As we near September and the start of a fresh school year, it is still hot as heck down south in New Orleans. As I’ve written before, I go a little stir crazy if I’m stuck in my house for too long, so I’ve had to get creative and find ways to enjoy getting out while also staying cool in these final dog days of summer.
Here are some of the ways that we’ve found to beat the heat this season. Use some of our ideas over Labor Day weekend coming up, and leave a comment if you have other great ideas!
Plan and Improvise Around the Weather
We have been heading to our favorite playground first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to start the day, get energy out before the morning nap, and to enjoy playing outdoors before it gets too hot. Plus, the playground isn’t usually crowded on weekdays before 9 a.m. That means there is always a baby swing open for us.
With high humidity comes a high chance of rain. We have random thunderstorms all throughout the summer. This is when improvisation comes into play. There is usually a cooler hour or so right after a big rain, so we will quickly get outside to take a walk or explore at a park right after the rain ends.
Pack Extra Clothes and Diapers for Unexpected Water Fun
Most of you parents probably already carry around a diaper bag full of extra outfits and diapers anyway, so this is easy. What isn’t easy for some people is spontaneity. Last week, we went to the aquarium to spend some fun time indoors on a hot afternoon. When we went outside, we noticed kids running through a fountain on the New Orleans Riverfront. The kids of varying ages were having a blast. My husband said we would come back another day with a bathing suit and let Baby A try it out. But the little man and I couldn’t resist. We ran right through the spouts of water and laughed and screamed our hearts out. It was great! Who knows when we would have been downtown again on such a perfect day to play in the water? Baby A even got up the courage to run through the fountain on his own a few times and was delighted about it. We used a spit-up cloth to dry him after and changed his clothes in a shady private area next to the aquarium. I was soaked through my clothes, but I knew walking in the sunny weather for a few minutes would solve that issue.
So when an opportunity to play in the water presents itself, take it! It’s just water; you’ll get dry quickly.
Find A Pool
Lots of cities and towns have community pools that you can visit for free. I am a little hesitant to visit our local pools because of a news story last year with people’s hair falling out after taking a dip in pools with the wrong mix of chemicals. So instead of that, we have paid $5 for a day pass to the University of New Orleans’ pool. Other gyms and community centers might offer a day pass in your area.
If you live in a place with lots of hotels, you might be able to sneak in and enjoy a pool day. I know that isn’t the most ethical idea to share with you guys, but a family on a budget has gotta do what it has gotta do, am I right? My family visited this past weekend and we were able to use the pool at their hotel. Maybe you have a friend with a condo complex with a pool that you can visit one afternoon. There are also hotels that offer day passes to their pool areas. Here in New Orleans, those usually are party spots with heavy drinking, so we avoid hotels like The W and Ace Hotel and opt instead for the quiet, small rooftop pools at hotels like the Marriott and Renaissance (my personal favorite, but you have to have a guest key for it).
Use Sprinkler Toys
You can splash around and play in your own backyard (or driveway, if you don’t have a yard like us) with a multitude of toys. You can get a water table or plug your hose into a fun sprinkler toy like the ones below. Just don’t forget to apply lots of sunscreen on the kids when you’re outside!
Go On Easy Outings to the Indoors
Check our post about easy outings with your infant and toddler for some ideas about places you can go to get a break from your house. Also, check your neighborhood and town for parenting centers – in New Orleans we have one attached to the Children’s Hospital that is great for play groups – and indoor play places. In New York, we visited this fun indoor play place for a small fee.
Do Sensory Activities at Home
Finally, if you can’t even fathom getting dressed to go out somewhere and it’s just too hot to go outside, then change things up with new activities at home. With the purchase of a simple plastic bin, you can get creative and plan tons of sensory activities. Check our Pinterest board about Indoor Play for some amazing ideas from moms around the web. So far we have played with food-dyed spaghetti and had an amazing water playtime.
this post to see how I created our spaghetti sensory playCheck this post to see how I created our spaghetti sensory play. It was ooey gooey awesomeness.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, help those in Houston, and have a wonderful Labor Day weekend!