Weekend Picks: Beat the Heat

Lauren Goldberg is serving as a Program Advisor for the 2011 Institute on Business and Government Affairs. Her blog entry is the first in a series of “Weekend Picks” for TFAS students spending their summer in DC.

Some of my fondest memories in Washington DC have involved exploring the city by foot. I would wander the streets, purposefully getting lost, so that I could find the “dives” of the city, such as West of Soho close to Dupont Circle, Pound Coffee close to Eastern Market, and Elephant and Castle onPennsylvania Ave. However, I recall that:

  1. my feet did not appreciate my wandering
  2. it was EXTREMELY hot

So, with the temperatures expecting to exceed the upper 90s this weekend, air conditioning and a cool treat sound like a perfect combination to “beat the heat.” Here are a few suggestions to keep cool this weekend.

Smithsonian Museum

The 19 Smithsonian museums and galleries, spread throughout the city, are both free and air conditioned… can’t get any better right? The Smithsonian museums are open from 10am to 5:30pm, but some have extended hours on the weekend. One museum that is often overlooked is the US Postal Museum, located right next to Union Station on the Red line. It is my favorite of the Smithsonian’s that I have been to. It is complete with a full service post office, Pony Express exhibit, and stamp collection. This weekend they are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Pony Express. Events begin at 11am. Be sure to “stamp” your weekend with a visit to this fantastic museum.

 Union Station

After your rendezvous at the Postal Museum, make your way over to Union Station. Filled with fun shops and eateries, Union Station is a great way to avoid the afternoon sun. The basement food court has multiple gelato and ice cream shops, which provide for a nice indulgent snack. If you are more of a chocolate fan, I recommend checking out Neuhaus Chocolatier, located on the street floor of Union Station.

If you don’t feel like venturing out to downtown, there is plenty to do in theGeorgetownarea that will enable to you avoid the rising temperatures.

Volta Park Pool

A great way to cool off is to spend the afternoon at the Volta Park Pool  located at 1555 34th Street, NW, just a few blocks from campus. From now until June 21st its hours of operation are Saturday through Sunday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. After June 21st the pool is open Tuesday through Friday from 1 p.m – 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. Non-DC residents only have to pay $7 for a one-time daily swim pass, which can be purchased online through the DC Department of Parks and Services website.

Ice Cream

If you are just looking for a cool, sweet treat be sure to stop by Thomas Sweet at 3214 P St NW or Dolcezza Artisanal Gelato at 1560 Wisconsin Ave NW. Both boast a wide selection of delectable treats that are sure to hit the spot.


Whatever you choose to do this weekend, make sure you have a “cool” time.

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