We are thankful to have window AC units for our bedrooms, which makes sleeping easier during the hot summer. But we still have the day to get through, and there have been some hot ones lately! While our children seem to deal with the heat better than us adults, it can still get uncomfortable for them. With that in mind, here are seven ways to have a fun and cool summer with your kids. And also check out this post about summer cooking for more tips on keeping cool.

Wooded parks 

One of our favorite things to do on the hottest of days is to pack up a simple picnic lunch and plenty of bottled water, and head to a nearby wooded park that is set up on a hill. With the lush undergrowth and the trees overhead, this park is significantly cooler than our house. We lay out a blanket, play on the playground, and read books. It makes for a relaxing afternoon. 

Splash pads 

Many cities and towns now have splash pads, or interactive water fountains. They make a great free activity that keeps everyone in the family cool. A quick Google search can help you locate ones near you. 

Pools and lakes

And of course, what is summer without going to the pool? Some of my favorite childhood memories are of swimming at a nearby pool or in many of the nearby lakes. My young children also love a simple pool setup in the backyard with some water toys. They often will play in it for hours! 


When the sun is blistering, there's nothing like pulling out ice-cold homemade popsicles from the freezer. I love popsicles because they are so easy to make, and they take the kids a while to eat! And there are so many fun options to make too. Check out these 18 different versions here to give you a big head start. 

Morning activities 

Because the afternoons can be so hot, we take advantage of the cooler mornings to do outside activities, such as taking a walk to a nearby park or store, going to the playground, or I send the kids out to play in the backyard. If I get their young energy out in the morning, they are more willing to take it easy during the afternoon heat. 


Our local libraries are kept at a comfortable temperature, which makes them a great place to hang out during the hot afternoons. After a busy morning, looking through books for an hour or so at the library can be a great way to unwind and cool down. 

Water gun or water balloon fights 

And don't forget about water guns and water balloons! Battling it out with water balloons and water guns can be a really fun way to get your kids moving and for them to stay cool! Plus, if you get involved, it's a fun way for you to connect with your kids and get some exercise as well. 

Those are some of  my inexpensive ways to keep children entertained through the long hot summer. What are your ideas? I'd love to hear. 

Related on MNN: 

7 kid-friendly ways to stay cool and have fun
It's been a hot summer so far. Here are a couple tips for keeping the kids entertained and cool.