It’s summer, it’s hotter than balls, and it’s hard for me not to feel guilty keeping the kids locked up in the house with A/C all day. But when you start sweating like a sinner in church from the moment you step foot out the door, you start wondering if you’re getting enough Vitamin D crossing the Target parking lot or if letting your toddler come with you to get the mail is enough fresh air. It’s brutal. And I’m a sweater so it’s definitely not pretty.
So until this little planet moves its way on around the sun to a temperature a little more forgiving, I’m stuck trying to improvise ways to get the kids out of the house without ending our adventure in sun poisoning or heat stroke. Man, summer. You are the douchiest of the seasons.
Anyways, here’s what I do to get out of the house during the summer, as someone who hates summer with every ounce of her being.
Splash pads. The safer alternative to pools where my happy tot can splash around to his heart’s content without a fear of him drowning and/or picking up synchronized swimming. All the while, I can stand there, still sweaty as hell, but at least none will be the wiser as to whether it’s my own perspiration or the heavily chlorinated water erupting forth from the concrete like an urban Old Faithful.
A perk in addition to the not drowning thing? Prime people watching territory. One moment I was watching a toddler (thankfully not mine) walking around, attempting to pry gum off the ground until he is finally successful and pops it into his mouth. The next, I saw a boy frantically running down the sidewalk, grabbing his junk, and alerting the greater area of his need to PEE NOW. And lest I forget the comedic glory of the pre-teen who unassumingly sits on the ground after the fountain turned off only to have it turn back on again and pretend to shoot water from his butt. Truly the Jim Carrey of his generation.
Kids museums. A fine outing during the school year, but gird your loins as soon as school is out. I should have known that the moment I had to park until on the third level of the parking garage on a Tuesday morning. But I am willing to trade off being around every child in a twenty mile radius for being out of the sun and in the air conditioning without Thomas and Friends in sight.
Duck ponds. It’s reasonably fun to set-up pondside under a gigantic, shady tree with a bag of green peas for my toddler to throw near (or sometimes at) the ducks. Major drawbacks are the perma-butt clench I get when my child is around open water and the occasional angry swan, but it makes for some pretty cute photos. My kid also does a pretty spot-on duck impression.
Farmers markets. My toddler can usually safely roam around during weekdays when it isn’t all that busy. And, if I’m lucky, my baby will sleep the whole time in the stroller while I cram bags of weird produce underneath. Plus, we are covered from the sun 95% of the time and the vendors are always super nice. My 2 year old always manages to score a slice of watermelon and castile soap samples. I call it a victory.
Airport lookouts. My son loves planes and an easy way to keep him entertained is to park at the airport lookout, plant him in the trunk of the car, and let him see the planes takeoff. Fortunately we live near a large, international airport so it is always plenty busy.