While summers used to mean late nights with nothing but a sundress, a bottle of wine, and an outdoor patio, these days the hot summer months are all about keeping our kids occupied, cool, and tantrum-free, without incurring a monstrous electric bill. While there’s nothing we can do about the blistering humidity, we can help you out with this list of our picks for ways to beat the heat. Share the love in the comment section below and let us know your secret to surviving the dog days of summer.

1. It’s the tried and true method of warding off the summer swelter–ice cream. Whether you’re more of a gelato fan or have a hankering for the real deal, here are a few places to satisfy that hunger for something sweet (and cold!). No doubt it’ll be hot enough that your little ones will be munching on their scoops before they have a chance to melt.

2. Just off the boardwalk on Coney Island is a whole underwater world where jellyfish, penguins and sharks live. Visit the New York Aquarium and watch your kiddos hold sea stars floating in the Touch Pool and watch live sea lion antics at the Aquatheater.

3. Hit up an indoor play spot. Your kids can run around and burn off some extra energy and you can relax knowing that you don’t need to worry about them getting too hot or sunburned.

4. Even though trying to wrangle your kids onto the subway can be a real headache, this underground subway museum is a cool haven to escape the summer sun. And while everyone is enjoying the much needed relief from the heat, your kids can learn a thing or two about what makes the subway so unique to New York.

 

5. Whether you want to pack a picnic lunch or frolic through the water play area at Brooklyn Bridge Park, ditching the city streets for a grassy park is a great way to stay cool.

6. Staying indoors on those hot days can sometimes be the only way to keep temperatures (and tempers) down. Grab a spot at one of the city’s independent book stores and have some quiet time while you enjoy a good read and a break from your stuffy apartment.

7. You don’t have to leave the city to feel like you’ve escaped it. Head to the city’s secret garden where shaded paths and walkways are great places to enjoy a snack.

8. Summertime typically means major Hollywood blockbusters have arrived on the big screen. Chill out at a kid friendly theater, where the entertainment and commercial grade air conditioning are aplenty.

9. Take a dip at your local pool or head to the beach to splash around. Always a kid pleaser, these swim spots are sure to be a hit with your little ones.

10. Jump aboard The Beast and tear through New York’s waterways on a speedboat that will satisfy your kiddo’s need for speed. Be forewarned, you will get wet!

11. Keep those little minds sharp and prevent the summer brain drain with a crafty project at this hands-on art museum just for kids.

12. Explore the ocean depths and space all under the same roof at the American Museum of Natural History. With so much to see and do, your kiddos will be occupied and out of the heat for hours.

13. Retreat to a picturesque garden that’s ideal for exploring with plenty of shady to avoid the sunlight. Currently, the garden features exhibits that recreate some of impressionist painter Claude Monet’s most famous works.

Still looking for more ways to stay cool (and entertained) this summer? Check out our summer list of 50 things to do in NYC with kids.

How do you and your kids plan to beat the heat this summer? Share the love and let us know in the comment section below. 

— Scott Wardell

photos courtesy of  Ed Yourdon_Imaji_Matthew Hester