Ideas to cool off with the family this summer in Central Va.

The summer heat is in full effect, so we’re helping with some affordable ways to keep the family cool.
Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 11:55 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The summer heat is in full effect, so we’re helping with some affordable ways to keep the family cool.

We’re making a list with one of the best- the West End Mom - for some great adventures.

Water play is one of the easiest ways to cool off.

For free, children can play with the sprinklers or hoses in your backyard, or you can visit a number of free splash parks or public pools in the area.

Megan Ariail, The West End Mom, says she “really, really loves” Dunn Croft Point Park in Glen Allen.

“This one’s probably my most favorite and it’s the most popular because it’s totally fenced in,” she said. “... This also has the most shade of splash parks.”

It also has ramps and is close to a playground and library.

Families may also enjoy the Eastern Henrico Rec Center or the Pocahontas State Park aquatic center, which has some cost, but has lots of amenities, including a spray park, multiple pools and water slides.

If you’re looking for a cold treat, Ariail says she’s counted more than 75 places to get ice cream or cold treats around Richmond.

One place is Brewster’s Real Ice Cream, which has free ice cream for children who are 40 inches or shorter.

“It’s a great budget-friendly way for all families to grab their kids some ice cream,” Ariail said. “You do need to make sure that you ask for that baby cone.”

They’ll see if your kid “measures up,” so expect to line up next to the measuring stick.

Families may also want to consider a hike by the river, which is free.

Ariail says she loves Pony Pasture.

“They have bike-friendly trails,” she said. “They also have a stroller-friendly trail. If you’ve got an all-terrain stroller, you can make a loop, and most of your walk is by the river. So you have this breeze coming off (the river) and it’s totally shaded, so you can go in the heat of the day and have a little bit of break from that summer heat.”

She says they also love fishing from Robious Landing Park and the shade over at Echo Lake Park.

Ariail says the Tot Lot is a great option for young families. It’s shaded and fenced in.

If you’re looking for a way to cool off, you might consider a museum or Regency Square Mall.

“Just walk laps around the mall, play in the play center,” said Ariail. “They also have an aquarium (and) a pet shop there. So my kids like to watch the fish swim around.”

Click/tap here for more ideas from The West End Mom.