The heat and humidity can sometimes damper an otherwise beautiful summer day. And dehydration may take effect if you’re out in the sun too long (check out this past post to prevent dehydration). If long summer hikes aren’t on your radar for you and your kids, try some of these other hike alternatives!
1. Splash pads and fountains
Who doesn’t love a splash pad? These can be great ways for kids to keep cool in the heat. If you’re heading to a splash pad after a hike, bring a change of clothes or swimwear to change into. Fountains are another great way for kids to cool off. Look for them in unconventional places, like a botanical garden. Also, don’t forget the sunscreen!
2. Explore caves
If you’re near any caves, taking a hike through them can help beat the heat since you won’t be exposed to the direct sunlight. Children will enjoy the change of scenery from a typical hike as they can see new sights. Check out these cave hikes from Backpacker Magazine!
3. Take a sunrise hike
Usually it’s cooler in the early morning hours, so take advantage of it! Early morning summer hikes can help set the tone for your day. You also have the advantage of seeing the sunrise. If your children are early risers, this may be the hike for you! After the hike, you could head in to air conditioning and have the children draw their sunrises.
4. Take a sunset hike
Another way to avoid so much heat is to hike and watch the sunset. Beautiful views may also be accompanied by fireflies. You may want to wear a headlamp to keep your hands free while still being able to see your surroundings.
5. Hike at a creek
Creeks are often in shaded areas, so why not take a creek stomp in the heat? With a balance of splashing, exploring and shade, there’s so much to take in! You may even be able to view frogs, fish or other creatures of the creek! If you’re concerned about ticks on the trail, check out this guide from Hike it Baby to keep safe.
6. Head to the zoo
Many zoos are known for their outdoor exhibits, but most have buildings where animals are featured. Taking a break from the heat of the outdoors in the buildings will still allow you to see animals, but it will also let you keep cool!
7. Backyard hike
Set up a water table, sprinkler or other water toys in your own backyard! Enjoy the sun and the water play knowing that you can go inside for a quick break when needed.
8. Beach day
Heading to the beach is another way to keep cool! While still out in the sun, heading to the water can cool you off. Taking a break under an umbrella will also offer some needed shade on a hot summer day. When heading to the beach, don’t forget sunscreen or a sunhat from Sunday Afternoons.
9. Find a nature center
Do some research for nature centers in your area. Oftentimes there will be short trails around the nature center. Take a small hike then head inside to explore the nature center! Learn about animals and local plant life, depending on what your local nature center has available. Live animals may also be inside the nature center so you can get a close-up view.
10. Popsicle party
Who doesn’t love a cold treat on a hot day? Host a small hike and end with Popsicles or have children eat them while reading a story beforehand. There are many ways you can make Popsicles and other frozen treats, and some recipes can be found here.
How are some ways you beat the heat during these hot and humid days? Share with us in the comments below!
Photos courtesy of Jessica Nave and Arika Bauer.