Five alternative ways to beat the summer heat

Hot, steamy summer days are only here for a short window. Get out and enjoy the summer heat before the cold, dreary winter returns! Turn on a sprinkler and cool off, hit the pool, enjoy a popsicle…or try beating the heat with an activity that’s a little more out of the box. Here are five unique ways you and your family can beat the summer heat. Whatever you do, get out there.

1: VIsit an indoor waterpark:

When the thermometer reads 95 degrees Fahrenheit means outdoor water parks and pools will be packed to the gills. But indoor parks offer the same H20 enjoyment without the heat or the long lines. Even better, summer is the off-season for indoor parks, so you may even be able to get exceptional package deals or deep discounts. A Buttoned Up tested favorite: Kalahari Resorts in Ohio & Wisconsin.

2: Try unique water games

Ever played “Splash Dodgeball”? How about “Drop, Drop, Drench”? These are great backyard water games that are perfect for a hot summer day. “Splash Dodgeball” is great for kids 6 and up. All you need are four corners marked by buckets of water to create a boundary and a few sponge water balls for the kids to throw as dodge balls. Just make sure there’s an adult on hand to supervise and impose rules – just like a snow ball fight, faces are off limits. “Drop, Drop Drench” is just like “Duck, Duck, Goose” with a fun water twist. Get a small pitcher of water (be sure it’s not too heavy for the little ones to carry) and the child who is “IT” goes around the circle spilling just a drop on each kid until he finds the kid of his choice and “Drenches” the goose. This game is certain to keep everyone cool and laughing with water fun.

3: Create a cheap air cooler

Just because everybody wants to keep the energy bills down in this rough economic climate, doesn’t mean you have to suffer in the dog days of summer! Create a do-it yourself air conditioner: Buy a Styrofoam cooler. Fill it about 1/3 with ice then poke four holes on each of the 2 long sides. Make the holes big enough for air to flow through and be sure the holes are close to the ice but just high enough that when the ice melts, the water won’t spill out the sides. Next, turn on the fan on the far side of the Styrofoam cooler and feel the ice cold air on your face or body. This at-home cooler is great for cooling off while on the couch, before bed, or to keep pets comfy on hot days (they are certain to plop down in front of the cold stream of air). If you don’t want to do all of that, wet wash cloths and place them in the freezer. Then wipe your arms and legs down before turning on a fan or place the frozen cloths on the back of your neck. This simple trick will at least bring you down a couple of heat notches.

4: Watch your timing.

Blow drying your hair in the morning? Running your laundry dryer at noon? Baking for the cookout at 3pm? All of these activities add up to warming your home and adding to the heat from the sun. Close all of your blinds, shades, and windows early each morning to keep the sunlight out. Blow out your hair before bedtime when it’s cooler, or let your hair air dry with fun hair styling products for a more natural, sun-kissed look. Try using use a clothing line instead of a clothes dryer (your clothes will have a wonderful fresh air scent too!). And pick out recipes that require little or no baking, like fruit pizza or Rice Krispies® Treats.

5: Stay heat smart

Of all the things to pay attention to in the heat, hydration is paramount. Your body needs lots of electrolytes and water, especially on hot summer days to avoid heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Even if you aren’t thirsty or those you’re with claim they aren’t thirsty, keep the fluids coming. Try low calorie sports drinks like Gatorade G2, water, and popsicles if little ones are refusing to drink more liquids. If you have, or see someone else with, symptoms like nausea, vomiting, clammy pale skin, dry mouth, weakness, etc. it is likely heat exhaustion. Get out of the sun and heat immediately. Drink fluids, but slowly as to not get nauseous, consume a salty snack, like pretzels, and loosen clothing. If symptoms get worse and turn into convulsions, hallucinations, or loss of consciousness, this may be heat stroke and you should seek medical attention immediately. For more information, check out for more advice on “Heat Waves”.