About this time of year in Spokane it can start feeling like you're in a hairdryer. These dry, hot days call for something to take the edge off. For the record, this is not a complaint! Bring on the sun, because winter is always waiting in the wings. But for now, when summer is in full swing, there are many deliciously cool ways to handle the heat. I call it my Cool, Cooler, Coolest Plan.

Cool IdeasRotary Fountain
Ice cream has remarkable powers to cool us off and make us happy! One place to try is Doyle's Ice Cream Parlor, a Spokane favorite for years. From strawberry to black licorice, it's all handmade in the store.

A stroll along the river and then a stop at Fountain Café in Riverfront Park has many cool opportunities. Ice tea, lemonade or a giant swirl ice cream cone are just three possibilities. And no, you don't have to get swirl (half chocolate, half vanilla) but it's really good! After your last bite take a quick run through the Rotary Fountain. It was designed to be played in, and heck, hundreds of kids can't be wrong! You can do a full on soaker, or just a quick zip in and out. Either way, the breeze on your damp skin will be very refreshing! If you like the idea of a quick dip and can't commit to full immersion yet, you will love a splash pad. Many Spokane City Parks are equipped with splash pads, which include buckets that fill with water and empty onto whomever is beneath! It's great for kids of all ages and babies love it, because they don't have to leave their parent's arms. For a list of splash pads click here.

Avalanche MountainCooler Ideas
Okay, it's sooo hot you're ready for complete immersion? Options abound! Splash Down is a waterpark full of slides and pools for maximum fun. There are tubing stations, water games and slides for both the daring and not-so-daring. Question - what is the best part of a big waterslide? Answer - the inevitable splash into the pool at the end, of course! Click here for more information on Splash Down Water Park. Boulder Beach Water Park at Silverwood Theme Park is another great place to play it cool. Ricochet Rapids will take you down a 40-foot mountain on a raft into a valley with a steep drop through a mega tube! Spin, slide and splash down four huge water slides on Rumble Falls, or shoot down Velocity Peak, a high speed water slide tower. If you like going 55 mph on a thin layer of water, then this is the ride for you! For the little ones, Polliwog Park and Toddler Springs will keep them cool and entertained for the whole day.

Coolest Ideas

Are you really ready to kick the summer heat? Then you need to find a body of water. The good news is it will be very, very, easy. Spokane has a river running through it and about 76 lakes within 50 miles. Yep, that many! For a dip in the river, Pine River Community Park has a swimming area which covers about 300 feet of river shoreline and a natural, sandy beach. Also enjoy a playground, ample parking and a scenic bridge. Shields Park, located on the north side of Upriver Drive has a popular beach spot and amenities like trails, restrooms and plenty of parking. Be sure to wear an approved life jacket when in the Spokane River, it's the law! We'd have to spend until next summer listing all the lakes you can enjoy. To save time, here is a great list to get you started. Add a big beach towel, a picnic and some sunscreen and you're set!

And remember, when it's super hot it's really okay to start the day off with an ice cream cone and end the day with one. Just make them different flavors!