Here in Indianapolis — where Reading Glasses Shopper calls home — this has been the summer of bans. Firework and burn bans made the Fourth of July a whole new experience. The most recent ban to go into effect is one against watering lawns — so we’re all left with yellowing, crunchy yards. The heat wave and drought have gone on long enough! Can we just skip over to fall?

water park

If you’re anything like me, then you and your family are probably looking for ways to stay cool. Here are five ways to have fun with your family and beat that heat without breaking bank:

1. Library
A trip to the cool, air conditioned library could be fun and educational. Most libraries have some sort of summer reading program to get children interested in reading. Let your kids pick out books to read so they can get points and pick summer reading prizes! This will keep your children sharp and ready to go back to school, and you can get some reading done, too! Local libraries have something for the whole family at no cost.

2. Museum
If you have a museum nearby, then planning a family trip could be an enriching experience. Look online for discount days. A lot of museums are free on holidays or a certain day each month.

3. Movies
Try taking a family trip to the movies. You could all watch the same film, or you could split up and let the girls see one movie while the boys see another. Again, look for discount days or even check out the discount theaters! For an even more affordable option, you can pop your own popcorn and make your living room the theater.

4. Swimming
This is a more obvious option, but what better way to beat the heat then hop in the pool? Many city pools have free admission when the temperature reaches a certain point. You could also check out nearby waterparks, or even lakes that have a beachfront. Just be sure to apply sunblock for a day outside.

5. Car Wash
Save some money and have your own family car wash. Bring out the hose, buckets, sponges, and suds. Put on your swimsuits and have fun making the car shine (and maybe having a little splash fight while you’re at it). (But be careful if your city is under a water ban. Washing cars could fall under the restricted uses of water!)

I hope this gives you some ideas on ways to have fun with your family while avoiding the heat. If you’re planning outdoor activities, be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

Image source: Sacramento Sidetracks