When the temperature is 105 degrees and the heat index is even higher, you don’t have to be a genius to figure out it’s best to keep indoors. Here are five suggestions for places to go to keep your cool during a weekend of oppressive heat.
The movie theater
The trusty movie theater can almost always be counted on for a few of hours of cool entertainment. “Magic Mike,” the male stripper movie, is expected to be the weekend’s big draw. But seeing as how that one could get some folks a little, um, overheated, it may be a counterproductive choice. Maybe consider “Brave,” “Ted” or “Moonrise Kingdom.” If you want to stretch your movie escape into an all-day outing, go for one of the bargain theaters, such as the Carmike Blue Ridge in Raleigh. With 15 movies showing at $2 a pop, you can practically move in. events.triangle.com/movies
The ice rink
Ice skating rinks have to be cool. It’s like a law or something. Lucky for us, the Triangle has several to choose from. There’s IcePlex in Raleigh, and the Polar Ice House has locations in Cary, Garner and Wake Forest. Polar Ice House runs a summer promotion that gets you two-for-one admission when temps are above 95 degrees. Kalee Stoever, director of guest services there, hopes the heat brings people out. She offers a reminder that feels odd when it’s over 100 outside: “It stays 48 to 50 degrees in here at all times,” she said. “Don’t forget your jacket.” Check with rinks ahead of time for public skating hours. www.polaricehouse.com or www.iceplex.com
A good mall has everything you need, conveniently encapsulated in a bright, air-conditioned environment. You’ve got your food, your entertainment and your retail therapy. For exercise, walk a few laps while window-shopping, then celebrate with an ice cream cone or smoothie from the food court. When you’re tired, it’s time to test out some overstuffed arm chairs at Macy’s or Pottery Barn. And if you’re at Crabtree Valley in Raleigh on Saturday morning, you can be entertained by the “American Idol” auditions on the lower level near Sears. The best free entertainment at the mall will always be people-watching. Grab some popcorn and a bench and enjoy.
If you have air conditioning, this one is hard to beat because you avoid undoing your precious cool down by getting in and out of a hot car. We suggest a movie marathon that will embrace you in the chill of winter. Queue up “Doctor Zhivago,” “The Grey,” “Frozen,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Alive,” and episodes 6 and 7 of “Band of Brothers” (where Easy Company fights Germans in frigid Bastogne and Ardennes – brrrr!). You’ll practically be wearing mittens by the end.
If you simply must go outside, find a swimming pool and get in the water. Then stay there. Or check out an indoor pool – but be aware that those have more limited “open swim” hours because they are also used for classes. Jim Orr, the assistant director for operations at Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, says pools are ready for the crowds. “Typically, weekends are always busy,” he said. “We always operate at capacity bather load, so we’re geared up for that this weekend.” Chapel Hill’s outdoor pool, the A.D. Clark Pool, is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Before you head out, check your local parks department website for information on pool locations and hours.
Staff writer Brooke Cain