Wasn't the week of our reopening supposed to be refreshing? Instead, Mother Nature has us literally sweating out Washington's long-awaited slackening of coronavirus restrictions. Yesterday Seattle saw its highest temperature ever, and today threatens to bring a peak heat even higher than the 104-degree mark reached at 5:29pm on Sunday. This, in a city that has historically shunned air conditioning, though that might be changing a bit.
In response to the heat wave, Seattle has opened dozens of "cooling centers" that can be found on this nifty city map or in the sections below. For more information on how to handle the heat (and care for pets), Public Health—Seattle and King County has you covered.
Summer reading list options and internet access make these blessed public spaces a smart place to ride out the hottest hours. On Monday, the following branches of the Seattle Public Library will be open and air-conditioned from 10am to 6pm.
- High Point
- International District/Chinatown
- Lake City
- Rainier Beach
- South Park
For the latest information, visit spl.org or call 206-386-4636.
Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) or Photographic Center Northwest
Arts organizations and cultural institutions have struggled mightily during the pandemic. Why not pay them back this week and cool off in the process? Seattle Office of Arts and Culture has a list of air-conditioned arts venues; these two are open on Monday.
These oft-declared dead, oft-air-conditioned retail hubs come in pretty handy during a heat wave. Browse at Pacific Place, which has heat wave deals through Monday, or Northgate Station without breaking a sweat.
Seriously. The Amazon Meeting Center at 2031 Seventh Ave has been set up as a cooling center that can hold as many as 1,000 people.
Older residents can seek out these spaces.
- Central Area Senior Center, 500 30th Ave S (8:30am to 5pm)
- Greenwood Senior Center, 525 N 85th St (9am to 5pm)
- Pike Market Senior Center, 85 Pike St, Ste 200 (8:20am to 1pm)
- Senior Center of West Seattle, 4217 SW Oregon St (8:30am to 4:30pm)
- Southeast Seattle Senior Center, 4655 S Holly St (8:30am to 4:30pm)
- Wallingford Community Senior Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Ste 140 (9am to 5pm)
Outreach and Day Centers for People Experiencing Homelessness
To support Seattle's most vulnerable residents, the city is "conducting welfare checks, handing out water and basic needs supplies, and providing other supports, including transportation to cooling centers and shelter." It has limited availability for all-day enhanced shelter, tiny homes, and other shelter spaces.
- Community Drop-In Center (Seattle Indian Center), 1265 S Main St, Ste 105 (9am to 5pm)
- God’s Lil Acre, 12521 33rd Ave NE (9am to noon and 1pm to 4pm)
- Immanuel Community Services, 1215 Thomas St (8am to 2pm)
- Peter’s Place/Compass Hygiene Center, 77 S Washington St (7am to 4pm)
- Salvation Army Seattle White Center Community Center, 9050 16th Ave SW (11am to 7pm)
- The Salvation Army Jefferson Day Center, Fourth Ave and Jefferson St (7am to 5pm)
- Urban Rest Stop – Ballard, 2014-B NW 57th St (6:30am to 1:30pm)
- Urban Rest Stop – Downtown, 1924 Ninth Ave (5:30am to 9:30pm)
- Women’s Day Center, 1830 Ninth Ave (7am to 3:30pm)
Sprayparks and Wading Pools
Sprayparks are those slippery public squares with geyser-like spouts of water; wading pools are basically large puddles. Neither has an age minimum—or cap. And they’re all over the place.
Wading pools (noon to 7pm, unless otherwise noted)
- Dahl Playfield, 7700 25th Ave NE
- Delridge Playfield, 4501 Delridge Way SW (noon to 5:30pm)
- Soundview Playfield, 1590 NW 90th St
- South Park Community Center, 8319 Eighth Ave S
- Volunteer Park, 1400 E Galer St
Spray Parks (11am to 8pm)
- Beacon Mountain in Jefferson Park, 3901 Beacon Ave S
- Georgetown Playfield, 750 S Homer St
- Highland Park, 1100 SW Cloverdale
- John C. Little, Sr. Park 6961 37th Ave S
- Judkins Park and Playfield, 2150 S Norman St
- Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave N
- Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave E
- Northacres Park, 12800 First Ave NE
- Yesler Terrace Park, 917 Yesler Way
Not as cool as the Sound, but better than nothing.
- Colman Pool, 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW, (noon to 7pm; click here for public swim times)
- Mounger Pool, 2535 32nd Ave W (9am to 5:30pm; click here for public swim times)
Lifeguards are back.
- Madison, 1900 43rd Ave E
- Madrona, 853 Lake Washington Blvd
- Magnuson, park entrance at NE 65th and Sand Point Way NE
- Matthews, 9300 51st Ave NE
- Mt. Baker, 2301 Lake Washington Blvd S
- Pritchard Beach, 8400 55th Ave S
- Seward, 5902 Lake Washington Blvd
- West Green Lake, 7312 W Green Lake Dr
Perhaps Seattle’s greatest cooling center is right by our side, though few people dive into our famously frigid mass of water regularly. If not now, when?