By Michelle Reese

(Dilworth Park, Photo by Michelle Reese)

The summer heat is here, and like everything else right now, COVID-19 is making things a little more complicated! Sure, you could spend your summer inside with the AC cranked, but if your family is getting stir crazy, here’s a list of ways to cool off, stay safe and have fun in & around Philly.

1. Make a splash: While public swimming pools in Philadelphia will remain closed this summer, spraygrounds and splash pads have been given the green light to reopen. Philadelphia plans to open 91(!) spraygrounds and sprat features this summer. Dilworth Plaza, Chalfont Playground,  Venice Island Performing Arts and Recreation Center, and Roberto Clemente Park and Playground are just a few spots that are currently open.

2. Nearby water parks Hurricane Harbor and Sesame Place reopened at the end of July with restrictions in place.

Bucks County River Country (Photo via Facebook)

3. Stay cool & relax while river tubing at Bucks County River Country. This family owned business reopened on June 26 with guidelines in place for the safety of their staff and visitors. The Delaware River waters hover around a refreshing 80 degrees all summer long, and you can sit back & relax as the waters pull you along at an average speed of 1.5 mph.

(Photo by Michelle Reese.)

4. Take a day trip to the beach! Always a favorite summer tradition, this kind of goes without saying. For quieter beaches, try Belmar or Brigantine. And if you’re missing the boardwalk fun, Ocean City is always a family favorite. Many businesses are open this season, but with precautions.

5. Take the entertainment indoors. Things are bound to be a bit different, but there ARE spots that are open! South Bowl on Oregon Avenue, for example, is offering socially distanced bowling with a reservation.

6. Escape to the Movies! This year, there won’t be packed movie theaters to see the summer blockbuster. But if movie nights at home on the couch are getting stale, there are other options! There are a number of drive-in movie theaters within a short drive from Philly. Delsea Drive-In (Vineland, NJ), ACME Screening Room (Lambertville, NJ), Music Mountain Theater (Lambertville, NJ) and Shankweiler’s Drive-In (Orefield, PA) are just a few options.

7. Cool off with a few scoops of mouth-watering ice cream. See our 2020 Summer Food & Drink Guide for suggestions.

Adventure Aquarium. (Photo by Lauren Stites from

8. Explore a local museum/indoor attraction. This one is a little trickier than usual, but there’s hope in sight! The Franklin Institute, Adventure Aquarium and Michener Art Museum have reopened. Wonderspaces at Fashion District Philadelphia is reopening at the end of July. And while The Please Touch Museum hasn’t released their opening date yet, they’ve started sharing information about the modifications they’re making. So fingers crossed that they’ll be opening soon!

In the mean time, many local museums are offering at-home tours and activities that you can access from home. So take a virtual field trip from the cool comfort of your living room.

(Photo by Michelle Reese.)

9. If all else fails, get out the baby pool (or jump in the big pool!), turn on the sprinkler, or toss some water balloons!

How ever you decide to stay cool, remember to drink a lot of water and don’t over exert yourself outdoors. Check on elderly neighbors and family members regularly and keep an eye on your pets. As always it can be very dangerous to leave an animal outdoors too long or in a hot car.

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