Ways to Stay Cool in GR When the Heat Is On

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Tips for Family Fun While it’s Hot Outside

Here are a few places you can beat the heat with your kids.

We’ve rounded up some of the more popular options for your consideration.

circleHit the Ice

Many ice rinks are open year round.  What better than renting a pair of ice skates and flying across a sheet of frozen H-2-O to cool you and your family down?  Look into open skate times by consulting our Ice Skating section of our Winter Outdoor Play Guide for a time and location near you.

circleRun Errands

Mundane, everyday chores have a new appeal when they involve AC.  Trips to the Mall, grocery shopping, or anywhere else that involves prolonged periods in chilly air are welcome.  Plus, if you’re at Rivertown Crossings or Woodland Mall, you can always take a pit stop at their indoor play area.

circleDine Indoors

Certain restaurants cater to the younger set.  It might just be time to hit up Chuck E. Cheese.  Your local McDonald’s may also have a Play World inside.  Or head to Chick-fil-A for your next lunch playdate.  Just remember the socks and the hand sanitizer!


Get Wet

Check out a Water Playground or Splashpad or hit up a local beach.  We’ve rounded up most all of your options- just be sure to check hours before you head out.  And don’t forget the sunscreen.

circlePay to Play

Check out our Indoor Play Guide for lots of options. Featured here are places that cater to a kids’ urge to climb and go crazy as well as a mom’s desire for a good cup of joe. Catch Air is one of the places that has found a much-needed niche.  As the category suggests, there is an entry fee for these places, but it’s an all-day pass and you can eek out a lot of cool for a few bucks if you plan it right.

circleMuseums and Libraries

Take your pick, these educational destinations offer fun, learning, and a cool venue for the price of admission.  Library programming is free and most of it is found on our massive events calendar. You’ll probably have to pay for access to your local museum.  A few places we recommend stopping off include:


Bowling Alleys and Roller Rinks

Often forgotten during summer months, bowling alleys and roller rinks are still great sources of entertainment.  And because they are oft forgotten, they tend to be relatively peaceful places over June, July and August.  Better yet, select bowling centers offer free bowling to kids- something you’ll want to check out.

There are a few roller rinks in town as well.  Some that come to mind are Terry Roller Hall and Kentwood Fun Spot.  Most of the open skate times for these places can be found on the grkids.com event calendar.

circleMovie Theaters

This old standby is as popular as ever. Check your local theater for listings, and don’t forget that Woodland Mall offers discounted movie tickets and free summer kids movies.

Tell us if you have more ideas for staying cool in the comments. Thanks!


4 thoughts on “Ways to Stay Cool in GR When the Heat Is On”

  1. Great list to follow! Running errands is one that I usually do because I get a chore done and stay cool at the same time.

  2. Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares

    Oh–and at the GR libraries, based on availability, you can get free museum passes.

  3. Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares

    Yup! Libraries and museums are the best! And if you take the bus, it’s air conditioned, you don’t have to get into a hot car when you’re done, and if your kids have a Grand Rapids library card, they can get free bus tickets from the library children’s desk through the “Ride to Read” program.

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