For most of us, Summer means cool, breezy river hangs, outdoor BBQ’s, beach days and lots of other outdoor fun. But for those that live in excruciating heat during the summer season, it’s a time to escape the heat and take shelter indoors. I am fortunate that our family gets the best of both worlds, but for the times we do have to spend in the desert I’ve found our typical summer go-to activities. Some of these things do require money or season passes, but they aren’t terribly expensive and if it means shielding us from the heat it’s worth it! Keep reading for ideas!

Beat the Heat: Ten Indoor Summer Activities

1. A local aquarium – we have a season pass to the local aquarium and we’ve already utilized it four times this summer. It more than pays for itself and you get a little bit of marine-life while still indoors.

2. Dollar Movie Days – usually your local movie theater will have a special kids movie day where admission is pretty inexpensive. Our local theater shows movies for kids every Tuesday for just $1!

3. Library activities – the local library is a great way to join in on local activities for little ones! Usually they’ll have story time or other education activities for kids. This one is also usually free!

4. Water table at home – water tables are amazing for sensory play. They can enticing for all ages if scaffolded appropriately. (Scaffolding means you tier the different levels of learning; for example a word hunt for an older child, and just a letter hunt for a 3-year-old toddler, and simply grasping objects for an infant) Most water tables are fairly inexpensive too.

5. Local children’s museum – most cities and towns have a children’s museum with lots of educational activities revolved around science and math. It’s another activity that you can probably purchase a membership for, but it’s worth it if you’ll use it multiple times each summer.


More activities:

6. Bowling or indoor arcades – Bowling is always fun if you have kids that are old enough to enjoy it! Plus it can be fairly inexpensive!

7. Rotating play date hosts – This is something that’s nice because it’s free! If you have a solid group of mom friends you guys can each take a turn hosting play dates at your house! This changes up the kids’ scenery and toys and gives you a chance to get out and do something without spending money.

8. Local playhouse – So this is kind of a nuanced activity, but when I was teaching we would take a field trip to our local theater and see different shows put on by kids! We saw The Little Mermaid last year and it was a fun way to show the children how to see something other than a movie. Plus, they like seeing all kids as the actors which doesn’t happen very often in movies!

9. Local recreational center – Our town offers dance classes, music classes, and Spanish classes for less than $30 per month! These are all outdoors and they help us plan our weekly schedule since we have a class every week on the same day and time!

10. Barnes & Noble Story time – almost every Barnes & Noble has story time in the kids reading section. It’s also a great way to meet other children and families if you want to make more mom friends!


Rylee & Cru Linus criss cross dress (on sale!) | Similar white top | Saltwater sandals

Whether you live in the heat or not, I hope these activities were helpful to you when planning out your summer! If you have any great suggestions, let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to the list!

If you did find this post helpful, please consider pinning one of the images below so other families can find it and enjoy it too!


Thank you so much for reading!

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  1. We live at Barnes n noble during the summer months! My little boy could play with the train all day! xo

  2. This is the perfect list! We just moved to D.C. so there are TONS of museums and things to explore indoors while it is still so hot outside!

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