The sun is hot. The humidity is up. And there are countless fun and healthy ways to enjoy the summer season in Northern Michigan—both inside and out! Here are 10 ways to cool off on a hot summer day.

Sprinkler in the Sun

Sure, it may not be the fanciest way to keep cool, but it’s quick, easy and fun for the whole family. Water your grass on a dry day and keep your kiddos cool at the same time. Not everyone has access to a swimming pool, but running through the sprinkler barefoot in the backyard is a perfect alternative.

Plan a Beach Day

If you’re a Michigander, you have an inevitable love for the Great Lakes. There’s no better time to enjoy them than on a scorching hot summer day. Appreciate the chilled water and the lake breeze during a much-needed family beach day. Of course, remember sunscreen!

Make Popsicles

Too hot to play outside? Stay in and make healthy treats! Turn your kids’ favorite drinks into frozen, low-sugar snacks. (Cherry vanilla is always a favorite. Try this recipe with Greek yogurt or a dairy-free option with coconut milk. Both recipes have less than five ingredients!) 

Trampoline Water Fun

Rambunctious kids on a hot day can be hard. Running a hose on the trampoline is a great way for them to burn through all that energy without totally burning up in theheat! Makeshift trampoline slip ‘n slide, anyone?

Bike Ride & Cool Down

Work up a sweat riding a bike with Norte, and let the breeze cool you down as you zoom through the streets! You can join Traverse City’s bike-centric, youth-focused advocacy organization for their balance bike meetups for kiddos (check out the Estrellas here). Or, get involved in another biking event.  

Host a Neighborhood Car Wash

You’ll become your neighbors’ new favorite person when you encourage your kids to host a neighborhood car wash! This is a great way to give your kids the chance to play in the water while doing something kind for others. You can take this opportunity to meet the families living around you that you haven’t got around to introducing yourself to yet. Clean cars. Cool kids. And new friends for the win.

Have a Lemonade Stand

Get your kids in the entrepreneurial spirit and set up a lemonade stand under a big shaded tree. This way you can be sure they are staying hydrated and busy. All they need are a couple pitchers of lemonade and they’ll walk away with a few dollars to their name—and hopefully some new friends, too.

Visit a Children’s Museum

Some days, the best way to cool off is by simply enjoying the air conditioning on full blast. Take your littles to a local children’s museum and enjoy the cool air flow and educational entertainment for an afternoon.

Water Balloon Extravaganza

Invite some of the neighborhood kids over to play with water balloons in the backyard. Host a water balloon fight, play long toss or water balloon baseball—the opportunities are endless. All you need is a hose, balloons and some creative, energetic kids!

 Make Infused Water

Sam Struck, a dietitian at Munson Healthcare Cadillac, knows how important it is to stay hydrated in the summer. If you easily get bored with water, she suggests infusing it with fruits and herbs. Here are three infused water recipes from Sam:

– Cucumber Water –

  • ½ large cucumber thinly sliced
  • 2 ½ gallons of filtered water

Directions: Chill for 12 hours for best flavor. There is no need to strain before serving.

– Orange Basil Water –

  • 4 orange slices
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • 64 ounces water

Directions: Pour purified water over the fruit and infuse at room temperature for about an hour and a half. Enjoy!

– Strawberry, Basil, Lemon Water –

  • ½ cup stemmed and sliced strawberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 5 large basil leaves, torn
  • 1 lemon thinly sliced
  • 40 ounces water

Directions: Combine all ingredients and serve immediately. No need to infuse or chill unless stronger flavor is desired.

Written by Courtney Jerome

Photo(s) by Tess Crowley