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Cool activities in NYC to beat the heat this summer

When it's hot, I mean, really hot in the city, there's not a lot to inspire you to leave your AC unit behind and venture out into the steamy streets of New York City.

While there are museums and movie theaters you can go to for some temporary relief, there's so much more you can do to stay cool and still have fun.

We've gathered a few ideas for an exciting day out of the sun and off the streets that can smell like a portable potty. You'll thank us later.

Grab your bathing suit and head to the pool

While this isn't technically getting out of the
Photo Credit: NYC Parks

While this isn't technically getting out of the heat, going swimming is a good way to get your body moving in some (likely) cool water. Thankfully, the Parks Department's 56 outdoor pools are free. No matter your borough, there's a public pool nearby and if you want to get fancy, a lot of pools on rooftops too.

Scoop up relief at the Museum of Ice Cream's shop

This is a no-brainer. The Museum of Ice
Photo Credit: Marisol Diaz-Gordon

This is a no-brainer. The Museum of Ice Cream has a new grocery store that sells its own line of ice cream -- The Pint Shop. The grocery store features immersive installations, a reservation-only tasting experience, a series of weekly workshops and seven branded ice cream flavors through the end of August, from noon to 9 p.m. On Thursdays, it even hosts workshops called "Pint Sessions" that will cover subjects such as designing the museum's next flavor, making your own stop-motion GIFs and crafting ice cream-themed accessories. It's a pretty sweet way to keep cool. (459 W. 14th St.)

Get Shipwrecked

Shipwrecked in Red Hook is a theatrical 18-hole
Photo Credit: Shipwrecked Miniature Golf

Shipwrecked in Red Hook is a theatrical 18-hole course with a pirate theme. The course brings in NYC themes such as a subway car, the Brooklyn Bridge and Coney Island. It's only $14 to play and completely forget that the sun is scorching everything outside. Shipwrecked also serves up pizza, beer, wine and cider so you don't have to leave the comfort of an air-conditioned building to get food. (621 Court St.)

Have fun in the city's wacky pop-ups

Whether themed around dreams, happiness, eggs or food,
Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver

Whether themed around dreams, happiness, eggs or food, there are quite a few pop-up exhibitions that promise to immerse you in out-of-this-world scenes until you literally forget it's hot outside. Check out The Dream Machine through July; Happy-Go-Lucky through July 8; The Egg House through June 27; and a number of food pop-ups.

Get on a boat

If you have to be outside, you might
Photo Credit: Grand Banks

If you have to be outside, you might as well be on a boat. It's usually cooler down by the water, so check out restaurants and bars on boats (such as this oyster bar aboard the historic hand-built wooden schooner the Sherman Zwicker) and don't be afraid to try sailing around Manhattan on a yacht.

Escape the pavement on this fancy meditation bus

This mobile meditation studio called Be Time travels
Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver

This mobile meditation studio called Be Time travels the city daily offering meditation classes for as little as $11 for 15 minutes. If you're looking for a way to get out of the heat, even for a short time and relax away your weather woes, you can find this bus at Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, DUMBO, Union Square, and Midtown East -- just check the schedule first on betimepractice.com.

Visit the sharks at the NY Aquarium

It's definitely cooler under the sea. Check out
Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

It's definitely cooler under the sea. Check out the New York Aquarium's new exhibit "Ocean Wonders: Sharks!" (opening June 30) and cool off as you learn about 115 marine species and 18 different kinds of sharks and rays in tanks that allow them to both glide above your head and meet you at eye level. The new 57,500-square-foot building that houses the exhibit is actually wrapped in a "shimmer wall" -- a flowing work of art comprising 33,000 small aluminum flaps -- and includes a rooftop classroom and deck with a sweeping view of the Coney Island boardwalk and the Atlantic Ocean. Not a bad way to stay out of the sun. (Surf Avenue & West 8th Street at Coney Island)

Go to the coolest bar there is

Go for the cold at the Mehanata Bulgarian
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Go for the cold at the Mehanata Bulgarian Bar, which features an "ice box" section where, for $20, you get to dress up in authentic Bulgarian army uniforms and drink as many shots of vodka -- up to five -- as you can for two minutes -- while everyone watches. It's only open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. (113 Ludlow St.)

Do an escape room

Transport yourself out of the city and into
Photo Credit: Escape the Room NYC

Transport yourself out of the city and into the past or into a mystery novel, thriller or war game at any one of the city's numerous escape rooms. For example, Escape the Room NYC's games include an '80s inspired "Rec Room," pictured, in which players are grouped into a team of 10 and have to work together to "Escape the '80s." If they can't get out of the room within the allotted 60 minutes, they could be stuck in that decade "forever," according to the game's description. You'll be inside and going through a very dramatic but air-conditioned situation.

(107 Suffolk St., escapetheroomnyc.com)

Join the dead in the catacombs

The residents of Green-Wood Cemetery's catacombs might be
Photo Credit: Kevin Condon

The residents of Green-Wood Cemetery's catacombs might be dead, but they don't have to worry about sunburn. Head on down to the depths for "The Angel's Share," a series that offers access to top musical acts inside Green-Wood Cemetery's catacombs. The performances, which are scheduled through October, are visceral and emotional concerts that start with whiskey tastings at sunset. Yeah, it's creepy, but it's cool in more ways than one.

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