9 Places to Go to Beat the Summer Heat


It's getting hot, and it's awfully tempting to crank that air conditioning, but doing so can rack up costs faster than a Lindsay Lohan rehab stint! So if you're looking for a few places to go to help you beat the heat, here are some suggestions. (See also: 4 Ways to Win the War Against This Summer's Electric Bill)

1. The Nearest Pool

Nothing beats relaxing in the pool on a hot, sunny day. Maybe you're lucky enough to have a friend with a pool. If so, you may want to warn them, as a courtesy, that they'll be seeing a lot of you in a swimsuit. Or perhaps one of your neighbors has one. If you don't know them that well, you'll need to make friends quickly so you can hear those magic words, "Sure, you can use our pool any time." If you are out of options, you'll have to settle for the nearest public pool.

2. A Friend's Place

Just because you are trying to save a few bucks by keeping your electric bills low doesn't mean your friends are living as frugally.

Find excuses to hang out at the homes of friends who notoriously crank up the A/C. You could invite yourself over to watch the new season of Jersey Shore on Blu-ray, show off the new iPhone app you bought for your dog, or demonstrate the many new uses for vinegar you just learned!

3. The Library

Pack up a few snacks, sneak in a mini-cooler, and head over to the public library. As long as you don't make a scene, you can sit there all day! The summer is a great time to catch up on all those John Grisham books you've been meaning to read.

4. The Mall

Be careful with this one; you'll want to be sure to avoid the temptation that window shopping brings. Unless you're good at finding spare change, you might want to leave the plastic and cash at home.

5. The Movies

An afternoon showing during the hottest part of the day is a great time to take in this summer's blockbuster hits. Movie theaters are notoriously chilly! Our last trip to the big screen resulted in us putting sweatshirts on the kids.

With a movie ticket running $10 or more, costs can add up pretty quickly. A day at the theater doesn't have to kill your budget, however, if you know the secret of watching free movies at the theater!

6. A Museum

You remember all the fun you used to have at the museums when you were younger? Get a little nostalgic this summer with a trip to your local museum. You'll stay cool all day, and you may just learn a thing or two!

7. Summer School

Are you in need of continuing education credits or just looking to expand your horizons? Take classes at a local university or community college. Most schools offer some type of public courses to help the community.

Not sure which ones to take? Start with classes that build earning and savings power!

8. A Lake

Pack up the car for a little road trip and hit the lake with some friends or family. I'll be heading to a lake in nearby Michigan this summer with our family for a little extended R&R and some boating. I'm looking forward to being near the water and cooling off with a dip.

9. Coffee Shops

Your local coffee bar can provide you with some much-needed relief from the warm summer months with their air conditioning and perhaps an iced mocha. Don't forget to check these tips to make your gourmet coffee more affordable.

Any way you slice it, beating the summer heat doesn't have to be difficult, it just requires a little creativity. Stay cool, my friends, stay cool.

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Meg Favreau's picture

I'm not a huge fan of air conditioning, but I love the feeling of sitting in a movie theater in the middle of a sweltering, humid afternoon.

Does anybody else have suggestions for places to go?

Guest's picture

As a librarian, I have to say please don't sneak in food or drink if it's against library policy. Our library allows closed drink containers, but no food for a wide variety of reasons. (Mice, bugs, messes, ruined books to name a few) I really don't want to spend my day enforcing the food policy. Also, we're on a budget and our building has a poorly functioning HVAC system, so it's not going to be all that cool here anyways.

My other thought is that if you're not in the pool, it's not going to be all that cool. Our city pools have minimal shade and lots of concrete, and are quite crowded (not to mention they close at 6pm...sigh, more budget issues...)

Ice Cream cones, cold drinks like iced tea, can be had cheaply at places like McDonalds or other establishments that often blast their AC. We used to hang out in our basement on super-hot days as kids (unfinished), which was a nice, cool option to sweating it out upstairs. Oh and I'd try an ice rink-many of them are open year round but many people only think to ice skate in the colder months.

Jason Topp's picture

Great ideas Jessica! Oh, and good call on food at the library, we don't want any mice running around!

Guest's picture

We head to the second run movie theater which has recently released movies after the big expensive theaters stop running them but before the video stores get them. It's $1.50 for a ticket but check for other deals as ours offers tickets for 75 cents on Tuesdays and every day for the first showing of the day. I also signed up for their snack coupon of the week via email and can sometimes score a free drink with popcorn purchase!

Guest's picture

One addition, how about your local book store?!?!? I usually find those a little more fun than the library it you're into reviewing magazines.