Paul’s Place Summer Camp offers youth fun, educational summer

— Forty students from the Pigtown area located in Southwest Baltimore are enjoying hiking, swimming, trips to the Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as well as other fun and educational activities thanks to an outreach camp operated by Paul’s Place, Inc. that seeks to expose low-income children to experiences outside of their communities.

The “Summer Outreach Camp for Kids” (SOCKS) helps to expand the horizons of at-risk students. The summer camp works with children in the community for eight weeks, providing them with wholesome, fun activities and memorable experiences.

Paul’s Place, Inc. a community outreach center in Washington Village/Pigtown, has been operating the camp since the 1980s. Paul’s Place serves more than 80,000 guests annually, providing programs, services and support that strengthen individuals and families, foster hope, personal dignity and growth.

“The goal of the Summer Outreach Camp for Kids is to expose them to things outside of their neighborhood, and build teamwork and camaraderie,” said Sadie M. Smith, director of programs at Paul’s Place. “Many of the children come from areas near our facility. Many come from single-parent families, may be struggling academically, and are from low-income homes. We want to get them outside of the blight so they can see the beauty that is outside and to expose them to different things.”

For the last three years, students have enjoyed a trip to Woodberry Crossings, a facility with 100 acres of woods, hiking paths, streams and animals. The facility provides the student campers with the opportunity to broaden their vision and understanding of life through meeting and interacting with people, animals and the natural world.

“Without the camp, many of these students might never know that this world exists,” said Smith. “Many come from homes that have no transportation, and little income to get around. The other advantage of the camp is the continued learning, and to be part of a group that is supportive and offers academic and team components. Our camp counselors, Paul’s Place staff, and the churches we work with also are role-models to the kids, and that has a huge impact as well.”

Smith added, “We also offer academics over the summer. Many students get out of school in June and are hanging outside. There is a lot of data out there to support that this causes reading and math loss over the summer. We want to offer academics so there is no loss in these critical areas during the course of the year.”

Through a partnership with the Enoch Pratt Library, Paul’s Place brings campers to the library throughout the summer and actively encourages them to read books to help prepare them for school in the fall. Last summer the campers read over 1,000 books.

In addition, Paul’s Place recently expanded the summer camp program to middle school and high school students. The high school program collaborates with “Art with a Heart” to create unique pieces of marketable art that is sold at “ArtScape,” the annual arts and music festival held in Baltimore City.

This component provides the high school students with real-life work experience for their resumes. The middle school program is a three-week program that consists of five days at an overnight YMCA camp, one week of enrichment activities such as sports, jewelry-making, swimming and dance, and one week of field trips to various sites outside of Baltimore.

The five-week high school camp also started on June 24, while the middle school camp started on July 22. According to Smith, funding for the elementary, middle, and high school camps comes from private funding and friends of Paul’s Place.

“We are grateful for the funding,” she said. “It is a fabulous place for kids to be at during the summer.”

Smith encourages interested families to call in April to begin the application process as the camps fill up quickly.

For more information about Paul’s Place summer camps, call Christian Morley at 410-625-0775 or visit:

Psychological abuse is the first warning: Run, get out

Psychological abuse can be as damaging to the psyche as physical abuse can be to the body, yet little is written about this common problem, which is typically the precursor to physical abuse. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 95 percent of men who physically abuse their intimate partners also psychologically abuse them.


Courtesy photo

Psychological abuse consists of impairing the mental life and impeding mental development. It creates distorted beliefs, taught by the abuser, about the world. Those beliefs become ingrained in the victim’s mind and can interfere with the flexibility that needed to constantly assess the environment and respond appropriately. Knowing the signs of psychological abuse may save women from the physical abuse that so often follows.

I experienced psychological abuse through the eyes of a child— part of the stories I share in “Believe in the Magic: Let the Tenacity of Mattie Fisher Inspire You,” (, the story of my mother’s remarkable journey.

I watched as my father systematically and maliciously attempted to drive my mother crazy. He would constantly move car keys and other items from the places she normally kept them. He would then pretend to find them in odd places, like the refrigerator. After playing the hero for a month or so, my father would start insulting my mom with degrading remarks.

After months of psychological warfare, with her mental state sufficiently weakened, my father would begin the physical abuse. For the rest of her life, my mother was inconsolable and shaky whenever something went missing.

Signs of psychological abuse include:

• Your partner uses finances to control you.

• He often threatens to leave.

• She seeks to intimidate using looks, gestures or actions.

• He smashes things.

• Your partner seeks to control you by minimizing, denying and blaming

• He makes light of the abuse and does not take your concerns about it seriously.

• You are continually criticized, called names and/or shouted at.

• She emotionally degrades you in private, but acts charming in public.

• He humiliates you in private or public.

• They withhold approval, appreciation or affection as punishment.

Effects of psychological abuse on the victim, from the Center for Relationship Abuse Awareness:

• A distrust of his or her own spontaneity

• A loss of enthusiasm

• An uncertainty about how she is coming across

• A concern that something is wrong with him

• An inclination to reviewing incidents with the hopes of determining what went wrong

• A loss of self-confidence

• A growing self-doubt

• An internalized critical voice

• A concern that she isn’t happier and ought to be

• An anxiety or fear of being crazy

• A sense that time is passing and he’s missing something

• A desire not to be the way she is, e.g. “too sensitive,” etc.

• A hesitancy to accept her perceptions

• A reluctance to come to conclusions

• A tendency to live in the future, e.g. “Everything will be great when/after …”

• A desire to escape or run away

• A distrust of future relationships

If you answered yes to even one, you may be in an abusive relationship. Get help!

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or the

National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.

Dee Louis-Scott is the author of “Believe in the Magic: Let the Tenacity of Mattie Fisher Inspire You,” (, the story of her mother’s remarkable journey. Twenty years since the death of her heroic mother, Mattie Fisher, Louis-Scott honors her life, which was experienced in a time in American history when it was a double-curse to be a black woman.

Save some money: shop Maryland tax-free week

Just in time for back-to-school shopping, Comptroller Peter Franchot announced that his office is gearing up for Shop Maryland, the state’s tax-free week. Beginning Sunday, August 11, consumers who purchase clothing and shoes priced $100 or less will be spared the states six percent sales tax for one week, ending Saturday, August 17, 2013.

“This initiative helps consumers and gives retailers a boost in these financially unstable times,” said Comptroller Peter Franchot. “All Maryland families have been impacted by the national recession and they deserve this annual tax break as they prepare to send their kids back to school.”

Resulting from legislation passed in the 2007 special session of the Maryland General Assembly, a tax-free week will occur every year during the second week in August, until the legislature decides to revisit the issue. During this period, each qualifying article of clothing or footwear selling for $100 or less is exempt from sales tax, regardless of how many items are purchased at the same time.

Businesses selling items that are not eligible for inclusion in the tax-free week can still participate in Shop Maryland. Under “Sellers Privilege,” other unqualified merchandise can be sold tax-free but the retailer is responsible for paying the sales tax owed to the state.

“During the back-to-school shopping season, tax-free week provides Maryland consumers with both an opportunity to shop at their local stores and to save six percent on clothing and shoes under $100 per item,” said Patrick Donoho, president of the Maryland Retailers Association.

For more information on qualifying items, visit the Comptroller of Maryland’s website at or e-mail: or call 410-260-7980 in Central Maryland or toll-free at 1-800-MD-TAXES.

Summer program for teens blends farming, fitness and nutrition

— At the Mission Thrive Summer Program, chalkboards, books and cramming for tests don’t exist. However farming, being one with nature, and yoga does.

This new unique program in Baltimore, where area students are taught how to maintain healthy lifestyles wrapped up this week with many already looking forward to next year.

“The program has helped me in the area of learning how to cook better, how to clean my vegetables and it has exposed me to foods that I had never eaten before,” said Autumn Edwards, a 14-year-old ninth grader from Lake Clifton High School in Baltimore. “I feel so much better about myself now.”

The program is also designed to continue the students learning during the summer break.

Throughout the camp, students are taught how to care for and harvest vegetables while working on the Real Food Farm in northeast Baltimore.

The Institute for Integrative Health created program in collaboration with the Real Food Farm, which gave 17 ninth and tenth grade students from five Baltimore City public schools an outdoor-based education where they learned to incorporate physical activity and communications skills along with planting, caring for the garden and harvesting vegetables.

“We are exposing the kids to things they may not be used to, and giving them new ideas, along with influencing open mindedness,” said Brandin Bowden, the camp’s project coordinator. “I hope the students are able to walk away from this with new, healthy lifestyle choices, but at the same time, I also expect a lot of them to be open to new experiences, new activities and different things that they haven’t been exposed to.”

Molly McCullagh, the education coordinator at Real Food Farm says the program sets students on a trajectory toward optimal, lifelong health and wellbeing and it enables them to become influencers at home and in their schools by modeling healthy behavior for family and friends.

“Students are taught the basics of sustainable agriculture and how food moves through the food system, from farm to waste and they also have to overcome their fears and hang-ups with the environment,” McCullagh said.

Students who are paid for the six-week program, also gain meal planning and food preparation skills and perform daily physical activity, including yoga and mindfulness training, designed to foster mental resilience and the capacity for a peaceful focus, according to Bowden.

“Yoga is one of the reasons I wanted to sign up for this,” Autumn said. “I love Yoga and I really came to like everything else about the camp and I want to do it again next year.”

The program does present its share of challenges to some students and it requires participants to develop writing and presentation skills.

“We do resumes, interviewing skills and other activities designed to help the students,” Bowden said.

The results of the program will be part of a study by a University of Maryland researcher.

“This has really helped me in the area of physical activities mostly because of the different exercises that we do everyday. It helps me to do more to build my body, and I do watch what I eat now,” said Jonathon Edwards, 14, a student from the Baltimore School for the Arts.

Summertime still heating up with live entertainment

Hello folks, how are you? Are you ready to party? I am telling you, this summer has been a summer of music, and it is not over yet. I want to share with you some of Baltimore’s exciting events that are coming up.


Carlos Johnson

I also want to share with you a couple of dynamite events I have been to including: Maceo’s Lounge on Monroe Street. Honey Child, let me tell you about this past Thursday night, not only was Phil Butt’s “The Sunset Band” taking the roof off the sucker with their Be-Bop, straight ahead jazz and blues, but they had a young man who has been playing with them for a while that took my heart, body and soul with his guitar playing. His name is Jay Alan Thompson; did you hear what I said? Jay Alan Thompson, a name worth saying twice. Honey Child, this “duck-plucker” was off the hook! I am telling you ladies and gentlemen he is the BOMB! As you can see, I was truly impressed and it is not easy to impress yours truly when it comes to the musicians. I could go on and on about Jay’s playing, but I got others to talk about, such as the jazz show that I attended and did a book signing at the Grand Tremont this past Sunday.

The show featured the one and only, Greg Hatza. My God! What a show! It was like the old days of the Left Bank Jazz Society at the Famous Ballroom. Folks! Baltimore is coming back in a big way, if the music keeps heating up like it has this summer. Girlfriend! It was Greg and his group with Harold Adams on saxophone marching around in the ballroom. Mildred Battle, the Left Bank Jazz Society president, danced behind him while Brian Kooken took his guitar and played it up-side down behind his head, Robert Shahid jumped up and down on his drums. It was a sight to see and hear Greg standing up to tickle the ivories on his organ. It was more than my words can express. Greg received a standing ovation from the approximte 200 guests on every tune played, and yours truly took to the dance floor with Tom Saunders and couldn’t stop. Believe me my friends, “Jazz @ The Grand, 225 N. Charles Street will never be the same. This has been going on every Sunday from 4-7 p.m. and it is not over yet. This Sunday, they will feature Carlos Johnson with his band. Do I need to say more? I DON’T THINK SO! You got the picture. I will see you there with my new book, doing a book signing.

My dear fans, I extend my signature, my long stem red rose to these musicians.

Now that I’ve calmed down a little, let me tell you what is coming up, yes more music. This time darling, I am taking you to the Islands mannnnnn! The 3rd Annual Pan on De Hill Community Fair with a lot of entertainment featuring Reggae music, African drumming; stilt walkers; Steel Band music, cash bar, food, food & more food, arts & crafts, DJ music and the headliner will be the St. Veronica’s Youth Steel Orchestra on Saturday, August 10, 1-9 p.m. at the parking lot of Baltimore City College, 3220 The Alameda.


“Signature Live” is a polished, professional group out of Maryland and Washington, D.C. whose repertoire includes R&B, jazz, oldies and rock.

“The Pan on De Hill Community Fair” is sponsored by Pan in the Community, Inc., which is a non- profit organization and a community program that teaches young people how to play the steel drums. This program caters to young people from various backgrounds, including the under-privileged from high-risk communities. Emphasis has been placed on these individuals with the intention that they will be able to interact on a positive level and develop friendships that will encourage positive thinking and acceptable behavior. The involvement of the parents and the rest of the community also acts as a stabilizing factor in the lives of these young people. So, my dear friends go out and support this event and have fun while doing it!

“Ladies Night Out” is what Cynthia Chambers and Marge Green are calling their event on Saturday, August 4th starting at 5 p.m. Fellows, what can I say, they said nothing about the men. You can bring a friend, relax by the pool, under a tent or at the bar and all drinks are only $1.00; play cards and games; bring your favorite side dish and dessert. Listen to music by DJ Shay spinning the old tunes. All of this will be going on at 1116 Megg Court, Joppa Maryland. You must RSVP to Cynthia at 443-386-7650 or Marge at 410-663-3199.

I don’t believe it. I am out of space. I have got to go, but, if you need me, just call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.

Way back to school day at historic St. Mary’s City

— Shake off the summer cobwebs and experience a 17th-century child’s education! During Way Back to School Day at Historic St Mary’s City on August 10, 2013 you will find out what kids were learning 350 years ago. Meet us at the Visitor Center — 18751 Hogaboom Lane in St. Mary’s City for a morning of hands-on history and fun— all activities are especially eared for kids age five and older.

Practice your penmanship with quill writing exercises and make a colonial toy to take home. At the waterfront, race model boats and try a scavenger hunt. Head over to the Woodland Indian Hamlet to find out what education meant to a Yaocomico child. Hone your hunting skills through foot races, rock throwing competition, and a game of corn cob darts. Lend a hand in the mat weaving then help hollow out a canoe. Who is ready for school to start again? Test your knowledge in a colonial spelling bee!

Way Back to School Day at Historic St. Mary’s City will take place on August 10 from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for students, and free for those five years and younger. Historic St. Mary’s City is a museum of living history and archaeology on the site of Maryland’s first capital in beautiful, tidewater Southern Maryland.

For more information about this program or the museum, contact the Visitor Center at 240-895-4990, or 800-SMC-1634, or email:

When summers seemed endless

I was thinking the other day as the temperature outside soared close to ninety degrees, that summertime has finally arrived. It seems like it was just yesterday when the first daffodils of spring were blooming.

My Mama always said that the older you get the faster time goes and now I know exactly what she meant. However, in my childhood years, summer stretched out like it would never end.

In our small home my younger sisters, Beth and Bobbie and I shared one bedroom crowded with three twin beds and Mama and Daddy had the other one. One bathroom, a living room and kitchen completed the house except for a small utility room.

There was a coal furnace, an ash bucket and shovel, and my Mama’s pride and joy, a second hand wringer washer. It was on wheels so you could move it to the kitchen sink to hook up the hoses. Clothes were hung outside on clotheslines and I can still remember the smell of sunshine and fresh air as we folded our laundry.

Our home was located in a low cost area of Baltimore City. By today’s standards we would be considered poor but we didn’t know it back then. Our little house did not have air conditioning, but the windows had screens and a fan set on exhaust would bring a breeze into the kitchen.

My father was an upholsterer by trade so our furniture always had new coverings and Mama always kept our house spic and span. In the summer we would change the oilcloth blinds to darker ones so when they were pulled down it kept out the heat of the afternoon sun. We had a small blow up pool in the backyard (just big enough to sit toe to toe and shoulder to shoulder with about one foot of water) a swing set and hopscotch painted on the sidewalk.

My best friend, Linda Jean who was eight-years-old to my seven was a little mysterious. She lived with her grandmother next door and her real mother only came to visit every few weeks. She never spoke of her father or if she had siblings.

She was everything I wanted to be. She had golden blond hair that was curly and very long and sky-blue mischievous eyes. She was fearless and attempted things I had never even thought about. Linda Jean had a way of making everything fun and exciting. I adored her.

It was her idea to use her grandmother’s fresh baked bread to feed the birds. She made up a game of us walking backwards which was fun until we fell into a rose bush and had to have my Mama pull out thorns from our clothes.

That seemingly endless summer was filled with front porch picnics, looking for four leaf clovers and laying in the grass to see what we could find etched in the clouds. We would sit on the swings and giggle over anything. We caught and released butterflies, played house with our Tiny Tears dolls and at dusk we would wish on the first star.

We said that we would be best friends always even though we would be going to different schools. Our lives seemed perfect that endless summer.

It was a hot day in August when my mother called me into the backyard. We sat together in the shade of our old apple tree and she told me that Linda Jean had been sick and had died at the hospital. I looked at her stunned. A world of hurt hit me for the first time in my life. “Mama, we just played together yesterday morning, she wasn’t sick.” Mama tried to explain about a disease called diabetes and how Linda Jean had it for a long time and no one knew.

I remember the heat of that next day, the whirl of the exhaust fan and Mama braiding my hair. I wore my white Mary Janes and my first communion dress. Linda Jean had loved it and we had made plans to sneak it to her house so she could try it on.

I remember the cold air conditioning at the funeral parlor and how her grandmother clutched me to her and walked me over to say goodbye to my friend.

She was so beautiful. Her golden blond hair curled over her shoulders and satin ballet slippers with ribbons and bows were on her feet. She looked as though she was just asleep and she almost had a smile on her face. I thought it was because she was wearing a dress just like mine. She finally had one of her own.

It was at that moment that my endless summer ended!

Congress OKs cheaper student loans

— The House on Wednesday approved a bipartisan that ensures lower interest rates on loans for students heading to college this fall.

Members of the House voted 392 to 31 to lower rates for undergraduates taking out government loans this school year to 3.86 percent — cheaper than the 6.8 percent interest rate that kicked in on July 1. The new rates would be retroactive and apply to loans taken out after July 1.

The bill, which passed the Senate last week, will now go to the President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

It has provisions for rates to go higher in coming years.

As House members debated the bill, many Republicans took credit for the deal. They noted that the Senate version wasn’t much different from their own student loan bill, which linked rates to the bond markets.

“My colleagues and I have been fighting for months for a long-term market-based solution that will serve students and taxpayers, and the legislation before us today will do just that,” said Minnesota Republican John Kline, who runs the House education panel.

The new rule doesn’t apply to loans that students get from private lenders. It only affects Stafford loans, which are made by the U.S. government to help finance a college education.

On July 1, the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, affecting 7.4 million students. The subsidized loans are based on financial need and account for about 26 percent of all federal student loans, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Unsubsidized loans and graduate loans were already paying 6.8 percent interest rates.

The latest bill helps all students, with the basic principle being that it ties student loan rates to the bond markets.

This fall, undergraduate students will pay an interest rate of 3.86 percent on their loans. It is comprised of the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note on June 1, plus an additional 2.05 percent. Graduate students will have to pay 5.4 percent on loans this fall, or 3.6 percent over the 10-year Treasury.

If rates on Treasury notes rise, so would student loan rates under the new deal.

However, the bill makes provisions to protect students if bond yields were to spike. Loans for undergraduates will be capped at 8.25 percent and for graduates at 9.5 percent.

Over 10 years, the interest that government collects on student loans is expected to raise $715 million. It will go toward reducing deficits.

The Obama administration has been pushing for the deal, even though left-leaning Democrats opposed the bill for hiking rates in coming years.

Student loan debt has skyrocketed in recent years, as have delinquencies, making it a pressing political and financial issue for millions of Americans. Many students graduate from college deep in debt and without jobs. It is second only to mortgages as the largest debt that consumers carry. In 2011, students on average owed nearly $27,000 in loans.

— CNN’s Ted Barrett and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this piece.


™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

New law gets tough on toll violators

— On July 1, a new law went into effect that should motivate toll violators to pay their overdue tolls. This law gives the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) the ability to suspend the vehicle registration of toll violators who choose not to pay their tolls. MDTA has begun the transition to a new civil citation process to help the agency recoup the money owed by those who use the State’s toll facilities and never pay up.

The new law, to be fully implemented in early October 2013, also provides anyone with an unpaid toll prior to July 1, 2013, a unique opportunity to pay their toll balances without having to pay fees. Toll violators who do not take advantage of the transition period will receive a new Notice of Toll(s) Due (NOTD) under the new law beginning in October for their unpaid tolls and then will be subject to a civil citation and $50 fine for each toll violation.

“Every dollar counts, but this isn’t just a money issue – it’s a fairness issue for the 99 percent of motorists who do pay their tolls,” said MDTA Acting Executive Secretary Bruce Gartner. “Thanks to the leadership of Del. James E. Malone, Jr., and the hard work of the House Environmental Matters Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, Maryland now has the ‘teeth’ needed to collect unpaid tolls from repeat offenders.”

House Bill 420, which passed both the House and Senate unanimously, allows the MDTA to continue Video Tolling – sending the registered owner a bill to pay the toll after traveling – at all eight of its toll facilities. Under the new law, vehicle owners who do not pay their NOTD within 30 days will receive a civil citation and $50 fine for each toll violation, on top of their Video Tolls owed. The owner will have the option to contest the citation in district court. Failure to pay the Video Toll and fine could lead to non-renewal or suspension of the owner’s vehicle registration and/or referral to Maryland’s Central Collection Unit (CCU).

The MDTA has ended the practice of imposing administrative fees on unpaid toll accounts, and the CCU is referring any uncollected tolls back to the MDTA. Fees are currently being removed from toll violations, and the account owners will receive a statement showing only the unpaid Video Tolls due. This statement will include information on the new law and is expected to reach customers by the end of July. Customers with unpaid tolls in Maryland can pay by the following methods:

  • Visit;
  • Mail check/money order payable to E-ZPass Maryland to P.O. Box 17600, Baltimore, MD 21297;
  • Visit an E-ZPass Maryland Stop-In Center;
  • Call the E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Center during regular business hours (7 a.m. – 6 p.m.,Monday – Friday) at 1-888-321-6824.

The new citation process paves the way for reciprocal agreements with other states to strengthen interagency collection of outstanding tolls, as well as for the growth of all electronic tolling (AET) in Maryland. The Intercounty Connector/MD 200 is the State’s first AET facility, and the new I-95 Express Toll Lanes – anticipated to open late 2014 in northeast Baltimore – also will use AET. The MDTA is studying the feasibility of removing toll plazas and using AET at its other toll facilities in the future.

Tolls are the primary source of revenue for the MDTA and its bridges, tunnels and highways. The MDTA does not receive general State funds or Transportation Trust Fund dollars.

World’s 12 best water parks

— Some of us are lucky enough to live within a rogue inflatable ball’s reach of the world’s best beaches.

Some of us can paddle out for a ride on the greatest waves on a whim.

For those of us who live further inland, or prefer something less salty, there are still watery joys to be had, in the form of the world’s best water parks.

Aquatica (Orlando, Florida)

One enormous wave pool obviously wasn’t enough for the team behind Aquatica, so they built two, side by side.

Elsewhere, the Dolphin Plunge water slide takes passengers on a white-knuckle ride through a dolphin-filled aquarium and riders brave enough to take on the Omaka Rocka blast down a series of flumes and funnels.

There’s a sandy beach covered with 1,360 tons of soft, white sand and South Seas-inspired gardens with more than 60,000 species of plants.

Aquatica, 5800 Water Play Way, Orlando, Florida; +1 888 800 5447

Aquaventure Waterpark (Dubai, UAE)

Aquaventure was expanded in 2013 to include a Leap of Faith ride that passes through a shark-filled aquarium. Visitors can swim in a manmade lagoon filled with marine animals.

Aquaventure Waterpark

Aquaventure was expanded in 2013 to include a Leap of Faith ride that passes through a shark-filled aquarium. Visitors can swim in a manmade lagoon filled with marine animals.

As of 2013, this Middle East water park is home to the world’s widest water slide, the Middle East’s longest river ride (2.3 kilometers in length) and the Middle East’s longest zip line.

The park’s other attractions include several water coasters, a 2,296-foot-long (700 meters) private beach and the Shark Lagoon, where visitors can hand-feed rays.

Aquaventure, Crescent Road, The Palm, Dubai, UAE; +971 4 426 0000

Area 47 (Innsbruck, Austria)

An Alpine lake is the location for this outdoor water park, which opens from April to the end of September.

There are water rides, a diving tower and a hydro-speed slide.

On dry land there’s a high-ropes course, bridge swing and climbing wall.

Area 47, Ötztaler Achstrasse 1, Ötztal Bahnhof, Austria; +43 5266 8 76 76

Beach Park (Fortaleza, Brazil)

Beach Park’s most famous ride is Insano, which ranks as the world’s tallest (135 feet/41 meters) and fastest (65 mph/104 kph) water slide.

Equally petrifying is Kalafrio, a giant half-pipe slide.

Younger visitors can check out an enormous big top-themed play area or the Acqua Show, with water cannons, synchronized water jets and eight water slides just for kids.

Beach Park, Rua Porto das Dunas, Fortaleza, Brazil; +55 85 4012 3000

Caribbean Bay (Gyeonggi-do, South Korea)

You’ll find four looping water slides and an enormous wave pool at this South Korean water park, alongside more traditional attractions such as hot spring pools.

Exhausted visitors can power nap in one of the water park’s sleeping rooms, which have purified air and beds carved from energy-boosting jade.

Caribbean Bay, 310 Jeondae-Ri, Pogok-eup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea; +82 2 759 1940 7

Siam Park (Tenerife, Spain)

Siam Park, a Thai-themed water park, offers surf lessons in the wave pool, which is capable of creating waves up to nine feet (three meters) high.

Siam Park

Siam Park, a Thai-themed water park, offers surf lessons in the wave pool, which is capable of creating waves up to nine feet (three meters) high.

Siam Park is a Thai-themed water park on the island of Tenerife.

The park’s most popular ride is the 91-foot-high (27 meters) Tower of Power, on which riders plunge down a vertical drop before shooting through an aquarium filled with stingrays and sharks.

A lazy river and surf lessons in the park’s wave pool offer slightly more sedate activities.

Siam Park, Avenida Siam Park, Costa Adeje, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain; +34 902 060 000

Tropical Islands (Krausnick, Germany)

Housed inside the largest free-standing hall in the world — the structure was originally built as a hangar for dirigibles — Tropical Islands can accommodate 6,000 visitors a day and has one of the world’s largest indoor pools, measuring 656 feet (200 meters) in length.

Away from the water, there’s a rainforest with 50,000 plants, a hotel and a nightclub. It’s even possible to go for a balloon ride — all without stepping outside.

Tropical Islands, Tropical-Islands-Allee 1, Germany; +49 35477 605050

Watercube Waterpark (Beijing)

All of the rides at Watercube Waterpark were designed overseas and shipped in.

Highlights include the funnel-shaped Tornado ride, Aqualoop slide and Bulletbowl, where riders shoot down an enclosed slide into a huge bowl.

Visitors should keep an eye out for the enormous jellyfish and clouds of bubbles suspended from the ceiling.

Happy Magic Watercube, Olympic Park, BeiChen Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing; +86 010 8437 2030

WaterWorld Waterpark (Ayia Napa, Cyprus)

Foam parties aren’t the only way to cool off in Ayia Napa.

The WaterWorld Water Park has a Grecian theme, with lots of pillars and Trojan horse-shaped monuments.

Poseidon’s Wave Pool has Greek ruins, geysers and shipwrecks, the River Odyssey lazy river has crumbling stone pillars and the vertigo-inducing Drop to Atlantis shoots riders out of an enormous Roman temple.

WaterWorld Waterpark, 18 Ayia Thekla Road, Ayia Napa, Cyprus; +357 23 724444

Wet ‘n Wild (Orlando, Florida)

Visitors are spoiled for choice at Wet ‘n Wild.

In addition to various scream-fest water rides, there’s a huge sandcastle-themed children’s area (reportedly the largest family water play area in Florida), a wave pool and lazy river.

One the most popular rides is Disco H20. Passengers on this four-person tube ride float along to a soundtrack of 1970s hits accompanied by disco balls and flashing lights.

Wet ‘n Wild, 6200 International Drive, Orlando, Florida; +1 407 351 1800

World Waterpark (Alberta, Canada)

Located inside Alberta’s West Edmonton Mall, this is the world’s second-largest indoor water park and has the world’s largest indoor wave pool, with 2.7 million gallons of water.

Attractions include a looping water slide and Blue Thunder, a bungee jump tower suspended over the wave pool.

World Waterpark, 1755, 8882 170 St., Edmonton, Canada; +1 780 444 5313

Yas Waterworld (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Opened in 2013, Yas Waterworld has 43 rides and attractions, including five unique water slides created specially for the park.

These include Dawwama, the world’s first hydro-magnetic-powered water slide (the hydro-magnetic technology offers a longer, smoother ride, according to the manufacturer) and the Bandit Bomber, a 1,804-foot-long (550-meter) water coaster.

Visitors can hang ten on the world’s largest FlowBarrel surf simulator, or take a spin on Liwa Loop — the Middle East’s only looping water slide.

Yas Waterworld, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE; +971 2 414 2000