Best Places to Cool Off in Yakima This Summer – Riggs’ Top Five
Summers in Yakima can be most brutal. Dry desert heat with temperature reaching the hundreds. Growing up we didn't have air conditioning at our house, either; just a bunch of fans that blew the same non-circulating air back in your face. The good news is I didn't have to stick around, I had to get creative and find things to do in Yakima to cool off. Here's my list of ways to cool off in Yakima and do what we can to beat the summer heat.
One of my favorite things to do in the summer was go to the movies. Summer is when a ton of great movies come out and all of the Yakima theaters have fantastic air conditioning. Match that with a large soda and you're good to go for easily $10 which is probably the same price as your high powered, massive BTU air conditioning running at home for a few hours. I only wish we still had the Cinema West where the Blockbuster is now in Nob Hill Plaza. I miss the cheap ticket double-features.
Always a popular activity for all ages is to go swimming. We have several public pools to choose from. I'd say Franklin Pool may be the most popular, but there's also Lion's Pool, the pool at the YMCA and Yakima Athletic Club as well as a few others in town. Many local apartment complexes have swimming pools as part of their facility which is always a nice feature. Just make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen.
When it comes to eating something cold, it doesn't get much colder than ice cream. Or tastier, in my opinion. Yakima features a few great places to get ice cream. I used to frequent Baskin Robbins as often as I could; I always ordering margarita ice if it was available. You can also hit up Cold Stone Creamery in Union Gap, the old fashioned ice cream place in the Yakima museum or pretty much anywhere that sells ice cream, get out and grab some ice cream.
Now, this isn't for everyone. In fact, for safety sake, it shouldn't be for anyone but it is something that can be pretty fun at the expense of the Franklin terraces straight-a-way. I'm sure you can go ice blocking elsewhere but my buddies and I always went to Franklin Park. If you're not familiar with what ice blocking is, it's quite simple. Go to any store and buy a block of ice – they're usually about a buck. Then to sit on the block of ice and use it as a sled as you slide down a grassy hill. I don't condone doing this now that I'm all grown up, but kids will be kids and it's a cheap thrill for something to do after hours.
This is an activity that most people do in Yakima and appreciate, but don't think about doing it for this sole purpose. It usually just happens as a result of driving somewhere. Our area is so rich with agriculture from apple and cherry orchards to acres and acres of hop fields, they have to stay irrigated throughout the summer season. The feeling of the crisp air laced with the water particles that breeze through your window that's rolled down while driving by is one of the nicest and welcoming experiences you body can go through. It's hard to explain how or even why to an outsider but once they experience driving by agriculture with the sprinkler systems on – there's nothing like it.