Jul 26, 2023 - Things to Do

Cool things to do in a D.C. heatwave

The Omni Shoreham pool in DC

The Omni Shoreham pool. Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Stay cool during the hottest days of summer at these D.C. attractions including museums, public pools, and brisk bars.

Why it matters: When it's triple digits, you need a chill plan.

🏊🏽 Go swimming: D.C. runs 22 public pools and more than 30 splash/spray parks. Feeling fancy? Here's our guide to accessing private pools at hotels and clubs.

🛥️ Go boating: Sure, docks are hot, but once those river breezes hit, it's smooth sailing. And there are more rentals/charters than ever.

🌱 Chill in a courtyard: D.C.'s gorgeous museum courtyards and atriums bring the outdoors in (with A/C).

The Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery
The Kogod Courtyard. Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP via Getty Images

🛼 Get active: Don't let the temps slow you down. New indoor sporting options include Kraken Kourts, a huge pickleball and rollerskating complex in Edgewood, and Swingers mini-golf (Navy Yard and Dupont Circle).

ğŸŽ¨ Hit museums: Newer options include Southwest D.C.'s Rubell Museum, Air and Space's revamped west wing, and the just-opened Capital Jewish Museum. And you can never go wrong with the classics (check out these viral TikTok recs).

ğŸŽ¥ See movies: It's Barbenheimer time at cool cinemas that combine theater and fun eats/drinks such as the Alamo Drafthouse (DMV locations) or Landmark.

🍻 Drink in the dark: Hot take, basement bars are cooler than rooftop bars (no matter the temperature).


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