Summer will soon to be in full swing; everyone will be looking to beat the heat in fun ways that won’t break the bank. Not only is the summer heat uncomfortable, it can also be hazardous to your health if you’re not careful.
There are definitely strategies we should all utilize to prevent overheating, or worse. Keeping up with fluids – mainly water – will help keep the body hydrated. Drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks can cause the body to become dehydrated, so those should be consumed in moderation and along with plenty of water. Stay out of the sun as much as possible, wear light clothing, and utilize hats and sunscreen: these are all strategies for staying healthy while out enjoying your summer. However, even though you need to take precautions in the summer heat, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too.
Now that you have a good idea of how you should take care of yourself and your family when out in the summer heat, let’s look at some fun activities you can engage in that can help keep you cool. Don’t let the heat get the best of you; staying cool doesn’t always mean staying cooped up in the house or spending big dollars.
1. Take a Dip in the Pool
If you’re lucky enough to have a pool in your backyard, then you have the perfect place to cool off this summer. Home pools offer tons of great activities for the whole family, including playing games, lounging on floats, or just splashing around. You can also make it a great day by inviting over your friends and neighbors and having a picnic or a backyard barbeque. Many great foods lend well to a barbeque, and they’re not only delicious but economical as well. Chips, potato salad, macaroni salad, and coleslaw are all barbecue favorites that are easy, refreshing side dishes. For health safety reasons, just be sure not to let them sit out in the heat too long, as food spoils quickly in the summer heat.
Make sure you keep cold drinks on hand to stay hydrated, and make life easy for yourself by having some ready-to-eat snacks available that kids can grab on the go. Cut fruit makes a great kids’ snack; it’ll help them stay both healthy and hydrated. In addition, summer is the season for melons, so don’t forget the fun of sharing a delicious watermelon. Store it on ice prior to cutting to make it a healthy, fun snack that’s also a cooling, hydrating one.
2. Make a Backyard Water Park
If you don’t have a pool in your backyard, you can still beat the heat and cool off with some water fun. Kids always have a great time running around in a simple sprinkler, especially if they have neighborhood kids to join them. A kiddie pool can provide hours of fun at a very cheap price. Check your local big box stores for other water toys for your backyard. It doesn’t take much to entertain kids in the summer; all they need is the sun and some water fun.
Make it extra fun by having an intermission with popsicles or an ice cream party. Keep handy snacks on hand along with cold drinks such as juice boxes and bottled water. Make a simple lunch of sandwiches and chips because kids won’t want to stop the fun for too long.
If your community has a splash park, your family can have great fun cooling off there. Most splash parks offer areas to set up supplies at a table, in a pavilion, or under a shady tree. Take along a simple picnic lunch and some cool drinks. Simple is better and more economical.
3. Hit the Beach
If you live near the coast, pack up the beach bag and the cooler and head for the beach. Even on the hottest days, the beach always offers a cool breeze and refreshing water to take a dip in and cool off. Bring a big beach umbrella or a pop-up tent to create some shade, and be sure to slather on the sunscreen to keep everyone protected. You don’t want to ruin a great beach day by coming home with bad sunburn.
Make sure the cooler is full of bottled water because the sea and the sun can be very dehydrating. To keep things economical, you can fill a large thermos cooler with a sports drink or punch made with inexpensive powdered drink mixes. Bring some paper cups and a trash bag. Once again, fruit is a great snack; it stays cold well and it’s super hydrating. Whatever your food choices for your beach picnic, keep it simple for a fun day that won’t damage your budget.
4. Cool Off at the Lake
If you have a lake close by that’s suitable for swimming, this can be a great way to stay cool in the summer heat. Most swimming lakes, especially those that are a part of a state park, have nice beach areas that provide bathroom facilities and picnic areas. You can also bring along your beach chairs, umbrella, beach blankets, and towels to make a nice area to spend your day.
Bring some fun toys for the kids to play in the water with, such as floats and noodles. The great part about lakes is the fact that there are no waves, so the kids can enjoy floating around in relative safety. Of course, be sure the little ones who can’t swim are wearing approved flotation devices, even if they’re in shallow water. Additionally, keep everyone hydrated with cold drinks and enjoy a picnic lunch made with simple, portable, and economical foods.
5. Visit the Museum
Almost every community has a museum of some sort, and museums are a great way to get out of the heat in the summer months. If you’re near a big city, museums are likely in abundance. For the kids, a museum of natural history is a great choice, as there are hours of fun to be had exploring all the different rooms and interesting exhibits. Most universities have at least one on-campus museum, so sure to check that out if you have a school near you. Generally, these unique museum experiences are very economical.
If your museum of choice is near a park, you could even pack a picnic and find a shady spot to enjoy a nice lunch. Or, have lunch at home before you go and enjoy your picnic in the park as an early dinner in the evening when it’s cooler.
6. Take in a Movie
While movies can be an expensive proposition for a family of four, especially when you consider concession prices, there are ways to grab a movie on the cheap to get out of the sweltering summer heat. Afternoon matinees usually offer great prices for adults and even better prices for kids and seniors. Keep the cost down by skipping the expensive concession food and have a snack before you go. If you simply must have candy with your movie, bring it along with you. You’ll get it for half the cost at a grocery store versus at the cinema (likely far less than half the cost). Keep the cost of those expensive fountain sodas down by bringing juice boxes for the kids.
Many times, you can find local restaurants that offer special discounts to families. Check your local circulars and community magazines to find one you can visit before or after your movie. With a little planning, you can put together a nice outing for your family and spend very little.
7. Utilize the Library
Your local library can be a cool retreat from a hot summer day, and it likely has lots to offer the entire family. For little ones, look for storytime events. They’ll have fun and stay busy while the rest of the family enjoys everything else the library has to offer. If mom and dad aren’t interested in perusing the book selection, there are many other reading choices such as newspapers from all over the country and a huge selection of magazines.
Bring along your iPad or computer and surf the Internet or stream a movie or other online content. The kids can use the library’s computers to play games or even do school projects or homework. Whatever you choose to do at your local library, it’ll be a fruitful utilization of a resource forgotten by many. Best of all, it’s free!
8. Take a Trip to the Mall
One place you can always count on to be cool in the summer is your local mall, and as long as you don’t do a lot of shopping, you can visit the mall and have a fun time without spending a lot of money. Walking around, window-shopping, and people watching can be very entertaining, and there’s lots of that to be found at the mall. You can also get a good amount of exercise for the entire family, which is a bonus, and do so in a cool environment.
When it comes to food, few places offer more economical choices than the food court, which often has a bevy of fast-food choices. You can end your trip to the food court with an ice cream, frozen yogurt, or other cooling treat. Then, you can all take another trip around the mall to walk it off! Aside from the cost of the food, the mall offers a free afternoon of family entertainment.
9. Take the Boat Out
If you have a boat, summertime is obviously the ideal time to use it! Unfortunately, many boat owners don’t use their boats enough; if you’re one of them, get it out of the garage and on the water. If you like fishing, find a good spot and toss a line. If you just want to cruise, you can keep cool doing that as well. Any reason you have for being on the water is a good one!
Take along a nice packed lunch or a bunch of snacks. Bringing a cooler full of cold drinks will keep everyone cooled down and hydrated as well. Other than a little gas, a boat outing is a very economical way to enjoy a hot summer day.
10. Visit the Local Springs
If you live in a part of the country that has natural springs, you’re indeed very lucky. The water that bubbles out of these beautiful geological wonders is cool, clean, and so relaxing. Many springs have runs from the spring out to a river, which is ideal for floating and swimming.
Many springs feed rivers that are ideal for floating down on tubes and floats. There are few things as relaxing as floating down a river with friends and a cooler full of drinks and snacks. Moreover, few things will cool you off faster than plunging into a spring or spring-fed river. Utilizing natural resources is one of the best ways to enjoy life and teach kids about the world around them. Best of all, they’re usually free for all to use.
Don’t let the summer heat keep you in the house. Get out to some of these places and enjoy your summer in style and comfort. With a little creativity, you can beat the heat this summer and have some fun, all on the cheap!