10 Ways to Beat the Heat with Kids

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Summer vacation without air conditioning is no fun...particularly when you are a parent. Check out these creative ways to beat the heat with kids. 


It is definitely getting to be summer time around here!  We just enjoyed a lovely Memorial Day weekend exploring our beautiful Pacific Northwest!  And it got HOT!  Which got me thinking about how challenging it can be to beat the heat with kids!


This year will be even more of a challenge for us than previous years because all of the boys will be home this summer!  GQ won’t be at daycare anymore since MR was able to ditch his 9-to-5 thanks to the success of his Uber side hustle!


It’s great for the family, but I’m sure they will both miss the air conditioning!


Why no air conditioning you ask?  Because we live in Seattle where air conditioning is the exception, not the rule.  Crazy, I know!  Particularly since we are both Mid-West transplants who grew up with A/C!


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So what do we do?  Well…we get creative!  Below you will find a list of unique ways that we have found to beat the heat with kids!  So if you’re air-conditioning deprived like us I recommend giving these a try!  Or even if you just want to add some activities to your summer bucket list!




A sprayground (or splash pad/splash pool) is the modern version of heading to the neighborhood pool!  A sprayground is like a water playground.  They are typically creatively designed non-slip hardscapes with various types of sprinklers, sprayers, fountains, wade pools and other water nozzled features!


These are AWESOME on a hot & sunny day!  You don’t have to get in with your kids and there is no fear of drowning!  I feel like it’s much easier to just pick up & head to the sprayground that to pack up & plan a trip to the pool.

We only recently discovered these, but they are the best thing ever!  Here’s a  LOCAL LIST just in case you happen to live near us here Western Washington!



Yes, I do realize that this is a bit pricey.  But hotels were our favorite way to beat the heat with kids before we knew about the sprayground phenomenon!  Particularly for babies.  When our eldest was a baby, MR was home with him that summer when we had multiple days over 100!


You just can’t have a babysitting around in that kind of heat, so we rented a room at a hotel for a couple days just for his safety.  At that point, it didn’t really matter if it was a “fun” hotel or not…we just needed the air!  But now we have a 7-year-old AND a young toddler.  So things need to be fun too!

Enter the waterpark hotel!  It’s like heaven on a hot day!  We love Great Wolf Lodge here in the PNW, but there are similar hotels all over the country.  This summer we are visiting family in the Midwest and will be staying at the Tundra Lodge Resort in Green Bay, WI. [Watch for a review coming soon!]

Try one out & let us know which ones you like & which ones *not-so-much*!  Don’t forget the requisite trendy floats & life jackets!




This kills two cool birds with one stone!  You can walk around the mall, do some window shopping and people watching.  Maybe grab a cool fro-yo with all the kid-friendly toppings.  And when they start whining that their feet hurt {you know they will} you can just head over to the movie theater!


You can then kick back and watch the latest hilarious animated flick in the comfort of the air-conditioned theater!  And if you’re super lucky you may have one of those theaters that serve beer close by!  Those are my favorite!  Happy mama & happy kiddos.  I can’t think of a better way to beat the heat with kids!




Last summer our temporary nanny took the kids to the hands on kids museum in Tacoma and they LOVED it!  She was so savvy…we totally loved her!  Anyway, it got the kiddos out of the heat and got the big one involved in some educational interactive play.  And the little guy just loved all the sights!


It’s a really awesome way to spend an afternoon or two.  Keep an eye out to see if they have special programs over the summer that you may be able to attend to mix things up.




Another great place that we often overlook is the library.  The libraries around here have a TON of summer programs for all age groups.

They have book clubs, story time, LEGO building activities, magic shows, art workshops, reading out loud to therapy dogs, foam sword fights, and more!  All at the library…who would have thought?  And the library is a nice and cool place to beat the heat with kids.




If your kiddos are anything like mine they LOVE animals!  What better way to kill a sweltering day than to watch the beautiful tropical fish flit about in their blue world?  Just let your mind wander and imagine that you are there with them snorkeling in the lagoon on a tropical island!

Ahhhh…how does that sound?  Ok, probably not, but hey…at least you’ll be surrounded by aquatic life and that, along with the A/C, will have a cooling effect!




OK, at this point you may or may not have gathered that we are total foodies!  We love, love, love food!  And going out to eat is one of our favorite activities!  So we often pop over to a local eatery for a bite to eat, a cold brew and the lovely air conditioning (and often ocean breeze) that the local establishments provide.

I love it because you can just kick back and enjoy engaging conversation in a comfortable environment while someone else cooks for you & brings you drinks.  [That must be what it feels like to be a dad!]  Take the whole family for a tasty way to beat the heat with kids.




Now let’s face it…we’re not all made of money where we can be scampering off to hotels, restaurants, and local attractions all summer long.  Nor do we always feel like fixing up our mom hair and changing our of our yoga capris to leave the house.

So my recommendation is to create your own personal oasis at home for a low maintenance way to beat the heat with kids.


“How do you do that?” you might wonder.  Well here are some tips on what has worked for us.  First, you need two stations.  The mom station and the kid station.  We will start with the mom station.




  • HUGE Umbrella \\ You need this in your life.  This is not one of those stupid, dinky umbrellas.  This is the mother of all umbrellas.  It covers so much area, is super easy to deal with and looks fancy!  Don’t forget to buy a weight for it or else it will land in your lap.  Not like I have experience with that or anything…! 😉


  • A Chair \\ You might just want one chair, settee, or a whole outdoor living set depending on room & price range. But as long as you have somewhere comfy to sit under your umbrella you will be fine!


  • Mister \\ No, not the man kind…a fancy gentle mist sprayer that will provide the cooling effects you need without making you look like your kids just dumped a bucket of water on you!


  • Sun Hat \\ So these are all the rage right now and I need one so bad!  You can get them with any number of sayings on them and they are so IG worthy!


  • Big Fancy Sunglasses \\ To complete the look you need some HUGE Jackie O sunglasses to shade your eyes.  And hide the fact that you are not wearing makeup so as not to melt in the hot hot sun.


  • Iced Beverage \\ My recommendation is to hop in your car & run through the Starbucks drive-thru to start your morning with an iced Americano. Then move on to iced tea or lemonade (try these lactation versions if you’re nursing). And then finish your evening with a cold glass of white wine. Don’t forget the corkcicle stopper & ice bucket to keep it cold.  You may even want to drop wine safe ice cubes into your mom wine glass for good measure!


  • Bluetooth Speakers \\  My mom recently introduced me to Bluetooth  speakers.  If you haven’t looked into these yet you MUST!  They allow you to broadcast your favorite tunes anywhere!  I think you should try out my new favorite Pandora station: Jazzy Brunch Radio.  Lots of Sinatra…love!  It will totally set the ambiance for your lovely personal oasis!



  • Inflatable Pool \\  This is such a life saver.  Seriously…you will thank me!  This thing is big enough for the adults but small enough to be fairly safe for supervised kids who don’t yet know how to swim.  We buy one every year and just adore them! Don’t forget to buy the cover to prevent the critters from poking holes in it overnight…the raccoons have poked holes in more than one of ours!


  • Slip’n’Slide \\  The slip ‘n’ slide was my absolute favorite water activity and such a great childhood summer memory!  And the novelty has not worn off.  The kids still love these today and they have new & improved versions seemingly every year!


  • Water Guns \\  I’m not a big gun person.  In fact, I didn’t buy a water gun for my kiddo until he was almost seven.  But who am I kidding?  Water guns are so much fun!  So I came to terms with the fact that we had them growing up & it’s kind of part of childhood.  So these were a huge hit last summer when we had the nanny!  A couple of these will keep your crazy tribe busy for a while!


  • Sunscreen \\ Don’t forget the sunscreen!  Babies & kids burn so easily, so make sure to apply frequently.  But be super careful about what kind of sunscreen you are using.  Many of them have toxic chemicals and some kids can have severe reactions to the ingredients.  When GQ was in daycare they put their standard sunscreen on him and he broke out in a rash.  We’ve used Aveeno ever since.  Many of my friends love Badger & California Baby though.


  • Otter Pops \\ No summer is complete without the classic Otter Pop!  These are so cheap & easy.  Not to mention totally yummy!  And you can buy no melt sleeves for them!! These will satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth on a hot day! Or just keep a few bucks handy in case you hear the welcome sound of your local ice cream man!




If all else fails and you grow weary of chasing relief, then you may just do what we’re considering.  That is to just give in and finally buy one of those portable air conditioning units.  Or if, you’re super ambitious, have central air installed in your home!  However, I am kind of a fan of getting creative to beat the heat with kids like a true Pacific Northwesterner!


How do you beat the heat with kids where you are?  I’d love to read your ideas in the comments below!  Take care & stay cool this summer!


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  1. Can’t wait to do all these things with my little one (who’s only 5 months at the moment)! Being in Texas, I predict the sprayground is going to be a hit. 😉

    • Yay! Thanks for your kind words Sarah!! Let me know how it goes!! The heat is rough when they’re so little! ??