It's summer! Even though we all think of Memorial Day as the beginning of summer, it officially begins with the Summer Solstice in June. The longest day of the year is our reminder that summer is fleeting - don't miss out on all the fun! It's not just kids that enjoy the traditional joys of summer. Hot, sunny days call for three things - playing in the water, indulging in sweet, frozen treats and enjoying the wind in your hair! 

Here are a few great ideas for where to cool off in Morgan County when things start to heat up this summer...

Pioneer Park Aquatic Center
Mooresville's Pioneer Park features both a fun family aquatic center, complete with water slides, a splash pad and concessions, and also public access to the East Fork of White Lick Creek. You'll find the Aquatic Center in the northern half of the park, not too far from the Park Office. The access the creek, you'll want to drive around the park loop to the trails area and park near the covered bridge. The park also features shelters, play grounds and paved trails as well. 

Jimmy Nash City Park Pool & Splash Pad
Martinsville's Jimmy Nash City Park is always fun with several play areas, shelters, a short paved trail and a longer loop hiking trail, but on these hottest days of the year, you'll want to head straight for the pool. On the left, just after you enter the park, the pool area includes two twisty waterslides, and a children's play area with tippy bucket. As an added bonus (or a reason to visit all on it's own), the adjacent Splash Pad is free to the public this summer!  

Burkhart Creek Park
Owned and operated by Morgan County Parks, Burkhart Creek Park is a fun, rural nature park that features multiple trails, shelters, a small play area and, most importantly during the summer heat, easy access to Burkhart Creek. The creek is very shallow and is the perfect place for little ones to do some creek stomping. Bring water shoes to protect those little feet!  Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, including a wide variety of songbirds. 

The Inside Scoop
A summertime tradition on Martinsville, this traditional, outdoor ice cream stand is the perfect way to end a day of summer fun (or enjoy a cool-down break in the middle of all that fun)! The Inside Scoop is famous for flurries featuring a variety of mix-ins in soft serve ice cream, shakes, sundaes and even hand-dipped flavors are all local favorites, as well as ice-cold cherry or vanilla cokes. Seating is available on site at outdoor picnic tables. 

The Martinsville Candy Kitchen
If an outdoor ice cream stop just won't cut it, head for the Martinsville Candy Kitchen to enjoy your ice cream creations in air conditioned comfort! The soda fountain provides tasty, old-fashioned vanilla and cherry cokes, plus they've got dozens of varieties of hand dipped ice cream flavors you can enjoy from a cone or cup. Milkshakes and sundaes are always a hit as well, and don't pass up their fudge brownie sundae! Of course, you can always indulge in any of their regular candy offerings as well - they even have a special case of sugar-free candy so everyone can enjoy a treat! 

Soaring Eagle Zip Line
Don't discount the cooling off potential of a speed-generated breeze on a hot summer day! If you're looking to feel the wind in your hair, the Soaring Eagle Zip Line has you covered. Located inside Pioneer Park in Mooresville, this zip line ride is unique in that you can share the ride with a friend. The two-seat ride allows those who aren't quite ready for a full on zip line harness experience to sample the feeling of flying through the air in a secure seat, with or without a companion. 

Country Roads Just Made for Cruisin' 
Motorcycle, Jeep and convertible enthusiasts can all agree that sometimes a drive in the country with the wind in your hair is the perfect answer to hot summer days. Morgan County has a variety of scenic roads that are just perfect for a country drive. The dappled sunlight streaming through the overhanging trees combine with the breeze to create a sometimes-magical experience. We recommend driving through Morgan-Monroe State Forest, exploring the county roads between Martinsville and Morgantown, or heading west toward Hunter's Honey Farm and the tiny Wilbur Corner Shop. Please do keep in mind, these are rural roads - be aware and cautious as you will encounter farm machinery, bicycles, family pets, playing children and, occasionally livestock or wildlife.