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Looking for Ways to Keep Cool on Mega-Hot Summer Days? Here Are Some Options

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Cooling centers are one option for beating the extreme heat this weekend. (GV Wire Illustration/David Rodriguez)
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Are you dreading the thought of a whole weekend of blistering temperatures in Fresno when the mercury is forecast to soar to 108 degrees on Saturday and 112 on Sunday and racking your brain on how to keep you and your family cool?

Pulling down the shades and sticking your feet in a bucket of ice is one option, although not exactly a fun one.

But you’ve got other options, and some of them are free.

Free

The Fresno County Historical Museum and Big Fresno Fair Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Fresno Fairgrounds. Admission is free, and both museums are air-conditioned, officials said Thursday. Park in the Chance Avenue parking lot and enter through the Chance Gate.

Audio tours and museum docents will be available to guide visitors. Want to know more about Monache Native Americans, vaqueros, the Shaver Flume, the Fresno Scraper, and boxing legends of Fresno? The museums contain exhibits on each of those, and many more.

Fresno County libraries are also free and air-conditioned, and most of them will be open this weekend. Check the library system’s website for up-to-date information. In addition to reading materials, libraries include computer rooms where you can browse the internet for a couple of hours.

The city of Fresno has opened neighborhood recreation centers as cooling centers from noon to 9 p.m. Need a ride to get to one? You can get a free lift on FAX, so long as your destination is a cooling center.

Here are their locations:

  • Maxi L. Parks Community Center, 1802 E. California Ave., Fresno
  • Mosqueda Community Center, 4670 E. Butler Ave., Fresno
  • Ted C. Willis Community Center, 770 N. San Pablo Ave., Fresno
  • Pinedale Community Center, 7170 N. San Pablo Ave., Pinedale

The city of Clovis also has a cooling center that’s open 24 hours, so long as you don’t mind hanging around the lobby of the police and fire headquarters building at 1233 Fifth St. And you can get a free lift on Clovis Transit.

Water Fun

Fresno’s city pools and splash pads are open and will provide some relief from the heat, although you may have to practice seeing how long you can hold your breath underwater to keep your head from burning in the hot sun. (Either that, or wear a hat.) The Frank H. Ball, Mary Ella Brown, and Mosquedo pools are open from 1 ro 5 p.m. all week long and cost $2 for 18 and older and $1 for under 18. Here are the locations:

  • Frank Ball Pool, 760 Mayor St.
  • Mary Ella Brown Pool, 1350 E. Annadale Ave.
  • Mosqueda Pool, 4670 E. Butler Ave.

Learner pools are free and are open to kids ages 5 to 12 from 1 to 5 p.m. all week. The shallower pools are at Einstein Park, 3566 E. Dakota Ave., Fink White Park, 535 S. Trinity Ave., and Pinedale Community Center, 7170 N. San Pablo Ave.

Meanwhile, splash parks are free and open at the following locations:

  • Dickey Playground, 50 N. Calaveras St.
  • Figarden Loop Park, 4265 W. Figarden Drive
  • Inspiration Park, 5770 W. Gettysburg Ave.
  • Martin Ray Reilly Park, 750 N. Chestnut Ave.
  • Mosqueda Community Center, 4670 E. Butler Ave.
  • Todd Beamer Park, 1890 E. Plymouth Way
  • Vinland Park, 4695 E. Gettysburg Ave.

Children enjoy a Fresno splash park during the summer 2022 heatwave. (GV Wire File)

Also open is the San Joaquin River, although visitors need to exercise caution in the cold, fast-moving water. The Kings River remains closed to recreational users.

Shaver and Huntington lakes will be delightfully cool compared to the sun-baked municipal pools. Weekend temperatures in the Sierra are forecast to be slightly less torrid than the Valley, with highs Saturday and Sunday of 94 and 95 in Shaver and relatively balmy highs of 85 and 83 forecast for Huntington Lake.

Other Options

These aren’t free, but the money spent will buy some coolness: area water parks, Forestiere Underground Gardens, and movie theaters, to name a few.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

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