10 Ways To Stay Cool This Summer

Posted by Holly Whitfield | July 7th 2015 3668 0

It looks like we’re in for a steadily humid, hot summer here in Memphis. The good news is that there are some easy ways to get through it without staying indoors until October. Here are ten ways to escape (or embrace) the heat this summer.

1. Run through a fountain.


The fountain at Government Plaza (right in front of City Hall downtown) is the perfect fountain to take a quick jog through. It’s on all the time. Pro-tips: don’t drink the water (it’s recycled) and wear shoes.

2. Bike at midnight

Go out after dark to avoid the worst heat of the day (and the sunburn). Midtown’s streets become super accessible to cyclists during the Midnight Classic Bike Tour on August 29. The leisurely 17-mile escorted ride starts and ends at Tiger Lane (by the Liberty Bowl). Before and after the ride, there will be live music, food trucks, bike vendors and more. Don’t forget your helmet or your bike light.

3. Canoe the Ghost River

If you’re the outdoorsy type, rent a canoe or kayak and plop it into the Ghost section of the Wolf River early in the morning. Pack some snacks and drinks and spend the day being lazy on the river.

4. Spend some time at the public library

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It sounds really dorky to spend the summer indoors at the library. But when you want to keep cool, just know that the air conditioners at Memphis’ public libraries work incredibly well. The library has some summer programs for kids that are a great way to keep them involved with books while school’s out.

5. Enjoy a Memphis patio


Memphis has a ton of options when it comes to dining and drinking al fresco. Click here for a list of places to enjoy patios in Memphis (including info about which ones are Fido-friendly).

6. Get cultured

Mural at the Art of Video Games exhibit at the Brooks.

All of the city’s museums are air conditioned, and many have discounted or free admission at some point during the week. Check out the “Art of Video Games” exhibit at the Brooks Museum of Art. See a movie in the renovated theater and learn about Memphis’ unique history at the Pink Palace Museum. The Dixon‘s indoor galleries are closed for renovations currently, but you can check out their awesome outdoor sculpture exhibit. Don’t forget about the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Stax Museum, Cotton Museum and Fire Museum, either.

7. Drink.


Fluids are important, even when the air seems like it’s loaded with water. Fill up a glass with some of Memphis’ incredible tap water or lemonade of the day from Lunchbox Eats. If you’re looking for something a bit harder, try the Cherry Limeade from South of Beale, the “Workin’ Too Hard” from Hog & Hominy, the infamous Jameson slushie from the Slider Inn, or a cold brew from Memphis Made taproom.

8. Get moving indoors
There are plenty of places to play inside that the kids (or kids-at-heart) especially will love. Try laser tag and arcade games at Golf ‘n’ Games on Summer, indoor trampolines at SkyZone or Jumping World USA, and tons of activities like arcade games, go-carts, and laser tag at Incredible Pizza in Cordova.

9. Get in the water

Get your swim suit and some sunscreen on – there are several public parks in Memphis with either public pools or splash parks. Try Beale Street Landing, Peabody Park in midtown, the Children’s Museum, W.C. Johnson park in Collierville (I have heard that this year this park will be for Collierville residents only, please call ahead), or dip your toes into the Riverwalk at Mud Island.

10. Do Something New

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Photo via Memphis Rec Room.

There’s plenty new to do in Memphis this summer. Have you seen the monthly posts about fun, unique volunteer opportunities? Check that out here. Have you been to the Rec Room barcade in Binghampton? Get more info on that here. Think you might be interested in the Memphis Escape Room that opens in a few weeks? Read more about that here. What about the group bikes where you can pedal around town while drinking? There are two right now, Sprock ‘n’ Roll in midtown and River City Pedalers downtown.

How do you plan on keeping cool in Memphis this summer?

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. Philip Ford says:

    You should really check this place out if you havent already….

  2. Jack Ryan says:

    Dont forget Mama D's Italian Ice & Pops. Store in Collieville and at many Farmers Markets around town. 

  3. Jane Fox says:

    I love your idea to spend time at the library. Staying cool and expanding your mind at the same time? Great idea! I'm always looking for places to hide out since my air conditioning isn't working and I've yet to get it replaced. Any summer reads I should check out while I'm at the library?

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