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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, and until July 28th, you can snack and snap your way silly in air-conditioned comfort.
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.
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.