Beat the Heat

I'm not going to say one "negative" thing about the heat we've been experiencing lately. I remember sitting in the house last winter, wind howling, snow up past the mailboxes and two little boys going stir crazy....saying how I couldn't wait to get outside. And really, I don't mind the heat- Kevin and I were married July 22 in heat much like what we have this week. (Plus, men in tuxes and a church and reception hall without A/C.... my dad promised it wouldn't rain and he was right.)

 So if it were just me, I'd be slathering on the SPF 50 and laying out with a book or at the pool but since it's me plus two little guys that just won't do. Instead, I've come up with a few sure ways to enjoy this beautiful weather without over heating! (like Cooper did recently at the Park Rapids 4th of July parade......let's just say the candy bag got put to good use and it wasn't holding candy.)

1. Splash pads- we've visiting a handful of parks with small water features. Mostly fountains that spray up from the ground or up above from a variety of showers. Our favorite splash around play places include the MN Zoo, Heart of the City in Burnsville and Kelley Park in Apple Valley.
Rumor has it that the new Fern Cliff park in Burnsville will be adding a water feature next year...

2. Pools- During July and August the Savage Lifetime Fitness gym will offer one free family pass. (They do this because the city agreed to let Lifetime build here instead of a community center...) While the only time we go to Lifetime is to use these two free passes, when we do go, we really enjoy it. It is a zero entry pool with lazy river, splash area and waterslide. If summer memberships weren't so high, I'd consider purchasing one for us.

3. Beaches- When it's only me and the boys, I probably wouldn't do this option simply because too much can happen in such an open place like that and so many potential water hazards. But with another mom or like a lot of times- my awesome mother in-law, the beach is such a great place for the kids! One that impressed me more than any others was at Sandpoint Beach in Prior Lake. Hats off to the Prior Lake community and the beyond any expectation activities that they make available for FREE to our kids!  Face painting, crazy hair, several arts and crafts projects, a live DJ with fun dance contests and games. Plus for a $3 you can purchase a hotdog, chips and beverage.
To check one out for yourself visit the webpage here. They are every Friday with locations rotating.

4. At home fun- this one we are all familiar with; sprinklers, kiddie pools and squirt guns do the trick. Heck, even just a hose will keep them entertained! I typically try to pick up a clearance pool at the end of the season and stash it away all winter but this year I either forgot or they were already sold out by the time I got around to it. So, I ended up paying more than I would have liked for our pool, $34.00, but I think we've already gotten our money out of it.

A really CHEAP and fun purchase I made this past week was a few packs of sponges. At $1.50 for a 6 pack I spent $3 for a lot of fun water time. We filled up the pool, threw in the sponges and tossed them at each other. Cooper's eyes lit up when I told him that yes, he can really throw them at me, just not at my head. (why is it always the head?!) This was also something easy for Parker to do.
Another at home water activity we like to do is paint. We fill up a large pail with water, grab a few sponge paint brushes and "paint" everything in sight. This usually ends up in them painting each other while laughing hysterically.

Lastly, if we've exhausted all other avenues of cool relief I break out a tray of ice cubes. Parker typically tries to eat his, but Cooper and I experiment with ours- where do they melt the fastest, on the deck or on the patio table, in the sun or the shade, who can hold the ice cube the longest, who can melt theirs the fastest? 

Luckily, we're headed out of town for an entire week at the lake so options for staying cool won't be a problem. We hope you are able to find some fun new ways to beat the heat too!

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