With lots of summer fun comes lots of fun in the sun. While the sun is exactly why we love summer in all its sunshiny glory, with it comes the notorious summer heat that, let’s face it, can be downright uncomfortable.

Naturally, you’ll want to want to abide by all the classic summer heat safety measures such as wearing plenty of sunscreen, drinking lots of water, and taking breaks inside when it gets too hot out. However, if you’re looking for more ways to beat that annoying summer heat and stay cool, let’s get creative and explore a few more hacks that can help.

Choose your “playtime” carefully

The best hack for beating the summer heat is knowing when not to go outside. Early mornings and late evenings are the best times to embark on your summer adventures, with the worst time to venture out being 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., when the sun is directly overhead.

Beat the heat by beating the time, and opt to go outside just after breakfast or before the sun is setting in the evening. To help spread the message to your family, flex your creativity and draw a fun sign to hang on the fridge for your kids to remember when it’s best to play outside. You can even create a simple daily schedule to indicate when it’s time to take water breaks inside.

Choose the right outfit

While we all love to choose our outfits based on what’s going to be the most stylish for any event, beating the summer heat means taking a look at your clothing fabric before venturing out into that hot weather. Certain fabrics tend to be less breathable than others, trapping your body heat and moisture close to your body. Naturally, this can make a hot day even hotter.

The best fabrics to wear in the heat include cotton, linen, rayon, or denim. Some of the worst are silk, polyester, fleece, leather, and nylon. So when choosing your ideal outfit for any summer event, take a look at the tag. It could be the difference between sweating in the heat and staying cool, dry, and comfortable.

Use your smartphone

Your favorite little mobile device can act as the perfect buddy to help you beat the summer heat. The EPA’s UV Index app can tell you how high the heat index will be each day, so you know whether or not it’s time to postpone those outdoor activities to a cooler day. You can also set timers on your phone to remind you to drink your water or to reapply sunscreen. Your handy little device can do more than just text, it can help you stay cool!

Stay a drink ahead

Summer barbecues, boating, camping, parties, and more may make you think that this one is about being one sangria ahead of your crew. While drinking alcohol responsibly in the summer heat is an essential safety tip, take it a step further by staying a drink (of water!) ahead.

Fill an empty, cleaned-out milk jug just halfway full with water, and freeze it overnight. In the morning, fill it up the rest of the way with water. Store it somewhere you can access it easily throughout the day. Even in the summer heat, that big block of ice should keep it nice and cold all day.

Be cool

Not only can carrying an umbrella on a sunny day make the best fashion statement ever, it can keep you from getting overheated. No, this look won’t be featured in Vogue any time soon, but you can thank yourself when you go the whole summer without a sunburn on your head. This is a great option, especially for full days of city exploring.

Too bulky? Hop online for a stylish, lightweight, and breathable summer hat that you can wear when you’re exploring outside.

Ask for help

If you’re trying to tackle outdoor home projects on your own, think about delegating. Recruit friends and neighbors to help you with the tasks so that you’re not stuck in the heat all day. Most of them will say yes, especially if you sweeten the deal by providing lunch or dinner afterward. If anything, they could help hold that umbrella for you, right?

Additionally, try and knock these projects out in the morning, before the heat sets in.

Consider some tacky decor

If your home is without air conditioning this summer, there are a few things you can do to help keep it cool.

Opt for some improvised decorating. Budget for some curtains to keep the sun from filtering in and warming each room. If the budget doesn’t allow for that, that’s OK! Thick, dark blankets can be hung over each window. It may not get you featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but it will help keep you and your family cool.

Shut things down

No AC? Keep your windows shut during the day and open them at night. It usually drops a few degrees at night, which is super noticeable during the day when it warms up again. Just try and keep the door shut as much as possible so that cool air doesn’t escape.

You should also aim to shut off the lights and certain appliances. Lights, ovens, microwaves, etc. can heat things up.

Getting creative to beat the heat means taking a look outside of the obvious summer safety measures and isolating each day-to-day activity to find different, small ways to stay cool. Use these tips to get started and as inspiration for other creative ways you can beat the summer heat!