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110 Things to do in Yuma - Part II
When it's 110 degrees outside
Personal Growth and Enrichment
57. Take a martial arts class from any of the area instructors in the comforts of a studio or gym with A/C. As any of them will tell you, the martial arts — karate, judo, tae kwon do, etc. — are not only about fighting, but about becoming physically fitter, learning discipline and gaining confidence and self-esteem.
58. Browse in an air-conditioned book store or in Yuma County's libraries. “Go to the library ... it's cool there!” says Alyssa White McIvor. Browsing aside, the Yuma County Library District's branches offer a variety of programs this summer, which are listed below:
59. Join in the district's 2012 Summer Reading Program, theme of which is “Our State, Our Story: Celebrating 100 Years of Arizona!” Readers of all ages can participate in the program, designed to foster love of reading.
Sign-up day for the program is today. Stop by any library to pick up a reading trail map and an Arizona State Adventure Pass, full of coupons and discounts for attractions all over Arizona.
This year's program will include activities taking place at the libraries June 11 through July 21.
The reading program is free. For more information, visit the nearest library or go to www.yumalibrary.org.
60. If you yearn to share your love of books and reading but don't have time to attend scheduled book club meetings, join the district's virtual book club. All you do is read the selected title and log on anytime to pose questions, read what others have posted and post your own comments and observations.
Copies of the books selected each month are available at the Main Library at the first floor information desk and at the youth services desk.
To take part in the online discussion, visit www.facebook.com/yumalibrary and click on “Virtual Book Club.”
61. For the creative seamstress who wants to start and finish a sewing project in one sitting, the Yuma Main Library, 2951 S. 21st Drive, hosts a Sew & Go class from 1 to 3 p.m. the last Saturday of the month.
There is no charge to attend, but space is limited. Contact Mimi Duncan at 314-2452 or firstname.lastname@example.org to register and receive a list of needed supplies.
62. Aspiring writers of all ages can share their works with one another in the Write on the Edge writers group meetings 1:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the Foothills Library, 13226 E. South Frontage Road. Call 342-1640.
63. Knitters and crocheters can share tips and techniques in the Yarn over Yuma group that meets at the Foothills library every Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m.
64. The North End Community Center, 160 E. 1st St., hosts arts and crafts classes for adults 50 and up 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays through Aug. 30. Daily fee for the classes is $2. Otherwise, monthly fee is $19 or $13 with city resident credit. Seasonal fee is $55 or $37 with the city resident credit.
65. Attend summer art classes at the Yuma Art Center, 254 S. Main St. From cake decorating to clay pottery, guitar to piano, drama to salsa, these classes offer creative outlets for budding arts of all ages. For more information, call the Yuma Art Center, 373-5202, or visit www.YumaAZ.gov/parksandrec.
66. Dedicate this summer to reading some of the classics of literature you know you should have read in school or sometime in your life but never got around to reading. Yes, we know, the quintessential summer read is a beach book, but you can't spend the whole summer on the beach in San Diego.
67. Take a crafts course at Michael's Arts & Crafts, 320 W. 32nd St., or Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, 1550 E. Yuma Palms Parkway. This idea comes from Hawkey and Marron, who offer some other good enrichment ideas, listed as Nos. 71-76:
68. Take a class with the Yuma County Health Department.
69. Take a class with the University of Arizona Yuma Extension Office.
70. Take a music lesson.
71. Take a fitness class at Arizona Western College.
72 Attend AWC summer camps.
73. Take a scuba class at AWC.
74. Visit the Yuma Territorial Prison, even if you've already visited. This local gem of history has been undergoing renovations, with new exhibits.
Giving Back to the Community
75. Patronize Yuma-area businesses that stay open in the summer. Just because the weather's hotter and muggier doesn't mean the quality of the products and services they offer falls. Doing business them helps ensure their long-term survival and prosperity.
76. Coach or help coach youth summer sports.
77. Volunteer at your favorite charitable or community service organization.
78. Attend meetings of local government councils, boards and commissions. They are, after all, making decisions on your behalf.
79. Get involved politically this summer in what is a year of a presidential election. Register to vote if you haven't done so. Volunteer in the campaign of any candidate for local office who appeals to you.
80. Speak your mind in a letter to the editor of the Yuma Sun.
81. Write your congressman.
82. Adopt a dog or cat from the Humane Society of Yuma.
83. Contribute to or volunteer to Yuma Regional Medical Center Foundation's summer drive to collect back to school supplies for disadvantaged children. For more information, cal the foundation at 336-7045.
After Dark, Before Sunrise
84. Go out to the desert, look at the Milky Way and listen to the coyotes, urges Sutton.
85. Attend the Movie in the Park event, set for 8:45 p.m. June 30. The city parks and recreation department invites families to pull up lawn or camping chairs at Gateway Park on the Colorado River for a free showing under the stairs of PG-rated “Hugo.”
86. Get your outside chores done in the early morning hours, before the sun is up and beating down, says Bill Moody. Moody, a lifelong Yuman, also offers ideas No. 87 and 88:
87. Take bike rides at night.
88. Go to the alfalfa fields at night — they are a great place to look at the stars.
89. Karen Bowen recommends enjoying the cooler summer nights by using a floor fan to circulate air on your patio.
90. Hawkey and Marron suggest you get in your exercise and enjoy the sunrise in an early morning walk or hike. If you're anywhere near the desert, watch for rattlesnakes that may be out and about.
Family and Kids
91. Find a church with a vacation Bible school for your kids, offers Alyssa White McIvor.
92. Attend the Back to School Rodeo, sponsored by the city of Yuma, Crane Elementary School District and Yuma Elementary School District 1 and scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 28.
This event will bring together medical providers, vendors and others who can provide families services or goods to help their children make a smooth transition to the new school year. The event is free and open to the public.
93. Get a few blocks of ice from your neighborhood convenience store or grocery store and have an ice-carving contest among friends and family.
94. Set aside one night each week as your family's in-home movie night. Pop some popcorn and kick back with the movie rental of your choice, ideally one set in some frigid region that will take your mind off the heat. Attach a theme to your movie nights: One night could be Monster Movie Night, another Chick Flick Night, etc.
95. Take the kids to the Cocopah tribe's Wild River Family Entertainment Center, Avenue B and County 15th Street.
96. Make a tire swing for your children, suggest Marron and Hawkey, who also have these ideas:
97. Have a family video game tournament.
98. Have a family board game/card game tournament.
99. Organize a talent show among your family members, friends and neighbors.
100. Make bets with your co-workers, friends and family about what day in September or October the high will dip below 100 degrees for the first time.
101. Make bets with friends, family and colleagues about what, if any, days this summer will eclipse the 120-degree mark.
102. Listen to the weather reports for states with high humidity and high temperatures to make you appreciate Yuma's summer temps a little more. This idea comes from Karen Bowen, the Yuma Sun's gardening writer, who also has these ideas below for those who like to indulge green thumbs:
Around the Home
103. Plant cactus, which are heat-tolerant.
104. In June, it's not too late to plant cucumbers and pinto beans.
105. In July, you can still plant melons and squash.
106. In August, you can begin planting greens such as mustard greens and spinach, plus radishes and carrots.
107. Gather up your plant prunings, leaves, grass cuttings and other organic material in a compost pile in preparation for the gardening in the upcoming cooler months. Occasionally wet the pile and turn it over to help break down the matter. “The heat (of summer) will make it compost faster,” says Bowen.
108. Plan out your fall garden, deciding which vegetables or flowers will go in which section of the garden once the mercury drops.
109. Hawkey and Marron suggest you use the summer to put a new coat of paint on your home's exterior. Do this in early morning or even hours, or at least save the east side of the house for the afternoon hours so you can have a sun block.
110. Attend the Saturday home improvement seminars offered by Home Depot, 1111 S. Redondo Drive. Call 373-9453 or go online, www.homedepot.com, to find out times and topics. Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse offers similar instruction online at www.lowes.com.
However you choose to pass the time from now through August, enjoy the summer!