5 Ways to Beat the Heat on a Budget

We’ve made it through the festive month of July and into August which usually means less than a month until the temperatures start to cool off! Less than a month till the official return of regulation football season, pumpkin spiced everything and the kids go back to school. Although temperatures that don’t result in steering wheel hand burns are appealing, August has often been called the hottest month of the year. The heat can make the thought of leaving your nice air conditioned home daunting, but there is still plenty to do that will keep you cool. Or perhaps some of you don’t have the luxury of air conditioning at home. Either way, these activities are the perfect excuses to leave the house.


Even when it’s 100 degrees outside, you often have to bring a sweater to the movies because of how cool they keep the theater. You might be thinking, “With outrageous price increases for movies tickets, how is this on a list for activities on a budget?” There are ways to find great movie deals. Daily deal sites and apps such as Living Social and Groupon have both offered discount The Goonies at Infinity Park in Glendale, COmovie tickets before. You can also check out becoming a rewards member at your local theater which can result in free tickets and discounted concessions. Purchasing tickets through the app Deal Flicks can get you 15-60% off of your movie going experience. Some deals are simply tickets to a movie, and some are bundled deals such as tickets and a small popcorn. Check to see what available movies and deals are in your area here. And don’t forget about Free movies in the park! Many towns offer free movies in local parks when temperatures start to drop at dusk. Pack a picnic and set off for a unique outing with the family!


Many museums designate certain times or days for free visits. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is free the second Tuesday of every month and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum offers free admission on Thursdays from 2-6pm. Be sure to check with your local library as well. Many, such as the Chicago Public Library, offer deals. CPL allows you to ‘check out’ a pass to one of many museums such as the Adler Planetarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Shedd Aquarium. And if you find one that you all enjoyed, consider becoming a member so you can go back whenever you like!

Play Tourist

Many attractions have free events or tours that we often overlook because it’s “too touristy”. Nonsense! In Kansas City you can take a guided tour of a log courthouse built in 1827 and once used by Harry Truman. Take advantage of the unique places you live and learn something new!

Kids playing in a fountain

Water fun

Fountains are often placed throughout a city intended for residents to interact with. Load up the sunscreen, towels and a picnic and have some fun! Some rec centers may also offer free trials that include pool access. Another option is to again, check out your local library for programs such as the My Denver Card. The card offers local students age 5-18 free, year-round access to many rec centers and pools as well as other perks in Denver such as the Denver Zoo. You can also create your own water fun at home. Have a bit of a tournament with the family, or even the whole neighborhood. Play games such as water limbo where the stream of water from a hose is the limbo stick. Or water balloon hot potato, which is played by poking holes in water balloons then, passing the balloons around. Whoever has it once it empties, loses!

Head for the hills!

One of our personal favorites. Get out of the concrete jungle and head somewhere cooler. If you live somewhere near the mountains, that can be an obvious cooler destination but there are plenty of other places you can seek refuge. Search out an easy hike for the family or take a trip to a nearby lake. Sometimes simply loading up the air conditioned car and taking a nice long drive out of the city is all you need to beat the heat. Some libraries can help save money on adventures outside the city as well. In addition to museum passes, some libraries offer passes to national parks so you can save on the entry fee. Contact your local library to find out if they participate in a similar program.

Little Fisherman

These are just a few ideas to help you keep cool in the last stretch of summer. Enjoy the lull before it’s back to school and schedules.

Let us know what ways you beat the heat on a budget in the comments below!


Bailey was born and raised in a small Colorado mountain town called Crested Butte. This is where her love for the outdoors started. She has now found herself in Denver, CO where the mountains aren't too far away. When she's not hiking, camping or skiing in the mountains she enjoys volunteering, going to sporting events (Go Broncos and Avs!) and making friends with any animal she comes across.

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4 Responses to “5 Ways to Beat the Heat on a Budget”

  1. Cindy August 9, 2016 at 9:50 am #

    Great ideas, especially for families. I know you mention the public library – always a great resource. They also have weekly story times. Make it your weekly visit and check out a few books while you’re there!

    • Bailey
      Bailey August 9, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      Story time is a great way to spend a hot day!

  2. Joanne Weber Schul August 19, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

    Awesome ideas for soaring temperatures. Thank you for helping us out, the grandkids are coming tomorrow for two weeks and the temperatures are soaring. With six of them, it’s tough to find ways to keep it cool while not blowing your entire budget. I’m new to this.

    • Bailey
      Bailey August 22, 2016 at 9:48 am #

      How exciting you get to spend so much time with your grand kids! I’m sure the location you live in will have some great options. Have a wonderful visit with them!

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