Here’s how to stay cool during this summer heat wave—17 things to try

Tropical Sno heat wave
There’s nothing like a sno cone on a hot summer day. (Tropical Sno Huntsville / Facebook)

We’re experiencing an unseasonably early heat wave in Huntsville this week, and it’s got us brainstorming about the best ways to keep cool when the temps keep soaring.

If you’re searching for inspiration, you’re in luck. Below, we’ve rounded up 17 ideas if you’re looking for a way to cool off, including a complete guide to Huntsville + Madison’s pools and splash pads.

PS: Be conscious of your energy usage during warm weather. Here’s what Huntsville Utilities is asking customers to do.

Pools + splash pads

Aquatic Center heat wave
Take a dip to cool off. (Huntsville Parks and Recreation / Facebook)

Huntsville and Madison both have public pools and splash pads you can use. Choose from one of these:

1. Dublin Indoor + Outdoor Pools

The City of Madison’s Dublin Park has an indoor pool and an outdoor pool where you can swim for just $4. The full schedules are posted online, but here’s a rundown of when you can find open swim hours:

Address: 8324 Old Madison Pike, Madison, AL 35758

2. Huntsville Aquatics Center

The Huntsville Aquatics Center has three large pools where you can take part in open swim, swimming lessons, water exercise and aerobics classes and swim laps. Admission is $4, but you can also buy passes to cover multiple visits.

Full schedules for the pools can be found online, but here’s a rundown of when you can find open swim:

  • Legacy Pool: Monday-Friday 12-3PM; Saturday 12-2PM; Sunday 2-4PM
  • Instructional Pool: Monday-Friday 9-11AM, 1-5PM; Saturday 12-2PM; Sunday 2-4PM

Address: 2213 Drake Ave SW, Huntsville, AL 35805

3. Dr. Richard Showers, Sr. Pool + Splash Pad

The Dr. Richard Showers, Sr. Recreation Center has both a pool and a splash pad. The pool is open Monday-Friday 7:30AM-7PM, Saturday 10AM-2PM and Sunday 1-5PM, with some closures throughout the week for classes. A full schedule is available online.

The Splash Pad is free to use and is open Monday-Saturday 10AM-7PM.

Address: 4600 Blue Spring Rd NW, Huntsville, AL 35810

4. Bicentennial Park Splash Pad

If you’re closer to downtown, you should check out the Bicentennial Park Splash Pad. It’s free, open Monday-Sunday 10AM-7PM and has lots of seating for guardians.

Address: 315 Fountain Cir SW, Huntsville, AL 35801

5. Everybody Can Play Splash Pad

Huntsville’s Everybody Can Play Splash Pad at Brahan Spring Park is 6,000 square feet and has plenty of seating and public restrooms. Admission is free, and it’s open Monday-Sunday 10AM-7PM.

Address: 3771 Ivy Ave SW, Huntsville, AL 35805

6. Bridge Street Town Centre Pop Jet Fountains

The Pop Jet Fountains at Bridge Street Town Centre are a great spot to cool off. They’re free to use and open Monday-Saturday 10AM-8PM and Sunday 12-6PM. Find them in front of Le Macaron French Pastries.

Address: 365 The Bridge St, Huntsville, AL 35806

Cold treats

Honest coffee heat wave
Honest Coffee’s summer-themed drinks include this banana split nitro cold brew. I’ve got to try it. (Honest Coffee Roasters – Huntsville / Facebook)

7. Cool off with a sno cone from Tropical Sno

There’s nothing better than shaved ice when it’s hot out. Head to Tropical Sno for a delicious sno cone. I might head over for a Georgia Peach flavored sno myself.

Keep up with Tropical Sno on Facebook since their hours change from day to day.

Address: 6275 University Dr NW, Huntsville, AL 35806

8. Use our coffee guides to find iced and frozen coffee

We are solidly in iced coffee season. Thankfully, we’ve got a guide for that. Check out our guide to Madison’s local coffee shops, or try a new spot in Huntsville. You really can’t go wrong, no matter what you choose.

9. Grab a scoop of gelato from Sam & Greg’s

Pizza and gelato are a match made in heaven. Walk in to either of Sam & Greg’s locations in town for instant relief from the heat.

Madison address: 364 Hughes Rd, Madison, AL 35758

Huntsville address: 116 Southside Square, Huntsville, AL 35801

10. Try some ice cream from Handel’s or Three Scoops

Huntsville has plenty of locally owned ice cream spots where you can get a classic scoop. Handel’s and Three Scoops are a couple we’ve heard great things about, but feel free to let us know where your favorite is by tagging #hvilleblast on social media.

Handel’s address: 7086 Hwy 72 W, Huntsville, AL 35806

Three Scoops address: 6125 University Drive, Suite C10, Huntsville, AL 35806

Indoor adventures

Museum of Art heat wave
Visit the Museum of Art after work on Thursday for discounted admission. (Huntsville Museum of Art / Facebook)

11. Visit the Huntsville Museum of Art

For a (100% air conditioned) cultural experience, try out the Huntsville Museum of Art. Regular admission is $12 for non-members, but try the museum’s weekly $5 after 5 event on Thursday evenings for great art and local entertainment.

Address: 300 Church St SW, Huntsville, AL 35801

12. Cool off in a library

Do you have your library card? The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library has eight locations across the county where you can find great programming, books and movies to borrow all summer long. Some of them even have cafes where you can grab a bite to eat while you read.

Plus, there are no more late fees! Even more reason to visit.

13. Wander around Lowe Mill

Artists at work. Great food and drinks. Entertainment. Markets and events. You can find it all at Lowe Mill. The arts and entertainment facility is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11AM-7PM, and the only thing you have to pay for is the amazing, hand-made art (and treats) you’ll find inside.

Address: 2211 Seminole Dr SW, Huntsville, AL 35805

14. See the latest exhibits at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center has regularly updating exhibits that teach about history, science and all things space. The one I’d like to see is Space Craze: A Space-Age Journey Through Pop Culture, which highlights the way the Space Race impacted peoples’ everyday lives through popular culture.

Address: 1 Tranquility Base, Huntsville, AL 35805

Other experiences

Cathedral Cavern heat wave
My sister and I at Cathedral Caverns in July 2019, sweatshirts in tow. (Emily Phillips / Hville Blast)

15. Take the tour of Cathedral Caverns

I took a guided walking tour of Cathedral Caverns a few years ago, and it was an unbelievable experience—once I got past the mild anxiety of knowing I was underground. The guided tour gives you the history of the cavern’s discovery, and there’s an amazing light show once you make it all the way inside.

Tours are $20 per adult and $9 per child and take place every day between 9AM and 5:30PM.

Address: 637 Cave Rd, Woodville, AL 35776

16. Drive through the Harmony Park Safari

Did you know that we have a drive-thru safari park just south of town? The Harmony Park Safari is open 10AM-sunset every day March-November. Admission is $10 per person, and kids under 2 get in free. Enjoy nature from the comfort (and air conditioning) of your car.

Address: 431 Clouds Cove Rd SE, Huntsville, AL 35803

17. Test your climbing skills at High Point

If you’re itching to get some physical activity in, you should attempt a climb at High Point Climbing and Fitness. A day pass is $20, but you can purchase 7-day passes and memberships for a cheaper rate. Plus, gear is no issue—rent everything from shoes to harnesses and chalk bags at the facility.

Address: 1020 Nunnahsae, N Park Dr NW, Huntsville, AL 35806

How are you keeping cool? Share your ideas with us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

Emily Phillips
Emily Phillips
Articles: 245