Too Hot To Be Outside?

You could always hide out in the mall

What’s a parent to do, when it’s so blistering hot that even the thought of jumping into the pool or splashing in the waves isn’t appealing? You can only keep the kids inside for so long before they (and you) start to lose it.

When an entertaining, well air-conditioned escape is what you’re looking for, we suggest hanging at the Puerto Paraiso mall in Cabo. You don't have to buy anything to soak up their A/C.

The main attraction for kids is the mall’s arcade, located on the second floor next to the food court. If you’re just passing by, the arcade doesn’t look very big, but once you walk in you see just how far back it goes and how much it has to offer. In exchange for a sack of peso coins.

mall heat.jpgThe arcade has just about every type of game the kids could want, from the classics like Pop-A-Shot and skee ball, to arcade-style shooter and driving games, to carnival games where you have to do things like drop the ball in just the right slot or try to hit the moving targets. There are also a couple of air hockey tables, and even bumper cars! Rides on those are only about $1 USD per person. And for the toddlers, there is a separate play area with slides, a ball pit and several plastic climbing structures.

Like any arcade, the games spit out long streams of tickets that kids can redeem for prizes. Some of the better prizes include Nerf guns, Play-Doh sets, Barbie dolls and action figures.

Also on the second floor, although not in the air conditioning, are several other kid-friendly attractions. They’re located in the outdoor courtyard, so maybe you could hit these on your way out of the mall, after you’ve already spent some time cooling off.

On one side of the courtyard, between the escalators and the Mac store, there's a jungle gym the kids can climb all over. And just next to that is a small fountain "sculpture" that shoots up streams of water the kids can run through to cool off. We're not sure if they're technically allowed to, but there were a couple of little ones playing in it when we were there and the security guard didn't stop them. Anyhow, wouldn't it be fun to stick the kids in the back seat of the car when they're all wet?

On the other side of the courtyard, in front of the entrance to the food court area, is the Sonic Sliding Car. For about a buck and a half, the kids (up to eight at a time) can ride back and forth and spin around in the car. The ride goes fairly slow though, and lasts only a few minutes, so this is definitely something the little kids will have more fun with. To take a ride in the Sonic Sliding Car, kids must be at least three feet tall (or accompanied by an adult).

Once the younger ones have had their fun in the car, head down to the first floor so the older ones can enjoy the 3D virtual reality simulator, which is tucked back by the elevators. For just $2.50, kids older than nine (up to three at a time) can climb into the spaceship-looking chairs, strap on the goggles and escape into another world. There are three options: going down into a mine shaft, exploring an abandoned hospital, or seeing how long you can survive in a futuristic land that's ruled by robots.

If you feel like seeing a movie (because what's better than sitting in a dark, cold theater on a hot day?) head up to the third floor to the Cinemex theater. But be warned, they don't always offer movies in English. Check what’s available ahead of time before promising the kids they can see My Favorite Villain 3 (currently only playing in Spanish).

Last but not least, the mall offers multiple places where you can cool off with some ice cream, everyone’s favorite summer treat. There’s Crepas on the first floor, which offers popsicles for $2 (although, in this case, the popsicles look like frozen ice cream pops). The flavors range from mint to rocky road to peach and strawberry. Also on the first floor is Señor Sweets, which offers a full menu in addition to ice cream, and Haagen Dazs, which has a restaurant as well as a standalone ice cream booth.

And on the second floor is La Dolce Villa, which has a booth right across from the arcade and another one in the food court. They offer some more unusual flavors of ice cream, like mango, coconut, corn (yes, really), and banana split. You can get one scoop for less than $2, two scoops for $2.25, or splurge and get three scoops for a whopping $3.