Sometime during the summer, 110 degrees is no longer just a high. It's the norm.
With the break of day in the middle of summer, the mercury surges, eclipsing the 90-degree mark, then 100 and settling at 110. It will reach this same mark, or thereabouts, the following day, the day after that and the day after that.
Then 110 degrees becomes not just a daily high and a norm but 110 reasons you want to get out of town.
We at Southwest Living can't do much about the heat, but with some suggestions from readers and the Yuma Sun's Facebook friends, we offer an equal number of reasons to stick around.
Here they are, listed in no particular order or priority, 110 things to see and do that make the Yuma area the place to be this summer — or at least a more bearable place to be.
In The Water
1. Given that the Colorado River sweeps right by Yuma on its meandering journey south, it stands to reason that area residents Victoria Zazueta-Beckman, Katie McDonald and Melissa Heras would suggest seeking relief in the cool embrace of the river's current.
Maybe Zazueta-Beckman best sums it up: “Sit your booty on a sandbar in the river. Adds Heras: “In the evenings, swim under the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge.”
2. Float down the river, urges Aryca Arizaga Marron, a families studies professor at Arizona Western College, and Kyle Hawkey, student programs coordinator at the University of Arizona's Yuma Learning Center.
Residents can also take part in the annual floatdown organized by the Caballeros de Yuma. This year's floatdown is set for June 30. For more information, call 343-1715 or visit www.caballeros.org.
3. Aside from river floatdowns, many area residents enjoy traditional water sports such as boating, waterskiing, paddling and riding personal watercraft, as well as some newer ones like barefoot skiing. If you find yourself on the river on a power boat, just remember to steer clear of those sandbars that Zazueta-Beckman finds so comfortable. (See No. 1)
All that said, the river's not the only wet place outdoors that's popular.
4. Go to the pool, Megan Elie suggested on www.facebook.com/YumaSunNews. She added she was “very excited to take my little one to Kennedy Pool for the first time.”
In June and July, Kennedy Pool, 23rd Street and Kennedy Lane, is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 1 to 3:45 p.m. and 6:15 to 7:45 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5:45 p.m. Admission for youths 17 and under is $2 or $1.50 with the city resident credit and $4.50 for adults or $3 with the city credit.
Jason Jarrett, posting on www.facebook.com/YumaSunNews, noted there are other city of Yuma pools open this summer as well:
• The Valley Aquatic Center, 4381 W. 18th St., open from 1 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in June and July. Admission for youths 17 and under is $2.50 or $2 with a city resident credit, and for adults $5 or $3.50 with the city resident credit.
Starting Aug. 11, it will be open Saturdays and Sundays only from 1 to 5:45 p.m., with admission for youths of $2 or $1.50 with the resident credit, and for adults $4 or $3.50 with the resident credit.
• Marcus Pool, located at 5th Street and 5th Avenue, open Tuesdays and Thursday through Aug. 2. Admission is free, thanks to sponsorship by the Yuma Rotary Club.
Outside Yuma, Somerton's Heritage Pool on Main Street is open 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission is $2 adults, $1 children.
The San Luis Aquatic Center, 965 N. Park Ave., is open 1 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is $2 adults, $1 children.
Wellton's N.D. & Katie Kline Pool is open 1 to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
5. On Aug. 4, attend Splash Out Crime Night, which brings together families for a night of swimming, DJ music, dunk tank, games, prizes and other activities from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Valley Aquatic Center, 4381 W. 18th St. Admission to this event sponsored by 78-Crime Stoppers and the city of Yuma is $1 a person.
6. Organize a neighborhood swimming pool crawl among the residents on your street who have backyard pools.
7. Marron, Hawkey and several others recommended visiting Z Fun Factory, which is set to open its new water park at 4446 E. County 10th St. Featuring 18 water slides for various ages, a beach area, cabanas, water guns, the water park is slated to open in early July.
8. If you can't go to a place that's wet, at least engage in lots of games that involve lots of water balloons, Aracely Mendoza suggested on www.facebook.com/YumaSunNews.
9. “Play in the sprinklers,” recommends Sara Fuentes. And Bobbye Williamson Dorris advises: “If you are outside, stay wet!”
10. “Go to Desert Sun Stadium for baseball,” offers Lisa Holaus Rammelt. “After the sun goes down and with the misters, it's not too bad out there!”
She made that suggestion before she and other area residents learned that the Yuma Panthers had suspended their season for 2012. File away Lisa's suggestion for the summer of 2013, assuming the Panthers are back and playing.
Absent semi-pro ball in Yuma, nothing's stopping you from you from attending your children's or neighborhood kids' Little League or Babe Ruth games, or softball games. They may revive memories of your own, former glory days on the sandlot.
Or take a day trip to San Diego or Phoenix to take in a Padres or Diamondbacks game.
And, you can always enjoy televised Major League baseball in the air-conditioned comfort of your own home or the neighborhood sports bar.
11. Try your luck fishing at night for bass, catfish, bluegill, crappie and tilapia that inhabit the area's lakes and canals and the Colorado River, suggested Marron and Hawkey. Don't forget mosquito repellent.
12. If you're an angler who hasn't done it before, try your hand at fly fishing, a method of angling not typically practiced in Yuma but which can land many of the species found in Yuma waters. You can learn the basics of fly casting by going online or reading a book. Then all it takes is some practice.
13. Tee off early at sunrise or early evening at one of the Yuma area's golf courses, or try your hand at tennis. Now that the winter visitors are gone, the courses and courts should be less crowded.
14. If you're a dove hunter or someone who wants to take up dove hunting for the first time this September, you can get in some practice bagging these winged targets by shooting trap or skeet at Adair Ranges on Highway 95 northeast of Yuma. If banging away with a shotgun at clay pigeons in the outdoor heat isn't your idea of summer fun, just remember it'll be no cooler when you go out on the opening day of dove season. Call 726-0022 for times of trap and skeet shooting.
15. If you enjoyed the book “The Hunger Games” or the movie version, you might like to try archery this summer. You can get started in the sport by joining a local club; the Yuma Parks & Recreation Department also will offer a class.
16. The parks and recreation department offers a variety of summer athletic and recreation programs to area residents of all ages, among them Camp Awesome, a new summer recreation program that allows children ages 6 to 12 to experience days full of sports, games, activities, swimming, field trips and more.
Camp days are 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, conveniently scheduled for working moms and dads. Parents can sign up for one, two or all three sessions so it's convenient for any summer vacation the family has planned.
Location is Gila Vista Junior High School, 2245 S. Arizona Ave. Fee is $130 per session, plus a one-time $10 registration and camp T-shirt fee. Sessions are held June 11-21, June 25 through July 11 and July 16-26.
Camp Awesome is one of many programs offered by the parks and recreation department. For more information, call the parks and recreation department at 373-5243 or visit www.YumaAZ.Gov/parksandrec. Some of the other programs and activities are:
17. Summer Youth Sports Clinics, which expose children to new sports. The coaching staffs of this summer's clinics teach basic fundamentals of soccer, dodgeball, basketball, football and cheerleading to ages 5 to 14 in any or all of three sessions, all in the air-conditioned Yuma Civic Center. Times vary between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays though Thursdays, depending on the program. Sessions are June 4-14; June 18-28; July 2-12, except July 4; July 16-26. Each session is $39 per person or $27 for city residents.
18. Guided canoe or kayak trips offered on the Colorado River, depending on the weather. Beginning classes in kayaking are also available.
19. Youth leagues and clinics in such sports and activities as basketball, soccer, dodgeball, football, tennis, cheerleading and Zumba.
20. Adult softball tournaments and aquatic programs throughout the summer.
21. Yuma resident Nisa B. Sutton recommends you take a drive out to the river — not to swim but to check out the wildlife. And don't forget the camera.
22. Some area residents maintain the last place you want to be this summer is outdoors. “Stay indoors and pray to God your APS bill isn't out of this world,” says Patrick Hunt. Adds Arron Barragan: “Stay inside. Try to only do things at night, even checking the mail.” “Stay home and play board games, read books,” advises Alyssa White McIvor.
23. Shoot targets at the indoor shooting range at Sprague's Sports.
24. This summer, like every summer, will usher in new Hollywood blockbusters, and Sara Fuentes and Bill Moody advise hanging out in Yuma's air-conditioned theaters during the heat of the day — or summer night, for that matter.
25. Take your significant other on a “staycation” — a one- or two-night stay in a Yuma-area hotel or resort that you treat as a mini-vacation of sorts. Given that the summer is the local tourism industry's off-season, you might find some attractively priced packages being offered. This idea comes from Kyle Hawkey and Aryca Arizaga Marron, who, incidentally, have a couple of other ideas, which are:
26. Join a gym. And …
27. Camp inside (Be careful not to drive the tent stakes through your carpet).
28. From Irma Elsa Myers: Avail yourself of Facebook and other forms of social media in the comforts of an air-conditioned room.
29. Given that yard sales are not everyone's idea of a good way to spend a summer day, the Yuma Civic Center is making bartering more comfortable by bringing it inside. The center, 1440 W. Desert Hills Drive, is again hosting indoor swap meets where residents can meet to sell and buy from one another. They are scheduled for July 7 and Aug. 4 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Residents who have items they want to sell need to call ahead to make reservations, says Stephanie McMillin, the center's box office and events specialists, since vendors routinely take up all available booths and floor space for what has proved to be a popular event.
Cost to reserve a 10-foot-by-10-foot booth space is $20. Admission for the public is $1, with children 12 and under allowed in for free.
30. Gemi Armijo Brown of Yuma says: “When the kids were little, I spent a lot of time at the McDonald's indoor playgrounds.”
31. Join a bowling or darts league.
32. The performing arts don't take a hot-weather hiatus, certainly not with the Historic Yuma Theatre, 254 S. Main St., hosting theatrical productions in its Summer Six-Pac 2012 series.
The series, which kicked off at the start of this month, continues with Arizona Western College's production of the William Shakespeare classic “Hamlet” at the theater at 7 p.m. June 15, 16, 22 and 23, and 2 p.m. June 17 and 24.
If you had your fill of Shakespeare in high school, “Hamlet” will be followed by these performances at the same theater:
33. “California Schemin',” performed by the City of Yuma Employees Association at 7 p.m. July 13, 14, 20 and 21, and 2 p.m. July 15 and 22.
34. “FAME — Jr.” will be presented next by the Infinite Imagination Youth Theater. Dates and time are 7 p.m. July 27-28.
35. The Yuma Community Theater concludes the series with “It Had to Be You.” Dates and times are 7 p.m. Aug. 3, 4, 10 and 11 and 2 p.m. Aug. 5 and 12.
Admission to each performance is $10 for adults, and $6 for 13-year-olds and under. For more information or to buy tickets, call 373-5202 or go online at www.yumaaz.gov/4745.htm. Tickets also are available at the door.
36. Steven Hennig urges you to catch a live jazz performance by the Yuma Jazz Company at a cool spot. Its quintet performs at Lutes Casino, 221 S. Main St., 7 to 9 p.m. June 29 and July 27, and its trio will be at the The Sunset Lounge in Cocopah Casino on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. through the summer.
37. Attend Jesus Jam, set for 7 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Yuma Civic Center, 1440 Desert Hills Drive. The bands slated to play are nationally known Remedy Drive and Chosen. Tickets in advance are $10 per person or $8 each for groups of 10 or more, or $14 the day of the event. Call 341-9730 for more information.
38. The communities of Wellton and San Luis, Ariz., and Paradise and Cocopah casinos will host Fourth of July fireworks celebrations. For more details, see the story in this edition.
39. Attend the 51st annual Fourth of July parade in the Engler Estates and San Marcos Villas. It starts 9 a.m. that day at Christ Lutheran Church, 2555 S. Engler Ave., and winds through surrounding neighborhoods.
40. Attend the Caballeros 4th of July flag-raising set for 7:30 a.m. at the Yuma Armed Forces Park, 281 S. Gila St. For more information, call 343-1715 or visit caballeros.org.
41. The country band Zona Road will perform June 23 as part of Country Night, hosted by Cocopah Casino in association with KTTI. Doors open at 8 p.m. There will be a $5 cover charge for the performance at the casino at 15318 S. Avenue B.
Country Night will resume July 21 at 8 p.m. A $5 cover charge will be in effect.
The casino also will host two performances each night by the Improv Comedy Club on June 30 and July 28. Performances are 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for the general public and $15 for VIP guests.
42. The Cocopah Casino also hosts La Vida Loca Night every Friday night, starting at 8 p.m. Cover charge is $5.
43. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights from 8 p.m. to 2 p.m. are Karaoke Night at the Cocopah Casino.
44. Cocopah Casino hosts a Zumba class on Mondays from 7 to 9 p.m. Attendance is free but participants must be Players Card members.
45. See singer and songwriter Brenton Wood July 28 at Paradise Casino in the Paradise Event Center, 450 Quechan Drive in Winterhaven. Doors open at 7 p.m. and concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $19; you must be 18 to attend.
Food and Drink
46. Alyssa White McIvor suggests indulging in cool-weather culinary arts: “Have a ‘salad supper' with your neighbors to keep the oven off.” She has several other good ideas, listed below as No. 47-50:
47. Make sun tea.
48. Make a checklist and try to have an ice cream cone at every place that sells them in Yuma before the summer's out.
49. Make homemade popsicles.
50. Explore ways to make different kinds of smoothies and ice drinks.
51. Following up on the cool drink idea, experiment with ways to flavor a glass of drinking water. Add a twist of lemon or lime, or some unsweetened cranberry concentrate. Or drop a cucumber slice in your glass. Try water with an herbal tea bag or crushed mint leaf added. In any case, you need to be drinking your daily recommended number of glasses of water — you live in Yuma in the dead of summer, after all.
52. Taking the cool drink idea a step further still, experiment with different wine cooler and sangria recipes and summer cocktails.
53. Light up the burn barrel and relax with an icy cold beer, says Nisa B. Sutton, who also suggests Nos. 54 and 55:
54. Have lunch at a new restaurant.
55. Have a barbecue with friends and family — maybe after the sun goes down.
56. Make a solar oven and cook with in, suggest Marron and Hawkey. Seriously. You can go on the Internet and find easy instructions for making one from readily obtainable materials. This is a fun weekend project to do with children, and you'll have all the sun you need this summer to cook a roast, fish, chicken or whatever you want.
It will take longer to prepare a meal in a solar oven than a conventional oven, but at least you won't heat up the house. Use a meat thermometer to make sure you've cooked your meal long enough.