When the backs of your knees start to sweat, you know it’s time to chill out. Luckily, Philadelphia offers plenty of ways to cool down when the heat index goes up.
At times like this, the obvious choice is to head indoors. The city’s many art museums make good standbys for finding shelter from the mid-day sun. But outside-of-the-box sites like the Mütter Museum, the Science History Institute, the American Philosophical Society Museum and the Mummers Museum offer off-the-beaten-track diversions in blissfully air-conditioned halls, too.
Get the Scoop
You can’t go wrong with ice cream. After all, the frozen dessert is synonymous with summer. In Philly, you’re spoiled for choice with classic scoopers including Little Baby’s, Big Gay and Weckerly’s, plus retro-style Scoop DeVille and trendy rolled ice cream standout, Good Moo'd Creamery.
Hit the Ice
However you pronounc e it, water or “wooder” ice is a Philadelphia classic. Italian in origin, these cold cups of sorbetto goodness can be slurped all around town. In South Philly, Pop’s Homemade has been dishing up the slushy stuff since 1932, while D’Emilio’s has been drawing fans to its old-timey-meets-hipster-motorcycle cart via Twitter since 2013 (with a new brick-and-mortar opened in 2019). In Bucks County, Philadelphia Magazine “Best of Philly” winner Yardley Ice House serves up a rotating list of fun flavors like banana cream pie, Mounds candy bar and even Irish potato.
Ply Me a River
You may have to drive a bit to hit the seashore, but that doesn’t mean you’re far from waterside fun. Two historic rivers—the Schuylkill to the West and the Delaware to the East—offer tons of ways to get on the water. Spend the afternoon paddling on swan boats, kayaking and even sailing on luxury liners, like Spirit of Philadelphia, fresh from a $1 million renovation.