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Posted at 01:43 PM ET, 07/22/2011

Five ways to beat the heat, from slushitos to waterslides


Idea No. 2 for surviving the blazing temperatures? Pools, spraygrounds, and giant waves. Pictured: the brand-new Our Special Harbor sprayground in Franconia, perfect for little ones. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)
Right now, the temperature should be hovering at right around 100 degrees, and the air is polluted, muggy and stagnant enough to remind one of glorious Mumbai.

But you don’t have to be a shut-in all weekend, certainly not when we’ve got five great ideas for beating the heat.

Seek out icy drink; sip liberally

At Estadio, a duo of slushy cocktails dubbed slushitos is always churning; this weekend, the flavors are the perfect complement for the weather: One features coconut rum with lemongrass and lime, and the other is grapefruit and camomile spiked with bourbon.

It’s Rickey Month, a citywide celebration of D.C.’s native cocktail. It’s a simple concotion — mere bourbon, soda, lime juice — but it was created in the late 1800s for locals likely suffering though these exact same muggy Washington summers. At 1331 Bar and Lounge, find the traditional Rickey (in bourbon or the gin variation) on special for just $6.50 through Aug. 1.

On Tuesday, plan on re-hydrating at the Passenger, which has launched a weekly tiki-themed night complete with icy Zombies and Scorpion bowls. If the delicious drinks weren't enough, they come decorated with umbrellas, flowers and sliced fruit, and customers don leis to get in the Trader Vic’s mood. 

Prefer coffee? Alex Baldinger uncovered a downtown cafe that serves iced coffee with coffee ice-cubes, meaning you don’t have to waste a drop.

Spend a day in a cool, cool pool

Pools are everywhere, but which ones are our favorites? When it is this hot, the mega-pools in Virginia and Maryland beckon; bring on the lazy rivers, water slides and giant wave pools, we say. Check out our list of best pools here.

If you’re in search of something new, in Franconia, a new sprayground dubbed Our Special Harbor is making a major splash with overheated kids.

Spoon up some of the city’s icy sweets

It’s National Ice Cream Month, and it couldn’t have come a moment too soon. We obsess mildly over this city’s gelaterias — and apparently, so does everyone else, because they’re packed this week. At Dolcezza, (in Bethesda, Dupont Circle and Georgetown), seasonal sorbets including a stellar sour cherry and just-released plum hit the spot without feeling heavy; for kicks, go halfsies with a creamy gelato such as the sinful Valrhona Chocolate Amargo.

Expect lines for creamy gelatos in more down-home flavors, including the cake batter at Boccato in Clarendon, to grow as the temperatures rise. Both made the cut on our list of best ice cream joints.

And if your sundae cravings tend to emerge around midnight? Check one of the city’s newer offerings, Serendipity 3, which stays open till the wee hours. The by-way-of-New-York restaurant is famed for its icy hot chocolates, but the sundae that comes topped with a massive wedge of red-velvet cake is nothing to sneeze at.

Take refuge in the theater

There are plenty of opportunities to escape the heat by ducking into a dark theater this weekend. For starters, this is the final stretch of the Fringe Festival, and tickets are a dirt cheap $12 with the promo code “beattheheat.”

We know what you’re thinking — those venues can be nauseatingly stuffy.

But a number of Fringe destinations tout fully-functioning air conditioning, including Goethe-Institut where you can see the clever faux Facebook app desmonstration “e-Geaux ,” Mount Vernon Methodist Church, which plays host to hilarious, naked shenanigans thanks to “Assembly Required: Comedy from A to Y and Studio Theatre, which promises naughty antics with “Match Game DC and Happenstance Theatre’s Dada celebration, “Manifesto!

Speaking of Studio, the theater is also the place to be to see the Warhol musical, “POP!” and the kinky powerplay of acclaimed “Venus in Fur.” Other well-received shows include “Wicked” at the Kennedy Center, “Clybourne Park” at Woolly Mammoth, Hub Theatre’s “Birds of a Feather” and “Oklahoma!” at Arena Stage.

If you’re looking for a family affair, no better place to be this weekend than the Signature Theatre Open House on Saturday in Arlington; the theater hosts performances, master classes, and a “Signature Idol” singing competition and a concert at 8:30 p.m. There’s plenty for kids, too: theater games and a show featuring roller skaters are among the offerings. Check out the full schedule here.

Go gallery-hopping

When it’s hot, art offers an enriching reason to stay indoors. Friday, hit two openings just blocks from each other.

Tonight: The FotoDC, which hosts the annual FotoWeek festival, opens its own (semi) permanent gallery space in Adams Morgan called FotoSpace. The first show, featuring documentary photos of social justice issues abroad, kicks off at 6:30.

Afterward, just head around the corner for the opening of “Wall Mountables” at the D.C. Arts Center, beginning at 7 p.m.

By and  |  01:43 PM ET, 07/22/2011

Categories:  Misc., Summer Guide, Bars and Clubs | Tags:  Heat wave

 
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