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10 places to stay cool in Chicago heat

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From free air conditioning to shady spots on Lake Michigan

Now that summer has arrived, the high temperatures we’ve been eagerly awaiting are starting to feel a bit unbearable. The sweaty humidity combined with 90-degree temperatures can only be tolerated for so long.

For the hottest days ahead, we’ve compiled a handful of places across the city where you might be able to find some relief from the heat and have a little fun. Whether you want to stay cool indoors or soak up a little sunshine, we’ll tell you where to find the best shade on the Lakefront Trail and what refreshing escapes exist in Garfield Park beyond the conservatory.

Of course, there are the city museums (which offer free admission to Illinois residents on select days), the beaches on Lake Michigan, and Park District pools—all of which are great places to beat the heat.

It’s important to stay safe, too. Drink plenty of water, watch out for signs of heat exhaustion, and find a way to keep cool.

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