We moved to Henderson from Utah 3 years ago. It was April. When we drove out of Utah it was probably 70 degrees. I remember pulling into Henderson and it was 93 degrees. In April. Which as you can guess was just the start of what would be a major shock when summer really hit.
Last year, 2017, was the hottest year on record in Las Vegas. The annual average temperature was 72, which doesn’t sound that bad, but here’s the rest of the stats:
It was 117 degrees on the first day of summer, June 20, a tie for the all-time record high.
There were 86 days in triple-digit temperatures. That’s nearly 25% of the year spent at 100 degrees or hotter.
A new all-time record was set in 2017 for consecutive days above 105 degrees: 25 days! In a row! Also, 9 of those were consecutive days at 110 or higher. Too hot.
Will this year be another record-breaker? Whether you’ve lived in Henderson all your life or this is your first Las Vegas summer experience, here are some helpful hints on enjoying life in the scorching desert:
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links to products I think you might find useful. Using the links doesn't cost you any more, but I get a tiny percentage if you make a purchase that I use to pay to have this site.
Leaving the House
Chances are, at some point you will have to leave the house to go to work or get groceries or just to avoid cabin fever (yours and the kids’). Here’s the thing: you can’t just get up and go. There’s a little planning and preparation that needs to happen to leave the house in the summer. Here are a few things you’ll want to take with you:
Water. If you are going to be outside at all, you need to drink more water than usual. If you want your water to stay cold for more than 15 minutes (not exaggerating), you will need an insulated water bottle of some sort. We tried out some Hydroflasks and then promptly bought several more, we loved them so much. I can fill mine with ice water in the morning and it will still be cold the next day. Although I should have drunk all of it by then! Hydroflasks are pricy but, in my opinion, worth it. Costco also sells a similar bottle that I’ve heard works well for keeping water cold.
Cooling Towel. Local moms recommend Frogg Toggs, a towel that becomes cold when you get it wet, but remains dry to the touch.
Mister Bottle. Any type of generic bottle will do just fine. Entertainment for the kids and keeps you cool, win/win.
Cooler/Thermos Bag. I learned quickly that if you’re going out to the grocery store, you need a way to keep the food fresh on the drive home, even if it’s not far. Another option is to use Prime Now or Smiths to have groceries delivered so you don’t have to go at all.
Leave Early. Many people think that the best time of day to go out is the evening. The coolest time of the day is actually very early in the morning. Your best bet is to go out first thing. We used to go the park every morning at 6:30 am. The hottest part of the day is just before sunset.
Stay Home. Despite good planning, there is a good possibility you will be spending a little more time indoors in the summer than the rest of the year. There are plenty of indoor playgrounds you can visit, or you can use Pinterest to find activities to keep the kids busy at home.
In the Car
An important warning: NEVER leave kids or pets in the car. Not ever. Even for “just a minute.” ALWAYS double check to make sure you got everyone out of the car when you go somewhere.
If you’re headed out somewhere, you’re probably taking your car. Fact: you can bake cookies on your dashboard. Not the best cookies, but it’s been done. Getting in the car in August in Las Vegas is basically the same as locking yourself inside a microwave. That may sound a little dramatic, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that you can’t just get in the car without a plan for how to handle the car heat, especially if you have kids with you.
Oven Mitts or Gloves. When I first moved here I met a woman who is a valet and she told me she uses oven mitts so she doesn’t get burnt on the steering wheels of cars that have been sitting in the sun. I've heard of many people doing this. Then I discovered on Amazon that you can actually purchase all sorts of "summer gloves" or "driving gloves." I promise you there will be days you can't touch your steering wheel, so maybe consider it!
Car Seat Cover. You should keep something in your car to throw over your child’s car seat when your car is going to be sitting in the sun. A towel or blanket will work, or you can get something like this, made specifically to go over car seats. This method definitely won’t keep the seats and buckles cool, but should make it bearable
Car Seat Cooler. You keep the cooler in the freezer and then take them with you to set in
the car seat while it’s in the sun. I have never personally used a car seat cooler, but many locals recommend them. Note: your child does not sit on the cooler, it’s just in the seat while the seat is empty. Any product that is intended to go between your child and the car seat is not following car seat safety practices.
Noggle. Ever heard of a Noggle? It’s a product that can get your car’s air conditioning to the back seat for your babies. Or if you’d prefer something smaller you can try a car/stroller fan.
Automatic Car Start. If you have this already, get used to using it. I don’t really advocate starting your car too much before you plan on getting in for environmental reasons, but even just as I’m walking up to the car and getting everyone buckled in makes a difference.
Spray bottle. The hottest part of the car is often the seatbelt and car seat buckles. If you keep a spray bottle of water in the car and spray the buckles before touching them, they will cool off. The water in the bottle will obviously get hot, but it doesn’t matter. The cooling effect comes from the water evaporating off the buckle when you spray it, which will happen regardless if the water is hot or cool.
Since moving here I’ve become one of those people who thinks it isn’t warm enough to go swimming unless it’s 100 degrees. Luckily that’ s basically the entire summer here, so there are lots of opportunities for water play.
Many of the parks in Henderson have splash pads. The City of Henderson splash pads are open May 1 through September 30 from 9am to 8pm. There are also other great splash pads at other non-city parks such as at The District and at Cadence.
There are plenty of pools in Henderson, and that is where we spend most of our summers.
When you can’t get out that doesn’t have to stop you from staying cool in the H2O. We have loved having water balloon fights in the backyard (use the quick-fill kind!).
We also get a lot of use out of our water table. It’s also worth it to have some sort of a backyard pool you can fill up on those hot summer days.
Some people say “you get used to it” about the intense heat. I’m still not sure that’s true. For me, 110 degress will always feel like 110 degrees, no matter how long I’ve lived here. What is true though, is that you learn ways to handle the heat that make summers in Henderson enjoyable rather than a struggle.