The heat is on with a brand new term “heat dome”! Can you feel it? 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. PS: Drink lots of water, wear a hat and slow down….
How to stay cool with your kids during a heat wave
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.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. Be sure to pack a beach umbrella.
Go into the woods today
The only surprise is how cool it is in the trees. Go on a family walk in the woods an notice what a cooler effect trees have on temperature.
Eat ice cream
No better excuse that a hot sunny day to hit up the ice cream parlour. Vancouver is home to some renowned ice cream parlours.
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. Also excellent choices are Science World, the Vancouver Museum or the Surrey Museum for dark cool spaces.
Take a trip to the grocery store
Ok, you’ll need to #maskup and it will need to be a quick visit but go when it’s slow and head to the chilly freezer section you can take your time perusing. Give 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.
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.
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.
Book a slot at the pool
You’ll need to pre-book your 90 minute block the day before, but a dip in the pool during this pandemic is particularly special this year. In Vancouver, Kits Pool, New Brighton, Second beach and kiddie fave Maple Grove pools are all open until the end of summer. PS: Spray parks are also a great option.
Go to the mall
Malls are cool havens from summer heat (plus … hello sales!). Kids love them, and if Metropolis at Metrotown is in your purview, there’s always squishy cheese cake from Uncle Tetsu, frozen yogurt, ice cream from Sweet Jesus, a spacious Indigo with browsing ops for moms and kids.
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.
Take a cool bath
Whether you live in an apartment with no backyard for a kiddie pool or sprinkler, or you just need some novel playtime, a cool bath with some fun tub toys never fails.
Jump in a lake
Nothing beats the fresh cool feeling of a lake swim. Head early to one of the Lower Mainland’s nearby lakes then leave for home before the crowds arrive for a midday nap.
Pro tip: Save outings for the edges of the day
Everyone needs to get out of the house. If the kids need an outdoor run-around, go early in the morning before the heat settles in for the day or in the evening when winds pick up and the sun’s strength wanes. One added bonus of this strategy is the light is fantastic (think golden light pics!) and the crowds are thin.
Harriet Fancott is the Editor and Social Media Manager for Vancouver Mom. She has over 20 years experience in the arts, tech and mom-based blogging arenas. She lives in East Vancouver with her husband and son where they enjoy exploring all that Vancouver has to offer from festivals and events to playgrounds and beaches to sushi and ice cream (although not together).
Heather Maxwell Hall is a Vancouver-born-and-raised writer and journalism school grad who loves the arts, her little family, and the Pacific Northwest. She cultivates good vibes by going on long walks, taking pictures, and discovering new things.