It. Is. HOT. Yes, we know it's summer, but every year we always end up surprised when the high temperatures come rolling around. The solution: head to the water! Summertime in Mercer is synonymous with outdoor adventures, but we make visiting these picturesque spots even easier since they let us stay cool during these humid days at the same time. No need to flock to the beach and sit in all that traffic. We have ways for you to stay cool in the water right here in beautiful Mercer. Keep reading to see our top spots below.

Mercer Lake

334 S Post Road, West Windsor

Mercer County Park is 2500 acres of every type of recreation you can think of, keeping us very busy all year round, but we have to say our favorite location within the park is the lake. Not only do you get the joy of boating/kayaking/rowing/etc. around the lake, but you also get to visit some of Mercer’s greatest inhabitants, such as blue herons, beavers, turtles, Canada geese, dragonflies and more. If you’re here for happy hour, the Boathouse right on Mercer Lake hosts one every Thursday evening starting at 5pm.

A boathouse sits on Mercer Lake surrounded by grass and rocks

Mercer County Park Splash Park

Splash Park Website

Last year Mercer County Park opened a brand new splash park, and we’re excited to see it come to life this summer! A great spot to visit with kids to stay cool and enjoy the beautiful weather. Located right next to the boathouse and playground area.

Kids playing in a small waterpark

Delaware & Raritan Canal

Trailheads in Trenton through New Brunswick

One of our ideal day trips is renting a canoe or kayak and going down the canal. You can also work up a bigger sweat by using the hiking or biking paths. Visit Princeton Canoe and Kayak Rental for easy access to the canal, along with plenty of picnic tables and local restaurants to enjoy some lunch.

The Delaware & Raritan Canal with paths on either side

West Windsor WaterWorks Family Aquatic Center

271 Clarksville Road, West Windsor

“Cannonball!” Get ready to dive in at WaterWorks. They have a 9,900-square-foot family leisure pool, an 8-lane, 25-meter lap pool, a 1,700-square-foot wading pool, a two-story waterslide, a children’s play area, along with food, drinks and recreation center. You can either join the pool or pay a daily fee.

A bright blue pool surrounded by chairs and umbrellas

Carnegie Lake

60-92 Faculty Road, Princeton

If you're looking for something completely free, visit Carnegie Lake. Just note that you’ll need to bring your own kayak or canoe if you’re looking to go in. You can bring your own boat as well, but no outboard motors are allowed. Fishing is allowed! The lake is simply pristine and it's a great place to watch a crew race.

Rowers work together in a boat racing through a lake surrounded by trees


Princeton Family YMCA

59 Paul Robeson Place, Princeton, NJ

The YMCA hosts many different aquatic classes for the entire family, including a swim team for those who want to stay active.

Adult Swim Class

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Thomas Sweet Ice Cream

183 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ

When all else fails, just go get the ice cream. Summer only comes around once a year, and Thomas Sweet has the perfect way to celebrate it.

Princeton Graduate Eating Ice Cream

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Looking for some more FREE activities? Check out our Top Things to Do For Free in Mercer! And don’t forget to comment below with your favorite way to cool off in Mercer!