As a kid growing up in North Texas, we never had functioning air conditioning in our cars and rarely had it in the house. Given that experience, you’d think I would be used to a hot Texas summer. Turns out that summer makes me want to hibernate, and just thinking about triple digits makes me sweat.
I have many friends that spend their summers in the northeast — a brilliant move. But some of us are stuck here in Texas during the most brutal months and need to find ways to survive. Here are some things that work for me . . . but if you have other tips for surviving the heat, PLEASE share them!
Prep your home. If you own your home and can afford it, you can make some changes like installing solar screens or a new A/C unit that’s sized right for your home. If you rent, you can install blackout curtains that block out the sun. Use them in the hottest rooms in your home (where the light shines) to bring the temperature down a few degrees. (We’ve done all of these suggestions and now my home is more like the arctic north.)
Seek out your local library. Many libraries have storytimes, playgroups, classes, clubs, and children’s areas full of puzzles and other quiet activities. Soak up the quiet time (and free air conditioning) by becoming weekly regulars.
Find your local indoor play areas. Places like trampoline parks, Legoland, and some local churches are the perfect place to play. Check out our “Indoor Fun in Tarrant County” post for lots of different options.
Play in the early morning. I take my kiddos out first thing in the morning to get some sun before it gets overwhelmingly hot. I sometimes even wake them really early so they’ll nap during the hotter part of the day. We use the time to play, garden, water the lawn, or walk. Once it hits 9:00 or 10:00 a.m., however, it’s time to head inside to prep for lunch and our siesta!
Don’t use your oven. Seriously. Fall in love with your Instant Pot, your Crockpot, or have non-cooking snack dinners on the patio (after the sun has gone down). These are meals that consist of a little bit of everything, perhaps toast, string cheese, pepperoni, and fruits/veggies.
Have themed activities for mid-day. For example, every Monday afternoon we might eat popcorn and watch a new movie. Tuesday afternoons might be craft days while Wednesday afternoons are reserved for snow cones.
Find late night entertainment. After the sun has set, things cool back down. We love going to movies in the park, such as Dive-In Movies or a Movie in the Park in Keller. We also love going to a late dinner at Central Market (and letting the kids run in the play area) and hitting up Coyote Drive-In for an evening of food trucks and entertainment.
Find summer-only discounts and specials! Cinemark has a summer series where it shows 10 kids movies for just $1. There are also various bowling alleys that have discounted bowling in the summertime. Find more information here.
Buy a kiddie pool. Real pools are expensive and community pools can be crowded. I can’t tell you how happy I am lounging in the kiddie pool in my backyard with an iced lemonade while the kids play around me. The best thing is they get to be outside, and I don’t have to be hot.
My husband jokes that a Texas summer for me is best spent not seeing the sun. And it’s true. But I know there are some other mamas just like me that would enjoy this list, too!