Where to Keep Cool in Chicago This Summer

Chicago basically has two seasons: winter and HOT, STICKY, and STEAMY summer. So even though we are thrilled when school lets out and the weather heats up, we also dread it because slides are too hot to play, baseball stadiums feel like saunas, and it smells like sweat EVERYWHERE. Don’t even get me started on that awful feeling when your legs literally STICK to your seat. Ugh. But have no fear, Chicagoans. Because there are tons of ways to combat Midwestern summer humidity. Here are my top picks on where to keep cool in Chicago this summer:


I mean, the price can’t be beat, you don’t have to jump into freezing cold water yourself, and the foam floors help minimize scrapes, cuts, and boo-boos. Here is a growing list of our favorite FREE splash pads.



So many movie theatres throughout the Chicagoland area are hosting daytime free and discounted movie screenings. The movie offerings may not be new, but it is a great way to enjoy some air conditioning, buttery popcorn, and lose yourself in a fun animated flick. Check out local discounted movie offerings here.



Summer getting a little out of control? Then hit the pause button and head to one of Chicagoland’s best libraries. Not only are there books, magazines, DVDs, CDs, and so much more to enjoy and bring home, but there are also great library programming options as well. Join a “Summer Reading Challenge,” go on a scavenger hunt, join the Lego building group…the options are air conditioned and endless.


While it is easy to make your own homemade ice cream, don’t miss out on the quintessential summer experience of going out for ice cream at one of these local ice cream shops. My favorite? The Frango Mint cone from Capanarri’s!



When the temperatures soar, take a break from the outdoor park and instead head into an indoor one. There are so many great play spaces to choose from, from those that are great for multiple ages and locations that are specifically designed to let your kids get all of their energy out.


There are tons of waterparks to choose from in the Chicagoland area, but I want to let you in on a gem that really helps your family stretch its summer budget: Deep River Waterpark. Located in Mervilville Indiana, the water park covers over 45 acres and is filled with activities for all members of the family. Even better? It is one of the only waterparks that lets you bring in a cooler (s t r e t c h that dollar!), parking is free, and they offer a weather guarantee policy.



Want to try out Deep River Waterpark for yourself and see why it has been a Chicagoland family favorite for the past twenty four seasons? Simply comment on this post with your favorite way to cool off in the summer in order to be entered to win a family four pack to Deep River Waterpark ($103.80 value). A winner will be randomly chosen on Thursday, June 28thand notified via email.

Stay cool, friends!
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  1. Rebecca says

    One of my favorite ways to stay cool besides swimming in the summer is sitting in my lawn chair with my water mister going. Another way is after doing yard work well turn on our sprinkler system and run through it.

  2. Katie Walsh says

    We love going to the pool and now that the kids are over 40” they’ve been able to try some slides.

  3. Amanda Legros says

    New Buffalo, Michigan Splashpad and park. It’s free and it’s beautiful with a splash pad, park, hiking trails, basketball, pavilion to pack lunch and eat under, plus so much more to do with the kiddos to keep cool. Our go to place for sure.

  4. Mandy Legros says

    New Buffalo Splash pad is our go to place to cool off. Splash pad, park, hiking trails, basketball, a pavilion to sit and have lunch, and so much more and the best part is it’s free!!

  5. Trish Van Skyhawk says

    We love to cool off by swimming at the waterpark or the beach. My boys love to have water gun fights with those nerf guns. We also go through a few boxes of popsicles every week during the summer. Always trying to keep it cool!

  6. Nicole Owen says

    One way we cool off is we wear our bathing suits in the bathtub and eat frozen ice pops. We live dangerously. Lol

  7. Jeanine Olson says

    We enjoy water balloons, sprinklers, squirt guns, followed by a visit to our local ice cream shop -The Frosty Penguin. Love summer and all it’s outside activities!

  8. Jaemese Lavonn Gillespie says

    My children and i love the water park its one of our favorites places to be while they’re on summer break!! Great family memories…..

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