Beat the heat: Cool ways to have summertime family fun

Summer is all about soaking in the sun, and beating off the sweat! Here are five cool ways to deliver summertime family fun.

kids playing in backyard

Backyard bucket games

Sure, you can blow up the baby pool and cool off, but you can find far more fun ways to make memories while you stay cool. Transform traditional backyard kid games into summer heat-beating fun by adding a bucket of water wherever you can. For example, instead of tapping with a hand, games of tag would involve sloshing water on the other person with a bucket of water. Hold various bucket relay races including running, skipping and hopping, and have each participant hold a bucket of water while doing each activity. Mark a line on every bucket where the water shouldn’t pass. The winner gets to douse the losers in the water from remaining buckets.

Wet potato

Fill a water balloon and insert a tiny pin hole to create a slow leak. Stand all family members in a circle in the backyard or at the park and toss it around the circle until it bursts.

Hit the drive-in

Sure, you can head to your local movie theater and cool off in the air conditioned theater — but it’s more fun under the stars! If you thought drive-ins were a thing of the past, think again. offers a database of 5,000 movie theaters nationwide. Take a picnic blanket and some snacks, and the whole family can enjoy a new release in the cool nights of summer for the same price (or less) than you’d pay for one ticket at the movie theater.

Indoor fort day

When temperatures become unbearable, designate indoor fort day where, for just one special day, kids are allowed to use couch pillows, comforters, blankets (and whatever else they can find) to build an indoor fort. Load their indoor arsenal with card games, stickers, clay, coloring books and crayons, and crank up their favorite tunes.

Party with the stars

Even the hottest summer heat cools at night, and it presents a great opportunity to enjoy family fun with the simpler joys of life. Hold a family camping night, where no electronic devices are allowed. Grill burgers outside, and enjoy old-fashioned s’mores by a bonfire. On “camping night eve,” get the kids involved in making fresh juice popsicles for your after-dinner treat using an ice cube tray, toothpicks and plastic wrap. Fill each “cube” with the juice of your choice, and then place plastic wrap over the tray to keep the picks in place. Poke the toothpicks through the plastic wrap and freeze for about 24 hours.

More summer fun

5 Thrill-seeking family adventures
Fun summertime family traditions
Summer bonfire tips


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