Only real ice cream can cool off those Marylanders who venture out in the noonday sun. Listed below is a sampling of some of the better ice cream parlors in the area. Price ranges and specialties are noted.

AE (American Express), DC (Diners Club), CB (Carte Blanche), MC (MasterCard), V (Visa) and C (Choice). "Free parking" indicates the parlor has a parking lot; otherwise, expect street and commercial parking. "Children" indicates the parlor serves child-sized portions at reduced prices.

Steve's Ice Cream, 7415a Baltimore Blvd., College Park. 699-5821. Hours: Noon to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Cards: None. Cash only. Metered parking in shopping center parking lot. Price range is $1.20 to $7.95. Specialties: mix-ins, trivia question cones, frappes (milkshakes), whipped cream made on the premises. Flavors of the month include cookie monster, Boston super fudge chunk, mud pie. Toppings include Heath Bar, chopped Reese's, M&Ms, assorted nuts and jimmies. A piano and television are on the premises. Seating for 15.

Haagen Dazs, 1236 Columbia Mall, Columbia, 964-9866; and Haagen Dazs Ice Cream Shoppe, 4433 Lehigh Rd., College Park, 864-4000. For the Columbia shop -- Hours: 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Cards: None. Cash or travelers checks only. Free parking in shopping center lot. Children. Price range: $1.15 to $22.95. Specialties: ice cream bars, deep Danish sundae cones. Flavors of the month are macadamia brittle, chocolate chocolate mint and mocha double nut. Toppings include hot fudge and butterscotch, marshmallow, wet nuts, fruit, jimmies, walnuts, chocolate cookie crunch, toasted almond crunch and whipped cream made on the premises. For the College Park shop -- Hours: noon to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, noon to 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cards: None. Cash, personal and travelers checks only. Street and commercial parking. Children. Price range: $1.10 to $17. Specialties: waffle cones, double sundaes, milkshakes. Toppings include jimmies, M&Ms, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, toasted and plain coconut, cookies, crushed sugar cones, butterscotch, hot fudge, cherry, pineapple and marshmallow. Seating for 25.

Ice Cream Unlimited, 5100 Buchanan St., Hyattsville, 792-4211. Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Cards: None. Cash, personal and travelers checks only. Free parking. Price range: $2.40 to $20 for novelty items, $12 to $30 for bulk items, depending on the brand. Specialties: ice cream sandwiches and Dixie cups, Haagen Dazs bars and ice cream, tortoni, spumoni, Bom Pops and snow cones. 150 flavors are available. Bulk sales a specialty.

Bresler's 33 Flavors Ice Cream Shop, Donnell Dr. in the Forest Village Park Mall, Forestville. 568-3010; 12103 Darnestown Rd. in the Potomac Valley Shopping Center, Gaithersburg, 869-3333; 552 N. Frederick Ave. in the Gaithersburg Square Shopping Center, 977-3333. In Forestville -- 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Cards: None. Cash only. Free parking. Children. Price range: 40 cents to $29.99. Flavors of the month are chocolate cherry amaretto, berry go round, citrus lime cooler, and apple slices and spices. Toppings include hot fudge, strawberry, pineapple, apple spice and chocolate, as well as chocolate jimmies. For the Darnestown Road shop -- Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Sunday. Cards: None. Cash, personal or travelers checks only. Free parking. Price range: 75 cents to $9. Specialties: special occasion ice cream cakes, waffle cones, fudge brownies, floats, malts and milkshakes. Flavors of the month: Kahlua carmel, fuzzy navel, coconut almond amaretto, rum cherry walnut, lemon custard, Dove bars. Seating for 12. For the N. Frederick Avenue shop -- Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Cards: None. Cash, local personal and travelers' checks. Free parking. Price range: 75 cents to $35 for ice cream cakes. Specialties: dipping and fountain items; flavors blended into the ice cream, including M&Ms, Reese's pieces and toffee bars, novelty items such as clown cones, ice cream cups with buttercream Sesame Street and Muppets characters on top. Seating for 10.