6 Ways to Have Fun Outside On the Hottest Day of the Year
Chase nature’s cooler options when the temperature soars.
Kimberly Burger Capozzi
Don’t be a slave to the air-conditioning! Use these tips to get the family outdoors even when the mercury’s rising.
Rise early: Pack an easy breakfast of fruit and dry cereal, and head out to the park or playground ahead of the heat of the day. TIP: If your kids are slow risers, have them wear their play clothes to bed. Slip on sneakers, and you’re out the door!
- Explore REAL water parks: Visit a lake, play in a creek, sit under a waterfall. Just placing your feet in the cool water of a shaded pond can do wonders for your comfort level. Search for local, state, and national parks in your area to find the best water features! Try NatureFind.
- Love the rainy days: Take advantage of a spritz from the sky and head out in the rain for a hike, a game of tag or one of these wonderfully wet activities. Don’t forget to notice how the rain changes the smells, sights, and sounds of our natural world. But be safe! If lightning is predicted, stay inside.
- Say goodnight to the fireflies: Hot and humid weather can zap anyone’s energy during the day. The perfect antidote? A firefly chase in the evening! As dusk turns to dark, turn on a flashlight to seek out other nocturnal creatures (crickets, mice, and snails are all possibilities). Then shine it around your backyard for a last look and “goodnight” to your play space.
- Picnic in pajamas: Share a bedtime snack on the back porch or front stoop. Or have a Backyard Campout! S’mores can be just as good from the grill or microwave as from a campfire. Simply melt or roast marshmallows and press between graham crackers and chocolate. Or try this yummy version, which uses peanut butter cups and bananas.
- Party with the stars: Have your own star party, either with friends and a telescope or snuggled as a family on a blanket. Check out these resources and guidance on studying the moon, stars, and other celestial sights: http://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/ If you want to head out to a stargazing event, here’s an app for your mobile phone from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for finding one near you.
Kimberly Burger Capozzi is a mom and freelance writer based outside Pittsburgh, PA. She has written about parenting issues, wind power and military spending programs, and chronicles her family’s efforts to cook wholesome meals at www.chefzi.blogspot.com.
Get Outdoors with Your Family