When we think of summer, images of sprinklers, water balloon fights, and games of tag come to mind. But sometimes the heat is just too much to bear, and we’re forced to stay inside. The great news is that there are tons of great ways to have fun indoors this summer that don’t involve a television or tablet screen. Here are 10 cheap ways to beat the heat this summer by having some family fun inside when it’s too hot outside.
Go Camping…in Your Living Room
Set up a tent inside your living room, or build one out of blankets and pillows, and have a campout in your living room. Turn out all the lights and use a flashlight to tell ghost stories, make s’mores in the microwave, eat hot dogs for dinner, and sleep on the floor in your sleeping bags.
Visit Story Time
Most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and even local book sellers, host monthly children’s reading events for free. Your local library is another great resource for fun family activities, such as workshops, puppet shows, children’s programing, and movies, as well as a huge selection of free ways to keep your kids entertained while you’re at home. In addition to children’s activities during the summer months, your library is a great place to stock up on books for a day of reading or to check out movies for a classic movie marathon.
Go to the Movies
Typically, taking your family to see a movie is anything but cheap, but thanks to summer movie specials, an air conditioned movie is actually a great option to beat the summer heat. At AMC Theatres, $4 will buy you a movie ticket and kids pack with popcorn, fruit snacks, and a drink every Wednesday at 10 a.m. And Regal Theaters offers $1 family-friendly movies all summer long.
Have a Party
In the summer, there are so many great reasons to celebrate! Have some family fun hosting a party in your house. Bake some yummy treats, throw up some streamers, blow up some balloons, and have a blast celebrating the joys of summer. In addition to having fun with your family, an impromptu party also gives you an excuse to dance and play fun party games all day long.
Visit Real-Life Heroes
Most local police or fire stations will open their doors to the public for a tour upon request. Let your kids get a first-hand glimpse of heroes in action, take a peek into a fire engine or police car, and see the innerworkings of your local emergency response stations. Most locations probably don’t have visiting hours, so I would suggest calling ahead to make an appointment.
Host a Board Game Tournament
Pull out your box of Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders and have a family board game competition. Make it a tournament by selecting a group of games for the family to play – when one family member wins, they get to challenge the losers to a new game. To make it even more fun, make a trophy or belt for the winner to sport at the end of the tournament.
Tour a Nearby Factory
Did you know that more than 500 factories across the country offer tours of their facilities? Give your kids an inside look at how products are made in your very own community by taking a tour of a nearby factory. Most factory tours show visitors how a product is manufactured from start to finish, which can be an exciting event for a young child. Visit Factory Tours USA to find out if a factory in your town opens its doors to the public.
Hundreds of bowling alleys across the country take part in the Kids Bowl Free program, which lasts all summer long. The program allows children whose age doesn’t exceed the limit set by your local bowling alley to register for two free games of bowling each day.
Take in a Museum
Museums are a great source of entertainment and education for kids of all ages, which makes them the perfect destination on a hot summer day. If you are a Bank of America card holder, you’re eligible for free access to more than 200 museums across the country on weekends. If you don’t have a Bank of America card, you’re probably still in luck because numerous museums offer discounts throughout the week. Contact your local museum to find out if discounted admission options are available.
Have Fun with Science
There are so many great resources for fun learning opportunities at home. Whether you decide to conduct a science experiment (the classic baking soda and vinegar volcano is always a hit) or construct a new invention out of things around the house, your kids are sure to have fun using their minds to create something new and exciting.