Too hot to play outside? Today we’re sharing 25 things to do with kids in summer when it’s too hot outside. This post has been updated for 2021.
Our summer heat doesn’t always hit when you might expect it. We’ve had two 90 degree days and now we’re back to “June Gloom,” which is fine with me. I feel like “June Gloom” is California’s gift to me, a little consolation prize for October and November’s record heat waves. But unfortunately, the beach haze gives way to sunshiny days that are almost too brutal to stand.
Things to do with Kids this Summer
- Movie theaters are open! Regal has their Summer Movie Express which offers $1 family movies every Tuesday and Wednesday all summer long. See favorites like Teen Titans Go! and The Emoji Movie and A Dog’s Way Home.
- Go bowling! Everyone I know signs up for Kids Bowl Free which gives your kids two free games of bowling EVERY SINGLE DAY in the summer. Many bowling alleys also offer a shoe pass so you’re not forking over $4 for shoes every single time you go.
- Go to the beach, the pool, the lake, a splash pad. I know this kind of goes against the staying inside theme, but if you can cool off in some water, DO SO.
- Take an art class. Michael’s stores have pivoted to offering their annual Camp Creativity classes online. Beginning July 12 – August 1, classes will be offered daily via Zoom. Your kids might be sick of virtual school but this is a great 30 minute FREE activity (you’ll need to have supplies on hand).
- The free Apple Camps offered at Apple stores are a hot ticket every summer. Unfortunately, Apple hasn’t yet announced if in-store camps will be offered this year. They also transitioned to an online series during 2020. Sign up here for 2021 details.
- Create something. Home Depot offers monthly activities for kids (and adults)! This too has moved exclusively online. Sign up here.
- Read a book! Odds are your local library has a summer reading program and odds are that they offer prizes for kids who fill out their reading log.
- Barnes and Noble also has a summer reading program that rewards kids with a free book for completing the Summer Reading Journal.
- PetSmart Activities – Find your local store on the website and scroll down for a list of in-store event. Many stores are having a reptile roundup in July which will feature a live bearded dragon as well as a reptile-themed craft. (Events still look to be temporarily canceled, keep checking back for updates).
Things to do with Kids Around the House
- Make a Summer Bucket List. Have the kids come up with a list of things they want to do during the summer both big and small. Refer to the list when you’re bored!
- Have a movie day. Close all the curtains to keep out the sun (and the heat.) Pop some popcorn and relax with a movie. Maybe this list of the best kids movies on Netflix will help you find something you haven’t seen a million times.
- Make Elephant Toothpaste.
- Try a no-bake recipe. We think these chocolate chip cookie dough bars or these monster cookie granola bar bites would be delicious.
- Take a bath. Wait! I’m serious! My daughter would spend a full hour in the bath every night if we had time. Who says she can’t take a bath in the middle of the day. Pull out all the stops and let them use these Color Bath Drops, too.
- Organize a kids room or toy cabinet. Make a pile of toys to donate. This has the added benefit of making old toys suddenly very attractive to kids and keeping them busy for a long time.
- Make emoji masks.
- Invite some friends over. Everything is more fun with a friend.
- Make a firework painting.
- Have a read-a-thon. Let the kids stay in their pajamas and make comfortable reading spots around the house. Maybe plan a trip to the library the day before so everyone is stocked up on new books to read.
- Make stained glass art.
- Research where kids eat free in your city to avoid cooking dinner.
- Make Oobleck.
- Easy to Make PlayDoh out of Jello.
- Science is Fun! Make Rock Candy (but be prepared to wait a week to enjoy it.)
What are your favorite things to do when the sun is relentless? Leave us a comment below!