Try these cheap ways to beat the heat

Anyone who’s lived in Los Angeles long enough knows that summer doesn’t really start until September. Sure, kids are back in school and baseball season is wrapping up (go Dodgers!), but the heat waves that hit us over July and August are just preludes to the severe temperature spikes of what the rest of the country calls “early fall.”

If you’re a new Angeleno, don’t be caught off guard – and don’t worry. Whether you live in Downtown or Hollywood, beating the heat doesn’t mean you need air conditioning. Here are some affordable and easy ways for you and your family to stay cool as we wait out the last days of the season.

Water balloons

This tip is easy to overlook because it’s so obvious! The best way for your kids (or you – no judgment) to have fun while cooling off is to have a classic water balloon toss. Whether you do it in your yard or take the little ones to one of the South Bay’s best beaches, water balloons never get old. They encourage play and can take everyone’s minds off the heat, at least for a little while. Meanwhile, the so-called “loser” of the toss gets splashed with cool water. It’s a win-win.

Homemade slip and slide

You can probably still find this fun summer pastime in stores, but why not make your own? All you need is a long stretch of heavy, resilient contractor drop cloth, common garden stakes, and jugs of water (duh), and you’ve got a fun way to cool off. If you don’t have space around your home, try going to one of our city’s outdoor recreation areas, like Griffith Park, Pan Pacific Park, or perhaps even Pershing Square in Downtown.


A heat wave is never a good time to lose an important service like power or water. You can always contact the best plumber Los Angeles has to offer to restore refreshing, cool water, and many technicians will repair your air conditioning, but spending more money isn’t your only option. All you need to do is fill up a bucket of ice and set it in front of a fan. As the ice melts, the fan will circulate evaporated, cool air throughout your room.

Visit a lake

L.A. beaches are beautiful, but they can also be costly and crowded. Many popular sites charge high parking fees, and fighting for a stake in the sand can be a hassle. Instead, you should consider visiting one of the county’s under-used alternative water sites, like the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center. Located in the San Fernando Valley, the center has two lakes for swimming and fishing, plus offers space to lay out and enjoy the sun. With 40 acres of land, there’s plenty of opportunities for everyone to cool off.