pool. For your little ones, try the Splash Pad at Kiwanis Recreation Center at 352 Devers St. The Keith A. Bates, Sr. Pool at 4945 Rosehill Rd. features a kiddie pool, a six-lane lap pool and a 24-foot enclosed water slide. The Westover Aquatic Center is located at 266 Bonanza Dr. and is home to an 8-lane competition pool, a water slide and a wading pool.
The Spring Lake Outpost offers daily kayak adventures along the lower Little River. Veteran-owned and open seven days a week, the Outpost offers short-route trips, which are 3 miles long and take two hours to complete, and long-route trips, which are 6 miles long and take 4 hours to complete. Alternative adventures, such as Sunset Paddles and “Slo Glow,” are also available. Walk-up on the weekend or reserve your weekday trip at www.springlakeoutpost.com.
PHOTO: Fantasy Lake in Hope Mills is home to the famous Tarzan Swings, Jump Tower and Master Blaster Slides.