A Guide to Surviving Arizona Summers


If you are a native desert dweller, you can fully empathize with the misery that ensues from May-September every year. The remaining 7 months are spent prepping for the onslaught of around the clock sweating, showering 3 times a day, using deodorant in places that stretch far beyond our armpits, and trying to avoid 3rd degree burns by touching well, anything.

I’ve compiled a few helpful do’s and don’ts for surviving what is essentially living on the surface of the sun. You think I’m exaggerating, but we’ll see who gets the last laugh when you find yourself wearing oven mitts to put on your seat belt.

First and foremost, do remember to hydrate.

Unfortunately, margarita’s don’t count, I already checked. I am the worst at drinking water, which seems weird because I’m a full grown adult and live in the driest climate possible; but I have a hard time getting on board/remembering/not picking diet coke instead. You know how you have to hide vegetables in the spaghetti so your kids don’t notice they’re being bamboozled? I have to use this same analogy to trick myself into staying hydrated. Except instead of vegetables, it’s fruit, and crystal light, and sometimes some lemon & lime. Whatever works, try and get it in! 

Don’t feel guilty for hunkering down anywhere that has free A/C.

Libraries, malls, movie theaters, the freezer section of your local grocery store….really, the options are limitless. Going outside during the peak of summer can seem like cruel and unusual punishment, so don’t sweat it (literally). If it’s easier to stay inside and let the kids have a movie marathon while you go to town on your 8th Popsicle, so be it. You do you, boo.

Do find creative ways to keep cool.

As a kid, one of my favorite memories is turning on the sprinkler under our giant trampoline and going ham with my friends. It doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg to prevent heat exhaustion. Let your kiddos blend up and freeze some of their favorite fruits and yogurt for some homemade fruit pops, or show them the classic ‘Darth Vader’ fan trick (If you don’t know, you need to google immediately). If you want to take it up a notch, you could even potentially plan a water-related field day, letting the kids come up with activities of their own to play. The dollar store would be a great way to bring those ideas to life!

Don’t let the heat give you cabin fever.

I know this sort of contradicts my ‘don’t feel guilty for hunkering down’ rule; but you also don’t want to become complacent. The heat can make you feel bogged down. Subscribe to local events in your area that are inside, water related, or best of all, free ninety-nine. Invite some friends over for a patio dinner when the sun is setting and it’s a cool 95 degrees out (it feels really sad saying this with a straight face). Just remember once again, Margarita’s are not, I repeat, not, a substitute for water.

Last, but certainly not least, do enjoy the monsoons.

Are they not the best part about living here? I crave the spontaneity the summer storms bring. The smell of wet concrete after a rain fall will always be a favorite of mine. There is nothing quite like an Arizona Monsoon. Oh, and let’s not forget those sunsets. 

So yes, we see you, sweaty leather car seats. We don’t like your style, metal seat-belt of molten death. But at the end of the day, maybe summer’s here could be a little worse.