You CAN beat the heat. Keeping a sweaty, cranky child happy and comfortable in the summer heat is easier said than done. Here are some fresh ideas for keeping cool no matter how sweltering Vancouver gets. Here are a few simple ways for families to keep their cool in high temps:
Anything near the ocean
Take a stroll or bike ride somewhere like the Stanley Park Seawall, where the near constant ocean breeze means it’s always cooler there than deeper in the city. If you’re more daring, take a refreshing walk across the often-windy span of a bridge like Lions Gate or Burrard. Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks are our fave city beaches because they’re expansive, less busy, and have plenty of spots for skim boarding, sandcastles, and picnics.
Head to an indoor play place
If you want to entertain and exhaust the kids, head inside to Kidtropolis and watch the kids have a ball in this 17,000 square foot imaginary town complete with ice cream bar, airport and grocery store. (PS: They have twofers on Mondays and Fridays all summer long!).
Get wet at an indoor pool
When the sun is really pounding down, sometimes, it’s best just to stay indoors. Hillcrest pool has the best of both worlds: a small outdoor pool with spray features and shallow entry for little and a magnificent indoor pool with a lazy river, diving boards and a kid-friendly zone. Afterward, dig into an ice cream cone in air-conditioned comfort at the attached community centre.
Take a trip to the grocery store
Ok, so it’s kinda like the old standby of going to the mall but the bonus of a grocery store is that there’s a verrrry chilly freezer section you can take your time perusing. Make a game of it by giving your kids a “job”, like reading the next item on the grocery list, or crossing it out once you’ve put it in the cart. Grab a race car buggy for extra awesome points. Whole Foods’ chilly aisles and organic small-batch ice creams are calling your name.
Walk to a waterfall
It’s always cooler in the woods and near water. These walks to waterfalls can satisfy your desire to be outside while remaining in the shade.
Space out at HR Macmillan
It’s cool and dark inside the HR Macmillan Space Centre. Head inside and contemplate the vastness of the universe while the kids learn about the stars. If you want more of a party, and your kids are 10+, get tickets for their Birthday Bash for the Universe tonight!
Sleep with an ice pack
Sleeping is heat is the biggest challenge. Set the fan up and give the kids an ice pack to sleep on. Wrap it in a thin cloth or tea towel and watch they cool down. Alternatively, set up a tent in the backyard and have a cool camp out.
Jump in a cool bath
Whether you live in an apartment with no backyard for a kiddie pool, or you just need some novel playtime, a cool bath with some fun tub toys never fails.
The library is always cool
It’s air-conditioned, packed with awesome kids’ books, and comes with a built-in quiet time rule. Bingo. Vancouver’s downtown branch, Central Library, is always a favourite.
Make popsicles at home
Browse Pinterest for some delicious recipes for homemade popsicles, from fresh local berry smoothie pops to peaches n’ cream, then pick up some seriously cool popsicle molds to make them in. The kids will love taking part in making them, and you’ll all cool off with a treat once they’re frozen and ready for enjoying.
Hop on board the Britannia Mine Museum train and go underground where it’s nice a cool. Learn about BC’s mining history, check out the gems and pan for gold.
>> Check out our Q&A with the Britannia Mine Museum!
The World of Kidtropolis is an interactive city model designed to provide a safe, unique and realistic educational environment that lets kids do what they do best: pretend play! Our goal is to provide purposeful play and hands-on learning experiences in a family-focused environment. Children use their imagination to become firefighters, police officers, restaurant owners, teachers, stage performers and more. Kidtropolis is the perfect environment for parents and caregivers to bond with their children by participating together in pretend play! www.kidtropolis.ca