Beat The Heat On The Cheap

Affordable Ways To Have Fun And Cool Off


Summer break is one of the best things about being young. There’s no homework, the sun sets late, and there is plenty of time to play and just generally be a kid. Then there’s all the fun to be had finding ways to beat the summer heat—including quite a few ways that are easy on their parents’ wallets.

  • Sprinkler time—This is the easiest and most affordable way for younger kids to cool off. And it is certainly easy to set up. Before turning it on, make sure the spot is safe (e.g. free of anything sharp) or have them wear water shoes or sandals of some sort.
  • Build your own waterpark—This is something we have done before and it was a great time. You can have a slip-n-slide, small pool, bubbles, the sprinkler going…just a variety of fun things to do. It’s another one that’s a lot of fun for the elementary school set. You can even invite some neighbors and have everyone contribute something.
  • Water fights—Older kids don’t want to sit in the kiddie pool, but they might be okay with lobbing water balloons at each other or chasing each other around with water guns. Give them a bag of balloons or arm them with a Super Soaker and let them have at it! This is another great option for the entire neighborhood that also allows them to get out some energy.
  • Sprinkler park—Many cities now have “sprinkler parks”; a place with water activities, such as a bucket on a pole that fills slowly then dumps it all over whomever is under it, jets that spray water up from the ground, and similar water-based fun. The best part is that they are totally free.
  • City/installation pools—Gone are the days of simplistic concrete rectangles full of water. Now many cities and locales offer what are mini-waterparks, with water slides, large pools, and kids’ play areas. These are often quite affordable for residents (from $5 to $10 per person) and might even be free for military families, so call ahead to find out. You can also check to see if you can bring in your own food, which can save you even more money.
  • Local lake—If you live somewhere close to a lake, see if they have a swim beach. Many do and are either very affordable or flat-out free. It might not be a beach on Maui, but it can be a fun time for the entire family.

No matter how you choose to cool down this summer, remember to be safe, wear sunscreen and, of course, have fun!


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