How To Get Through the Day When It's 115°F

It's So Hot! What Should We Do Today?

Downtown Phoenix restaurant with a misting system
Judy hedding

Every summer there are a few days when even those of us who love Phoenix have to admit that it is too darn hot! What do we do when it's so hot that our sneakers melt while we walk on the pavement? (They don't really melt--that's just an expression!)

Cool Ideas for Very Hot Days

  1. Go to the mall and do your Christmas shopping. Buy something for a friend, for a loved one, and for a child or two at a crisis center. Choose a mall like Scottsdale Fashion Square where there is covered parking.
  2. Declare a "Movie Day!" Go to the first show of the day, and see three movies in a row. Go to a movie complex like Harkins in Tempe or AMC in Phoenix, where there is covered parking.
  3. Stay home, with air conditioning going full speed. Do not leave the house, even to get the mail. Read a book all the way through, preferably one like Snow Falling on Cedars that has an icy theme.
  4. Stay home, with air conditioner going full speed. Rent a minimum of four videos. They must include snow, like Fargo, Home Alone, and White Fang.
  5. Stay home, with the air conditioner going full speed. Build a 3D jigsaw puzzle while sipping homemade lemonade. Play every old CD that you haven't listened to in at least 3 years.
  6. Go ice skating.
  7. Go bowling.
  8. Go to an indoor video arcade. Pick one that has covered parking.
  9. Go to the Heard Museum. Don't bring the kids. Even though there are great activities for kids, if you bring them you can't spend all day long and enjoy it at a snail's pace.
  10. Go to the Arizona Science Museum. Bring the kids. Go to the planetarium. Go to big screen theater. It's technically not an IMAX, but it's the same concept. Play and learn at the neat exhibits.
  11. Find an indoor swimming pool (Kiwanis Park, YMCA, others?)
  12. Go to an Arizona Diamondbacks game. Chase Field has a retractable roof. They close it and cool the place down for several hours before a game. Find covered parking.
  13. Go to a large library (Scottsdale Library has covered parking!) and browse. Read unusual magazines and newspapers. Find books on a new topic that interests you, like genealogy or auto racing.
  14. Go to a casino and play bingo or slot machines. If you're lucky there will be free entertainment while you are there! Enjoy the buffet.


  1. You may have noticed a recurring theme about covered parking. On hot days, it makes a huge difference, especially if the car has been outside for a long time.
  2. Drink lots of water so that wherever you are, you don't become dehydrated.
  3. Have your air conditioning system at home and in the car checked each spring. If it breaks down during one of these hot days, it will take days and/or a small fortune before you can get someone to repair it.
  4. Sign up for the About Phoenix Free Desert Heat E-Course, and learn more about coping with heat in the desert. It's free!
Was this page helpful?