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16 Ways to Beat the Summer Heat – While Enjoying Someone Else's Air Conditioning

With temperatures soaring and summer only just beginning, parents everywhere are looking for ways to entertain their children while avoiding the scorching midday sun. What better way to cool down than to spend a few hours, or an entire afternoon, in the cool refuge of someone else’s air conditioning?!

I’ve put together a list of places that you and your kids can visit to keep both entertained and cooled down. Check them out below! Tell me, what are your favorite places to escape when the temperatures start to rise and you have to get out of the house?

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  • Visit the Aquarium 1 of 16
    Visit the Aquarium
    Go under the sea and visit your local aquarium. Not only will the air conditioning bring down your temperature, the low lights and mellow mood will help to keep you cool, calm and relaxed.
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  • Play at the Arcade 2 of 16
    Play at the Arcade
    My kids could spend hours playing games at the local arcade. A few bucks in the token machine and we're ready to kill some time indoors and out of the heat. If there's no arcade nearby, check for an indoor play place or bounce house facility.
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  • Go Bowling! 3 of 16
    Go Bowling!
    With many bowling alleys offering free bowling to kids during the summer, hitting the lanes is a great, and cost effective way, to get out of the scorching summer sun.
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  • Explore Your Local Children’s Museum 4 of 16
    Explore Your Local Children's Museum
    If you're lucky enough to live in an area with a children's museum nearby, don't forget to take advantage of it this summer. Your kids will be entertained for hours by activities structured just for them.
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  • Go to a Big Box Store 5 of 16
    Go to a Big Box Store
    While this could be a costly choice, if you go resolved to not buy an 80" flat screen TV, you can kill a lot of time perusing the myriad of product offerings and trying as many food samples as is humanly possible. And don't forget to spend a few glorious minutes in the refrigerated produce room.
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  • Eat Out 6 of 16
    Eat Out
    Take this opportunity to try a restaurant you've never been to before or a cuisine you've never had. Give your kids a few choices and let them pick where you eat, to make it even more appealing to the whole family.
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  • Go Grocery Shopping 7 of 16
    Go Grocery Shopping
    Usually, I avoid, at all costs, taking all three of my kids to the grocery store. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Find a few summer friendly recipes and make it an ingredient scavenger hunt. Then, when you get home, you can make the tasty treats to help keep you cool tomorrow!
    For recipes ideas, check out some ideas from Family Kitchen here
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  • Hit up Your Local Hardware Store 8 of 16
    Hit up Your Local Hardware Store
    Find a few DIY summer activities and spend some time shopping for the supplies. Put them together when the temperatures cool down and you'll have activities to keep you busy and refreshed for the rest of the summer!
    For a few ideas check out posts from The New Home Ec here, here and here
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  • Go to an Ice Cream Parlor 9 of 16
    Go to an Ice Cream Parlor
    Forget the ice cream truck. Throw tradition, and nutrition, out the window for a day and head to your local ice cream shop for lunch. Order the biggest sundae they have and spend the afternoon enjoying it's frozen deliciousness.
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  • Visit Your Local Library 10 of 16
    Visit Your Local Library
    Hit up the local library during story time for a fun, imaginative, and cool, way to spend the afternoon.
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  • Hit the Mall and Shop Til You Drop 11 of 16
    Hit the Mall and Shop Til You Drop
    Now that you're an adult, the mall may have lost some of its appeal, but on a hot, humid day it provides great relief with its air conditioned stores and food court that abounds with ice cold beverages.
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  • Take in a Movie 12 of 16
    Take in a Movie
    Grab some popcorn and an ice cold soda and get lost in a movie in an air conditioned theatre for a few hours.
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  • Spend a Day at the Museum 13 of 16
    Spend a Day at the Museum
    If you live near an art museum, natural history museum, or museum of any other type, hop on in for a few hours of culture and education. And cool air.
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  • Take a Train, Subway or Bus Ride 14 of 16
    Take a Train, Subway or Bus Ride
    Hop on whatever form of public transportation is available to you and take a ride. Visit a nearby town, neighborhood or landmark that you've never seen before. The kids will love the ride, and you'll all love the air conditioned seats.
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  • Visit the Theatre 15 of 16
    Visit the Theatre
    If there's a local playhouse check their schedule, they might have a kid-friendly show with a matinee.
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  • Take a Road Trip 16 of 16
    Take a Road Trip
    When all else fails, get out of dodge. Is there an ocean, lake or river within driving distance? What about a city or town with more options for killing time? Or, with the air conditioning cranked and music on full blast, take a scenic drive around your area. You never know what you'll find while you explore.
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