Feel like you could cook an egg on your sidewalk? It’s time to find some ways to take a break from the summer heat wave! DC can get toasty in the late summer, and when those high temps hit, it’s nice to have some activities planned in advance to combat the sweaty brows and low-energy afternoons.
We have five exciting activities to help you stay cool and make the most of your summer in Washington, DC.
From relaxing Shenandoah River water adventures with Front Royal Outdoors to chilling out at Georgetown Waterfront Park, we’ve got the perfect remedies for the scorching heat.
So, grab your shades and let’s dive into these fun ways to beat the DC heat wave!
- Shenandoah River Adventures
- Georgetown Waterfront Park
- Indoor Activities in Washington DC
- Water Parks
- Rock Creek Park
Shenandoah River Adventures with Front Royal Outdoors
There is no contest – the best way to cool off is by hopping in one of the most famous rivers in the country! The Shenandoah River has a lot of tree cover and refreshing water to combat the climbing temps.
Families or friend groups looking for a bit of adventure can find more than enough on a fun Shenandoah rafting trip with splashy water. Groups that want to simply relax in the current will love the Shenandoah River tubing or SUP rentals. No matter what river experience you choose, you will enjoy a fantastic way to beat the heat near Washington, DC.
Georgetown Waterfront Park
If you don’t want to travel too far to find a little break from the heat, check out Georgetown Waterfront Park for some shade. This park will be bustling with people for endless people-watching and tons of shady spots, water fountains, and breezy waterfront views of the Potomac River. Take a stroll, plan a picnic, sunbathe, and enjoy the river breeze!
The waterfront park even has little water features for kids to enjoy, so families can quickly cool off in between snacks and park activities.
Indoor Activities in Washington DC
Sometimes, the only way to get away from the heat is to choose an indoor activity, especially when those summer thunderstorms hit. Choose an indoor activity that is cool enough, and you may even get to pretend it’s fall and rock a sweater again! For a little while, at least. Here are a couple of indoor activities that can give you a break from the sun that demands to be noticed recently.
- Explore one of multiple Smithsonian Museums. With 23 museums (and a zoo!) to choose from, you can base your museum visits on your or your group’s unique interests.
- Enjoy shows at the Kennedy Center. You can find live music, musicals, plays, and comedians giving you their all onstage!
- Grab a movie at one of DC’s several theaters. Nothing like a cold dark room to give you a break from the heat!
- Get lost in a book (and the snack options) at the famous Kramers Bookstore. This bookstore is great for date days, friend hangs, and more.
- Splurge with a spa day. You will leave feeling fresh, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the heat again!
- Find your inner child at Pinstripes bowling alley and bocce ball court. This is perfect for a post-work happy hour or family outing!
Take Your Kids to a Water Park
Have some high-energy kids that need to get some wiggle out? A water park will keep them cool as they expend some energy in the sun. Waterparks are a perfect option for when you want your family to be completely entertained without needing to plan a structured activity – just let them loose and watch them tackle some fun slides!
There are several fun water parks in and around DC to consider. Here are 5 of our favorite water parks in Virginia!
Explore Rock Creek Park
Get some shade, breeze and water at Rock Creek Park! Just a short, 15-minute drive from DC, Rock Creek Park is an easy escape to reach from the city. You can find shaded trails, lush greenery, and a refreshing respite.
A day in Rock Creek can be full of easy hiking, miles of biking, picnicking and discovering hidden gems. It’s also a popular spot for live music and concerts, so keep an eye out for events in Rock Creek for an extra fun day in the park.
It may be sweltering outside, but it’s nice and cool in the river! Now is the time to escape the toasty city and find outdoor adventure near Washington, DC! If you end up in the Front Royal Area on your trip, check out all the thrilling and relaxing river activities we offer to plan a Shenandoah River trip! If you need more ideas and inspiration, check out our favorite outdoor DC activities. Start planning your adventure and make the most of the DC heat wave!