SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s heating up all over the northern hemisphere and knowing how to stay cool will prove to be an important skill. Overheating can threaten your health, and high temperatures can even damage your house.

While there are many well-known tips for staying cool, you’ll want to have a fully stocked arsenal of methods for defeating the heat at your disposal — so try out some of these tips to beat the heat.

Tips for Cooling Off

1. Hit the Pool or Beach

We’ll start out with an obvious one — cool off at one of Central New York’s public pools or waterfronts. While some pools are closed this season due to a lifeguard shortage, there’s still quite a few open in the area. The pools usually close around 6 p.m. but some stay open later.

If you were hoping to get a pool installed this season, you might be out of luck. Supply chain issues and labor shortages have pushed the latest pool installation dates into 2023.

If you already have a pool, offers some tips on cooling your pool down in the heat.

  • Install a fountain or waterfall to run overnight
  • Adjust landscaping to let air flow across the surface
  • Add ice in bulk
  • Partially drain and refill the pool
  • Buy a reversible heat pump or evaporative cooler

Some beaches in the area include Jamesville Beach and Oneida Shores, which are both open for swimming. Of course, you can always head to Sylvan Beach or one of the Finger Lakes, too!

2. Visit a CNY Cooling Center

Did you know that New York State has public facilities where you can go to cool off during extreme heat? These cooling centers are air conditioned locations that let you come in and cool off and relax.

These centers commonly include libraries, but some other locations in Onondaga County include the Syracuse Dunbar Center, Jewish Community Center, and Onondaga Senior Center. Be sure to call each location ahead of time, however, to make sure that they’re open to the public at the time you want to stop by and chill.

3. Find some indoor air-conditioned fun

Similarly, if you want to cool off indoors but don’t want to just sit around in a cooling center, try a comfortable indoor excursion that offers air conditioning!


The movies are a great way to kill a few hours while staying cool inside. Regal Cinemas, the movie theater at Destiny USA, is showing family-friendly movies throughout summer for only $2 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. You could also do a few other things in the mall, like drive go-karts or shop.

Museums are another great place to safely cool off in the heat. In Syracuse, try visiting the Museum of Science and Technology and enjoy their state-of-the-art planetarium and theatre, the ExploraDome!

Supermarkets also provide a nice respite from the heat. You can always take an extended trip to Wegmans to avoid the scorching rays.

4. Enjoy the shade

More of the outdoorsy type? You can still stay relatively cool, even outside! Many of Syracuse’s parks have areas with abundant trees or public pavilions that can provide a relaxing shade.

Areas like Green Lakes State Park and sections of the Erie Canal Trail are completely covered by a canopy of trees, providing coolness at all hours of the day. Being near the water may also lower the surrounding temperature.

If you’re in the mood for a little more of an adventure, why not go a bit deeper? Caves are well-known for their year-round stable temperatures. Howe Caverns and Secret Caverns are only around 2 hours from Syracuse and provide an exciting underground experience that will surely keep you cool at the same time.

5. Get some cross breeze

So you went to a cooling center, the movies and spelunking, and now you’re back home — but you’re still sweaty and uncomfortable. Time to try cooling off in house!

Do you have air conditioning? While it can be expensive to buy and run, it does it great job cooling off rooms. Check out some of these tips by an HVAC company on how to improve the efficiency of air conditioning:

  • Keep your AC clean and free of debris
  • Try raising the temperature a few degrees
  • Keep the AC unit clear from other appliances and heat sources
  • Close curtains and blinds

If you don’t have air conditioning, there are still ways to keep your house cool — like getting a nice cross breeze. You can do this by opening up windows on opposite sides of the house and using fans to direct airflow or blow hot air out of the house. If you’re also gone throughout the day, consider closing blinds and windows. Keeping the comfortable and cooler air inside is easier and more efficient than conditioning or replacing it.

6. Cook-out (or order out)

This one shouldn’t be a surprise. When you turn on anything that produces heat inside, the heat tends to stick around. Try cooking outdoors on a barbecue. If you have to cook inside, try to do as much preparation before you turn the oven on. You’ll also want to minimize the number of times you have to open the oven door since that’s when most of the heat will escape to your kitchen.

If you want, you can also always order out from your favorite local restaurant. New York State even allows you to buy alcohol to-go now. Like Italian? Check out some of the highest-rated Italian restaurants in Syracuse, according to Tripadvisor.

7. Let yourself sweat

Yeah, you might have to change your shirt once or twice or reapply some deodorant, but allowing your body to naturally regulate your temperature is one of the best ways to stay cool in the heat. When sweat evaporates off of your skin, it reduces the body’s internal temperature.

Sweating is mostly water and electrolytes, so you’ll want to stay hydrated to replace the liquids lost through sweat.

While sweating is great, it doesn’t mean you can stay out in the sun unendingly. You will still need to keep an eye out for signs of overheating, like:

  • Cool, moist skin with goose bumps in the heat
  • Faintness
  • Heavy sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Malaise

If you think you’re sweating unusually much or little, contact your doctor.

8. Drink something… hot?

Drinking something hot on a hot day can actually cool you down (in certain situations), the Smithsonian Magazine shares.

When you drink something hot, your body’s internal temperature rises. In response, your body will begin cooling down, usually with sweat.

Unfortunately, on a day when you’re already sweating quite a bit, this trick might not help. But if you’re enjoying a cooling center, for example, you might want to consider sipping on a hot tea to give you that extra edge over the heat.