Beat the heat with these DC-area public cooling spaces

WASHINGTON — Need a place to cool off on a hot, summer day? Several local governments have designated public cooling centers for residents to find heat relief.


The city’s government has a comprehensive “heat emergency plan” for when the heat index hits 95 degrees.

Urging against the unauthorized use of fire hydrants, the plan has an extensive list of general cooling centers, spray parks and pools. Spray parks are generally open Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Information about extended hours for pools and spray parks can be found here.

The Department of Human Services will also open locations to specifically serve homeless people. Senior citizens who do not have access to air conditioning are also encouraged to go to specified public locations. Those in need of transportation to a cooling center can call their hotline at 1-800-535-7252.


Prince George’s County: A full list of this year’s cooling centers open to the public can be found on the county’s website. Weekday hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but during weekend hours, residents should call facilities ahead of time to confirm hours. There are also senior centers available. Pools and splash parks are open during normal operating hours on weekends.

— Montgomery County: Although the county has not officially announced cooling centers, residents can find relief at libraries, pools, senior and recreation centers. Find a list of all of their public library locations and hours on their website. More information about their recreation centers, pools and senior centers can also be found on their website.


— Fairfax County: The county government has listed libraries, community centers and the Fairfax County Government Center as cooling centers. Information about Fairfax County pools and recreation centers can be found here. Residents should call ahead to check on operating hours.

Arlington: Though they are not official cooling centers, residents can beat the heat in public library locations, spray parks, public pools and even the Kettler Capitals Iceplex with daily public skating schedules.

— Alexandria: Public facilities include libraries, recreation centers and pools.

EDITOR’S NOTE: WTOP will continue to update this page as more information and sites become available.


Teta Alim

Teta Alim is a Digital Editor at WTOP. Teta's interest in journalism started in music and moved to digital media.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up