Cool things for kids to do during the hot summer months

June 16th, 2013 | by Amelia Hadley | Comments

Summer on a beachThis summer is sort of a big deal in my home.

In September, all my kids will be in elementary school — it will be my oldest’s last year and my youngest’s first. As the sun sets each day, I can feel the pages turning and soon an important chapter will be over. It’s sadly final.

In light of that, I’m trying to make this a great summer for the kids. We’re not spending a lot of money –  in fact, we’re on a very tight budget — but I’m trying to be intentional with our time. My goal is to do something each day that will get them out of the house and, hopefully, create happy memories.

We’ve gone to the Palm Desert Aquatic Center, participated in the library’s summer reading program, had a play date, made popcorn and watched movies at home and walked to a local bakery for a cookie. Luckily we have a pool and its provided hours of entertainment.

I’m allowing them each 30 minutes of “tech time” a day. That means they can play on sites like PBSKids, Nick Jr. or ABC Mouse on the computer or on my phone. There are rules. I set a timer, they can’t bank their tech time and if they go on a website that’s not on my approved list, they’re done and lose their time for two additional days (this has yet to be a problem).

Beginning July 1 I plan on spending an hour or two a day sitting with the kids at the dining table, doing school work. I know they’ll be thrilled about that. I don’t want them to fall behind though.

Regal Cinemas– there are locations in Indio and Rancho Mirage– is offering Summer Movie Express again this year. Family-friendly movies are scheduled for each Wednesday. Admission is just $1 per person. For families who want to check out new releases, and don’t mind the ticket prices, Monsters University opens June 21 and Despicable Me 2 is scheduled to open July 3.

Basically, I’m just trying to keep my kids busy. We can easily spend these scorching days sitting on the sofa, but I’d rather not.

I know desert parents have a hard time in the summer. It’s difficult when it’s 110+ degrees and the kids can’t really run around outside. If you know of family-friendly, low-cost activities, shoot me an email at and I’ll keep a running list on the blog.

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