Georgetown gelateria Dolcezza offers up interesting, cold — repeat, cold! — treats in three locations. (Susan Biddle/TWP)

It also means sharing the torture of a heat wave together.

If you’re entertaining guests right now, it can be frustrating breaking into a sweat while walking from one Smithsonian Museum to another. The heat is unavoidable, so here are some tips to keep everyone happy and entertained. Don’t forget to check out our ways to “beat the heat” here, too.


While D.C. is a walkable city, the Metro is the best bet to get places and stay underground, out of the sun. Have your guests purchase either a SmartTrip Metro card, or a paper fare card, and study the map.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Sidewalk vendors are probably not selling bottles of water for cheap. Stock up on refillable bottles or plastic ones from the grocery store and have them at the ready. And for the web-savvy out there, the Oasis Places app for iPhone and WeTap app on Android will help you locate public water fountains.

Near the Mall?

The Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum has the feel of an outdoor courtyard – with a glass roof, benches and live trees – but with sweet, cool air conditioning.

Avoid rooftop bars

I know, we are always touting the great rooftop bars this fine city (and surrounding area) has. And yes, a rooftop makes you think of a breezy, cool view. But be forewarmed — er, forewarned — heat rises, and it’s not breezy out right now. Your best bet for thirsty visitors? Visit Estadio in the Logan Circle neighborhood for slushy cocktails. Or if you have beer fans in your midst, The Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan has the most beer on tap in the District, including 32 taps in their basement level. Basements are usually cool escapes from the heat, right?

Cool treat cooldown

Ice cream! Frozen Yogurt! Gelato! Grab a spoon or cone while en route from one monument or museum to another. Avoid the chains, too; D.C. has some great local stops. Thomas Sweet Ice Cream & Chocolate in Georgetown is a top stop in that neighborhood, while Dolcezza serves up exotic gelato flavors in three District-area locations

A different theater scene

It will barely cool down at night, unfortunately. And although a cool movie theater seems tempting, resist. There are dozens of theaters in the area, including, of course, Arena Stage (The Normal Heart and the Music Man are on right now), Shakespeare Theatre at Harman Hall (The Merry Wives of Windsor) and the Kennedy Center (The Paris Opera Ballet’s Giselle). And on July 12, the Capital Fringe Festival begins.

For the kids

Have a family to entertain? Heat can be particularly rough on cranky, tired kids. The Great Waves Water Park in Alexandria has plenty of pools and slides for the kids, golf for the adults.

Ely, who is a summer intern at The Post, is still learning how to navigate D.C. and its hazardous summers. She figured out the Metro last year, but is still unsure about the buses.