It’s hot out there — maybe a little too hot for outdoor adventures with little ones. When it’s sweltering, how do you keep young kids active and avoid going stir crazy?

The internet is full craft ideas and games to keep kids busy without ever leaving home.

If you do feel like venturing into the sun, Slide Waters is always fun. Or there’s the Rotary Park splash pad, and several public pools. And of course you can always jump in one of the region’s gorgeous, fr-fr-fr-freezing lakes or rivers if you really want to cool down.

But I’ve also found a few go-to indoor (air conditioned!) activities for those long summer days when it’s too hot to play outside, but you’ve just gotta get out of the house:

Bowl at Eastmont Lanes

Eastmont Lanes offers a popular Kids Bowl Free program each summer. Participating children get two free games of bowling everyday all summer, though shoe rental rates still apply.

Bounce off some energy at a gym

Wenatchee is home to two fabulous youth gyms, and both offer drop-in play times for the very youngest kids. At Apple Valley Gymnastics, summer open gym happens on Mondays from 9:30-11 a.m., for kids 5 and younger. At SPORT Gymnastics, the open play gym happens on Wednesdays from 10-11:30 a.m., for kids 6 and younger. (No play gym at SPORT in August.)

Get crafty at the museum

My kids are big fans of the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. They’ve got this hands-on children’s activity room upstairs called Coyote’s Corner, where the shelves are stocked with paper, glue sticks, scissors, and lots of crafting material. The room also features information about famous artists, information about local wildlife, tons of over-sized building blocks, and a super cool “tree” house. Playing in Coyote’s Corner is free for children and their parents.

Check out a book, or a program, at the library

There’s a TON of stuff happening right now at library branches across North Central Washington. From story times and puppet shows to science programs and Lego Build-aThons, local libraries will keep your kids occupied all summer long. Plus, the NCRL offers a Summer Reading Program, which “encourages children to build reading skills, prevents summer learning loss, and prepares for a successful school year.” Here’s the full calendar of library events.

Go to kids’ movie

What’s better than popcorn and a matinee on a scorching summer day? “Incredibles 2” and “Hotel Transylvania 3” are in theaters now. For showtimes at Gateway and Liberty Cinemas, go to For showtimes in Chelan, go to

What else do you do with your young kids on hot summer days? Leave your suggestions in the comments. Thanks!

(Top photo by Mike Bonnicksen, Wenatchee World. Eastyn Whitesitt, 5, at right, with the Appleseed Preschool in Cashmere, snaps his hands like a crocodile jaw as he and others from the school listen to rhyme during a story time at the Cashmere Public Library in April. Library volunteers Harriet Clark, background, and Kathy DeFazio, at left, read during the event.)