You wake up in the morning and go through your normal routine. It’s going to be a good day- you’re ready to adventure and explore with the kids and enjoy all the beauty that the summer has to offer. Before you get dressed, you decide to check the weather: “Alexa, what’s the weather today?” “Today, there will be sunny weather with a high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 72 degrees.” WHAM- suddenly all your hopes and dreams of taking your family on a fun outdoor adventure seem to come to a screeching halt.

But, never fear! While hot and sticky weather can put a damper on the plans you had for outdoor exploring with the family, as long as you plan your day appropriately, it will all be ok. One key to a successful outing in the heat is to set your sights on locations where you will have lots of opportunities to cool down. Then there’s no need to shut the door on family adventuring because of the heat (unless it becomes an unsafe level of heat).

Other things to consider to help you have a more enjoyable experience are to time your outing during the coolest time of the day, pack lots of water, and wear hats and light clothing. Here are some additional tips on how to keep your kiddos cool while hiking during the summer.

Photo Credit: Monique Vargas

Incorporating water in your outdoor summer adventures is a great way to keep cool and have fun on those really hot summer days. Here are 10 super fun ways that you and your family can incorporate water fun to help keep cool while adventuring out and about during the summer:

1. Splash and wade hike: Choose a hike or location for your family that includes a clear stream or lake where you can put your feet in a refresh yourselves in cool water along the way (clear running water is the best for wading because it is more likely to be clean and safe). Make sure you have appropriate footwear figured out before the hike to help things run a bit more smoothly once you reach the water.

2. Waterfall hikes: Find a waterfall hike in your area and enjoy the sights, sounds, and perhaps even a little mist here and there to help cool you off. Some waterfall hikes may offer opportunities for wading or swimming as well.

3. Beach exploration: Plan a trip to a local beach and explore the surrounding area on foot with your family to get a little extra exercise and adventuring in.

4. Splash pad fun: Check out your local parks and see if any of them include a splash pad during the summer season.  The kids will love running through the cool spray on a hot day and moms and dads can cool off a bit too by standing nearby and enjoying some of the accompanying mist. *Be aware of fees, as some splash pads do charge for entry.

Photo Credit: Anna North

5. Backyard water adventuring: All you need is a hose and something to hold water and you are all set for a fun time in the backyard with the kiddos. If you don’t have a pool or water table, grab an empty tote or bucket. You can have the kids test different items to see if they will float or not. Maybe use some aluminum foil, or use sticks and string to build your own boats. Or, you can even give the kids some kitchen utensils to play with if you don’t have any toys specifically made for the water. Play with water balloons or grab the hose and (on a low-pressure setting) take turns spraying each other.

6. Splash pad at home: Turn on the sprinkler and just let the kids run through and around it (or splash through the puddles, as my youngest prefers to do). To add a little extra fun, you can find creative and fun places to put the hose or sprinkler to change the height of the spray (make sure it is safe and secure) or even use it to make a water slide with one of your outdoor slides (test the bottom to be sure that it doesn’t get too slippery).

7. Neighborhood sprinkler hunt: Take a walk with the family with the intention of seeking out active sprinklers in the area and, perhaps, spending a little time in the spray. This might not work out timing-wise, but if that’s the case you’ll at least have had a lovely family walk around the neighborhood together.

8. Stone skipping: Find a local pond or lake where you can skip stones together.

9. Learning with water: Fill some cups with a little bit of water and add a couple of drops of various colors of food coloring. Let your little one explore how different colors combine with other ones to make new colors. Talk about it with them.

10. Puddle jumping: Just after the rainfall, take the kids out to search for puddles in the area to jump and splash in (rain boots and rain suits are helpful to keep the kids from getting too dirty and wet).

Photo Credit: Anna North

Let’s all get on our swimming gear and keep to good times rolling despite the heat in order to make summer memories with our kids that will last a lifetime!  Do you have any tips for beating the heat in the final days of summer? Let us know in the comments below or share your experience and tag @hikeitbaby on your favorite social media platform!



Hike it Baby is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to getting families outdoors and on trails across the U.S. and internationally, supporting, educating and inspiring families through their more than 300 communities across North America. Since its grassroots inception in 2013 in Portland, Oregon, Hike it Baby is now a growing community of 270,000 families and 500 volunteer branch ambassadors hosting more than 1,600 hikes per month. More information, as well as daily hike schedules, can be found at, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.


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