Sure, sometimes it would be nice to have a pool, but think of how much money you save by not having one! Unfortunately, this isn't much comfort when it's so hot that you can barely stand to move. Cannonballing into the deep end is just one of dozens of fun ways to cool down on a sweltering day. This summer, you're going to have an (icy) blast in your own backyard with no pool maintenance required.
1. Run Through the Sprinkler
It's a classic for good reason, and you're never too old to run through a sprinkler. If you don't already own one, an oscillating sprinkler can be yours for around $20. Hook it up to your hose and jump through it or stand in the spray to cool down. Move the sprinkler each time you use it so different patches of grass get watered instead of waterlogging one section of the yard.
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2. Wear Cooling Headbands and Wristbands
Do you want to cool down and dress like you're preparing for a retro photo shoot at the same time? Embrace your inner '80s aerobics fashionista by donning a cooling headband and wristbands. Using cold pressure against your head and the pulse points in your wrists should help to cool down your entire body. Buy a cooling neck wrap and wristbands that are designed for this purpose. If you're desperate for relief, try putting wet cloth headbands and wristbands in the freezer for 10 minutes before pulling them on.
3. Make a Backyard Splash Pad
A DIY splash pad is the perfect backyard feature for pool-free families with little kids. There are a few different ways to create your own splash pad. One common strategy uses pool noodles as a frame for a tarp. Spray your hose over the tarp or set up the sprinkler on it, and the pool noodles should keep most of the water contained on the tarp while the kids play.
4. Experiment With DIY Air Conditioners
There's no better time to experiment with DIY air conditioners than the middle of a heat wave, right? Figuring out what works and what doesn't can make for a fun family activity on a hot day. Try making an "air conditioner" using an oscillating fan and plastic soda bottles filled with ice or make a tabletop version using a miniature fan, foam food containers and ice.
5. Stand in a Mist Shower
Just a quick hit of cold mist may be all that you need to perk up and cool down. If your hose doesn't already have an adjustable nozzle, now's the time to buy one. Turn it to the mist setting, point the nozzle straight up in the air above you and enjoy the sensation.
6. Throw Water Balloons
When was the last time you experienced the cold shock of a water balloon exploding on your back? If you can't remember, you're overdue for some water balloon play. It's definitely more fun to have a water balloon battle with loved ones, but hey, if you end up playing a solo game of "throw the water balloon up in the air and try to run under it so it explodes on me," well, no one's judging.
7. Take a Cool Bath
Listen, there's no disputing the pleasure of a warm bath, but why do we only think of baths as a cold-weather activity? At the hottest point of the day, fill the tub with cool water and climb in with a book or earbuds for a soothing midday soak. You can also take a cool bath at the end of the day to lower your body temperature before bed.
8. Try a Cooling Pedicure
Don't feel like filling the tub for a full-body bath? Give this treat to just your feet. Soak your feet in cool water for a few minutes and then follow up with a cooling foot gel. Painting your toenails is totally optional.
9. Cuddle a Cold Water Bottle
Like baths, we tend to think of hot water bottles as being for warm water only. However, filling your hot water bottle with icy water could make it into a kind of oversized cold pack that you can press against your lower back, neck or even under your arms to cool off. It's definitely not as fun as jumping in a pool, but curling up with a pool won't help you sleep on a hot night.
10. Play Wet Sponge Dodgeball
Nothing brings out your inner child faster than playing silly water games in the backyard. Wet sponge dodgeball is one of the silliest, and everyone will be soaked from head to toe by the end. Cut sponges into strips and rubber-band several strips together to make something approximately a ball shape, or you can use whole sponges. Have a few buckets of cold water in the yard for re-wetting the balls and then soak them and start hurtling them at your loved ones.