Enjoy the hot weather while it lasts

            With summer at its hottest, it’s tempting to hide inside to escape the heat. Instead of cooping yourself up indoors with the TV and your computer, how about taking advantage of the last month of vacation season with some fun in the sun?

            Here are four nearly free, fun activities you can engage in with friends and family—and you won’t have to crank up the a/c to enjoy them:

            Throw a cookout. Even if your patio doesn’t have a roof, you can set up umbrellas in your back yard or on the deck and fire up the grill. Plug in a few portable fans. Then, make it a party by inviting a few friends over.

            Jump in the pool. Pile the kids in the car and  drive to the community pool or to a nearby lake or beach. Pack a picnic and make a day of it. Turn the air conditioner at home up a few degrees before you go.

            Take a hike. A great way to end the summer is to take the family on a hike on a nearby trail. The forest is full of refreshing shade.

            Go shopping. Malls are always cool—no matter how hot it is outdoors.  The kids will be glad to tag along for a smoothie or an ice cream cone.

            Sure, it’s hot outside. But you can’t have summer fun in the winter. Enjoy the sun and warm weather while it lasts.