I grew up in a house without central air, so I feel I am highly qualified to write this article as I would have done anything to keep cool in summer. Since spending time camped out in front of a room fan is quite boring, here are some other ways to cool off with your pint-sized troop.
1. Succumb to old-school methods: take a walk around the neighborhood and jump through any sprinklers that are watering the sidewalk.
2. Play with water. Fill up some large containers with different colored water (I used iced tea containers that have spigots). Give the kiddos various cups. They can spend the day color mixing as well as staying cool. Or give them a large paintbrush and a bucket of water and let them paint the house. And, of course, there’s always water balloons. Endless possibilities with those!
3. Beat the heat (and the crowd) by getting to the playground early. It’s quite pleasant before the sun gets too high. Just bring an old towel to dry off the slides.
4. Visit a museum. They have central air! And we are so fortunate to have so many choices. Head north to Kenosha or Milwaukee, south to Chicago (many have free admission days!) or visit one in the ‘burbs.
5. See a movie. You might even need a sweater–it’s usually like a freezer there.
6. Head east. Visit a town along Lake Michigan. Believe it or not, it’s often ten degrees cooler by the lake than it is for us landlocked folk.
7. Go out for ice cream. This is the easiest way to make your kids’ day. Try somewhere new. (My personal favorite: Shirl’s in Waukegan.)
8. Take advantage of the shade. Did you know that the air feels 10 to 15 degrees warmer in the sun than in the shade? (It’s true: I looked it up.) Grab a book, a board game, or some art supplies, and set up camp under a shady tree.
9. Spend the day at the library. Another nicely air-conditioned location. And there’s a ton to do there: story times, board games, classes, science kits, oh, and books! Be sure to check out your library’s webpage for summer activities.
How do you stay cool in summer?