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Heat Wave? No Problem.

Beat the heat -- for real -- with these kid-friendly suggestions.

Don’t you hate articles that promise you can beat the heat? What does beat the heat mean, anyway? Is this a job for  (This is a joke. Though, if it were possible, I would take a stick to Old Man Summer myself.)

It is not supposed to be miserable in the Washington area until August, when everyone who can leaves town. It’s only June, and we’re stuck in a twilight time between school and vacation. We can’t leave until the kid’s team sports are over, the last math test is graded, and the last house is TP’ed.

Worse, most parenting advice I’ve seen on “beating the heat” is useless. I read an article with suggestions like “make-up a play to perform for the neighbors,” or “try these 20 messy crafts,” or “build a working robot out of wiki sticks.”  Nah. That sounds like a lot of work for mommy.

The best way to beat the heat is to get other people to watch your kids while you enjoy an ice-cold beverage.  

GAME ON

Good news if your kids still have outdoor sports going on. That way, lots of other people will be watching them. Most children’s games consist of standing around in the sun, interrupted by furious bouts of activity, so make sure they stay hydrated. Splurge on popsicles and fun drinks, or cool foods like frozen grapes or watermelon. Smear on the sunblock – a new study finds most people don’t use enough to get the protection listed on the bottle. Assume you’re getting about half the SPF listed on the bottle.

GO TO THE POOL

If your children are nine and older, they won’t be able to get away from you fast enough. Ideally, you can kick back in a big sun hat and read a novel. If you don’t belong to a private pool, give a try. It’s open to the public for a small fee. Beware; it does get very crowded on the weekends.

As a word of caution, don’t go to the Germantown Swim Center. Yes, it is the greatest indoor pool in the world, complete with wading pool and waterslides, but it’s closed for maintenance until September 5th.

GO ICE SKATING

It’s cool inside even when it’s hot outside. You can sit in the bleachers while the staff watches your kids glide around. There are special hours for public skating, as well as ice time for figures skating, hockey and speed skating.

GO TO THE MALL

Though you will have to watch your own children, they will probably be delighted to go to the mall. If you’re sick of Westfield Montgomery Mall, try Tyson’s Corner in Virginia. Go early, though, because the traffic and construction are as bad as you’ve heard.

Kids love the stores, such as the LEGO store, Build-a-Bear, and Barnes and Noble. There are movie theaters for older kids, and even a large preschool playland. The mall is cool, comfortable and has lots of ice cream – and that’s the best way to beat the heat that I know of.

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