Mother Nature is pretty touchy these days. We went from one of the wettest months in recent memory to a record high heat index. And the kiddos are dying to be outside.

Although the pool never gets old, you may be looking for some other options for beating the heat. Here are a few ideas:

Get Crafty at Yankee Doodle Art
Tuesday/Wednesday: Open 10 AM – 5 PM, Thursday/Friday: Open 10 AM – 6 PM, Saturday: 10 AM – 7 PM, Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM

The all-American art studio in Timonium has tons of a la carte art projects that kiddos can do! {Nope, it’s not your painted pottery studio — although we like those, too.} Create a book, make a placemat, design a candle, and more. Art projects range from $5 – $22/per craft and there are great take-home art kits available as you leave. No studio fee — just go create! Ideally for ages 4+ (although younger kids can do many of the projects with adult assistance — our little guy did!). MORE

Climb to New Heights at Earth Treks Timonium
Open Climbs Saturday and Sunday, 9 AM – 5 PM

Did you know your kids can try rock climbing at Earth Treks on the weekend? Open climbs are Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM – 5 PM. A $25 open climb pass  includes 3 climbs, a harness rental, and an Earth Treks instructor to lead your climbing experience. Three climbs will give you a great taste of climbing, but if you enjoyed them so much you want to try more that day, they’re just $5 each.* MORE

Grab a Smoothie and Race Matchbox Cars at Play Cafe Baltimore
Open Daily, 8-5 PM on weekdays, 8-4 PM on weekends

Have you checked out Play Cafe in Hampden yet? It’s a must for parents with kids. Delicious coffee drinks and smoothies made to order, plus a fabulous play area where kids can race matchbox cars (there’s a seriously (cool) table with a winding track), build with leggos, put on a puppet show, get lost in let’s pretend, and more. Special music and art sessions, Friday story times (the first of the month), and Family Movie Nights, too. MORE

Check out the Terrapins at Irvine Nature Center
Open Daily, 9 PM – 5 PM

It might be hot outside, but it’s (cool) in the nature center! You can explore their interactive exhibit hall — home to several terrapins, frogs, fish, and more — FREE! Their award-winning story time happens on Friday at 10 AM. MORE

See the Whales at the Science Center
Open Daily, Sunday-Thursday: 10 am – 6 pm, Friday & Saturday: 10 am – 8 pm

Humpback Whales in 3D is showing at the Science Center.Set in the spectacular waters of Alaska, Hawaii and the remote islands of Tonga, this ocean adventure offers audiences an up-close look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Need we say more? MORE

Go Duckpin Bowling at Stoneleigh Lanes (Kids Bowl for FREE!)
Contact for hours.

Did you know Kids Bowl Free at Stoneleigh Lanes this summer? A one time $5.00 registration fee for each child provides an opportunity to bowl 2 free games a day all summer long. Register for Kids Bowl Free here. MORE

Chill Out During Public Skate at the Ice Arena
Monday – Thursday, Saturday and Sunday – 3 PM – 5 PM; Friday – 7 PM – 9 PM

Did you know Mt. Pleasant Ice Arena is open from 3 PM – 5 PM every afternoon but Friday for open skate? A few breezes around the rink will definitely help your family cool off. Admission to public skating sessions is $4.00 and skate rental costs $2.00. MORE