Chilling Out

From pool-sneaking to nudist camps, we offer cool ways to beat the heat

Go ice skating

Feel like reenacting Adam Sandler's and Julie Bowen's pas de deux aux glace from Happy Gilmore? While in the movie Happy had to go to the rink after-hours and pull some strings with the Zamboni guy to get the place to himself, you can do that practically any day during the summer at one of the area's almost-25 ice rinks that offer open skating sessions, even in the summer, and stay a cool 50 to 55 degrees year-round. Says Craig Strohbeck, interim director of Brentwood Parks and Recreation, where the town's recreation complex boasts an indoor rink, "It's surprisingly not crowded in our rink during the summer, which I think makes it an ideal setting for a birthday party or any sort of large get-together." Not only that, it's cheap: Admission plus skate rental runs only $4.50 per person at Brentwood. The Brentwood rink (2505 South Brentwood Boulevard) holds daily open skating sessions during the summer; call 314-963-8689 for specifics.

Visit the penguins and puffins

Mark Andresen
Mark Andresen

What's cooler than being cool? Ice cold! Which is the state of things at the Saint Louis Zoo's year-old Penguin & Puffin Coast. It's a frosty 45 degrees every day in there; it's also a hoot watching 100 penguins and puffins bobbing about among the rock faces, nesting chambers and 22-foot waterfall. Many of the zoo's out-of-town visitors don't realize until they get in there that neither the birds nor the biting chill are kept behind glass, says Michael Macek, the zoo's curator of birds, which can also make for a fun dose of people-watching as the unaware get hit in the face with that first blast of cold air. And most visitors, says Macek, can't stand more than ten minutes inside Penguin & Puffin Coast before they're too cold and ready for another round of roiling heat. Here, the St. Louis summer has certainly met its match.

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