No Pool, No Problem: 5 Ways to Beat the Summer Heat without Breaking the Bank

With heat indexes reaching over 100 degrees and Iowa’s notorious corn sweat humidity weighing us down (yes, it’s a thing), the Urban Acres team has been on the hunt for ways to beat the summer heat. While we can dream of having our own backyard pool to splash around in, the reality is that most of us have to find other ways to keep cool in the summertime. That’s why we decided to put together this list of 5 affordable—and in some cases FREE—activities you can do to stay cool through the end of summer.

It wouldn’t be summer without hearing the squeals of children as they run through the spray of a good ol’ sprinkler. Sprinklers—which range in price from $10 to $40—are one of the quickest and easiest ways to cool off in the summer. All you have to do is find a section of grass, attach your sprinkler to a hose, turn it on, and your kids will be occupied for hours on end. Looking for inspiration? We love this beach ball sprinkler on Amazon.

Slip n’ Slides
Slip n’ Slides are the epitome of summer fun. The best part? They aren’t just for kiddos anymore. Whether you’re looking to entertain a group of kids, or get together with you own buddies for a day of fun, you can’t go wrong with a  Slip n’ Slide. At big box stores, you can pay anywhere between $10–$100+. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even create your own slip n’ slide using this step-by-step guide written by blogger Brooke Ulrich from the All Things Thrifty blog. Go on, be the envy of your neighbors.

Local Lakes
When people think of Iowa, a day at the beach doesn’t normally come to mind. While we may not have blue waves and dolphins, we do have sand and plenty of sun. Lake Macbride the Coralville Lake, and Terry Trueblood recreation area are all great places to cool off on a hot summer afternoon. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on the beach, swim, or paddle around on a boat, these three places will do the trick. Each location has their own restrictions on what type of boating and swimming is available, so make sure you check their websites before you put on swimsuit and head out.

Splash Pads

What’s more fun than splashing around in water on a hot summer day? Not much. Iowa City and the surrounding areas are lucky to have a generous supply of splash pads and kid-friendly fountains. In Iowa City you can find the Wetherby Splash Pad, Fairmeadows Splash Pad, Tower Court Splash Pad, and Weatherdance fountain downtown in the PedMall. Additionally, you can find splash pads in North Liberty and Tiffin. The Iowa City Mom’s Blog has put together a comprehensive list of Iowa City area slash pads and pools if you want to learn more about hours, location details, and read reviews from local moms that have been there and have shared highlights from their experiences.

Public Pools and Water Parks
If you are looking for something a bit more adventurous, a day spent cruising down waterslides at the Coralville Community Aquatic Center is the way to go. A full day at the park costs only $4.50 and drops down to $3.50 if you enter after 6 pm. Children under the age of two get into the park for free. Whether you’re looking to swim, soak up the sun, plunge off the diving board, or slide down one of the three slides, the Coralville Community Aquatic Center has activities for people of all ages.
Looking for more kid-friendly activity ideas this summer? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best things to do around the Iowa City area in our 81 Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer article. Better yet, get the complete list in our FREE downloadable guide!

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