News flash: It gets hot in DC in the summer

That's hot.

Spring in Washington, DC can be very nice, but it’s often pretty short. Fall’s pretty much the same story. But summer, well…any time between May and September is game for some serious heat. Heck, we were well into the 90s over Easter this year. The photo to the right (thanks to owner Mike) was taken in the shade. Humidity can routinely top 80 or 90 percent. Believe you me, on a trip to Cherry Hill this summer, your air conditioner will get a workout.

Sounds hopeless, right?

Well, it’s not.

There are plenty of ways to beat the heat in the nation’s capital, some more obvious than others. Here are a few off the top of my head:

Go inside. There are some great things to see and do downtown on the National Mall. Unfortunately, very few of them are in the shade. Yet, step into a nice, cool Smithsonian museum, maybe check out the Hope Diamond at Natural History or an IMAX movie at Air and Space, soak up some A/C, and things start to look a little more sane. Heck, even Metro tunnels are nice and cool. Or just head up the road 3 or 4 miles to the Gardens Ice House for a public skate with the family.

Get wet. Yes, we have a pool at Cherry Hill Park. Two, in fact. Expertly maintained, very…wet. But the capital region isn’t lacking for aquatic fun. Within an hour of Cherry Hill Park you can find Sandy Point State Park on the Chesapeake Bay, Great Falls National Park on the Potomac River (uh, but you shouldn’t go swimming in the falls, they’re pretty gnarly), or check out one of our many nearby waterparks-Six Flags, Hersheypark, and Kings Dominion are all just a day trip away. Also, if you play your cards right, you can be at the ocean in about 4 hours at Ocean City, MD or Assateague National Seashore.

Get some shade. One of DC’s less-talked-about gems is Rock Creek Park-more than twice the size of New York’s Central Park-home of biking, hiking, picnicking, giant Pacific octopi…wait, what? Oh yeah, Rock Creek Park is where you can find the National Zoo, but there’s certainly more to see in this sylvan wonder. Also, check out the C&O Canal towpath-it runs from Georgetown to Cumberland, MD, under tree cover most of the way.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg (mmm, iceberg…) but hopefully something here can help you and your family beat the heat.

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