We could not believe our eyes when we saw the weather map for the rest of the week.
Highs in the low 100s? Say what? It’s too darn hot, as a famous singer once crooned. But we’re lucky enough here on the hot, hot prairie to have plenty of ways to cool off. Champaign-Urbana is chock full of pools, parks and indoor places to chill out when the sun gets a little too intense. Here we offer our top five picks, and we also remind you to stay inside when you can, go outside early in the morning or late in the evening, drink lots of fluid and always, always wear plenty of sunscreen!
1. Sidney Dairy Barn. This off-the-beaten track ice cream spot is one of Champaign-Urbana’s best-kept secrets. It’s a quick hop from town and it has the nostalgic feel of an old-time drive-in. You won’t be sorry you made the trip. Grab a sweet treat and sit under some trees for a spell.
2. Sholem Pool, Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center and area pools. We are so lucky to have so many public pools in our area. Just ask Amy, who never saw a public pool before she moved to Urbana in 2006! You can pay for admission by the day, or purchase one of the punch cards or passes. If you’re worried about wee ones in the sun, hit the water early with the special hours for tots, beginning at 9 a.m.
3. Jarling’s Custard Cup. This Champaign institution is an obvious choice for a cold treat on a hot day. While most of the seating is outdoors, you can also make a run through the drive-up window or snag a seat on a bench inside the shop to enjoy the AC.
4. Visit Krannert Art Museum. Get cultured and cool down at the same time by making a stop at the Krannert Art Museum on the University of Illinois campus. Students are gone for the summer so parking is plentiful, and admission is free (although a donation of $3 is suggested).
5. Hessel Park spray ground. Another great free summer-fun spot, the spray ground at this Champaign park (which is, by the way, just across the street from Jarling’s) is situated in the shade next to a shelter with several picnic tables. The old-growth trees afford plenty of shelter from the sweltering sun, and your little ones will be good and tired out just in time to take a long summer nap.
What do you do to keep cool when the temperatures rise?