Starting this week, a major heatwave is hitting the East Coast, and New York is hardly safe from its sun rays.  New York is a great city, but the heat can sometimes get unbearable in the summer.  You might want to just blast your AC and not leave your apartment for a week, but if you’re not taking advantage of what New York has to offer, even when it is boiling hot out, then you’re doing it wrong.  Luckily, there are fun ways to beat the heat in NYC.  Here are a couple ideas:

Free city pools: There’s plenty of fun free stuff to do in New York in the summer, such as concerts in the parks, outdoor movie screenings and parades.  But most notably, the NYC Parks Department opens the gates to public pools around the city.  Manhattan has 16 public pools alone.  Bring a swimsuit, a towel and a combination lock, and you’re ready to go.

Boat rides: If the heat of the concrete gets to be too much, you can still sightsee from the water.  New York has plenty of cruises allowing you to check out the sights from the water.  There are plenty of guided boat rides, with fun and entertaining guides who offer both great views and interesting facts.  

Kayak on the Hudson: While you might be tempted to jump into the Hudson, that isn’t the best idea.  But the New York City Downtown Boathouse has three kayak docks open to the public from May through October on weekends and holidays.  The kayak, life vests and paddles are all provided, and it’s 100% free.  

Get some frozen treats: The ice cream trucks on every corner are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to New York treats to cool you down.  You can grab delicious ice cream from Emack & Bolio’s in the Upper West Side or Ample Hills in Gowanus, or maybe a frozen dark & stormy or margarita at Battery Harris in Greenpoint.  

New York Public Library: All locations of the New York Public Library offer free Wi-Fi and blast AC, while offering quiet reading corners.  

Go to the movies: This is the season of the summer blockbuster, sitting in a dark, air-conditioned theater to watch entertaining flicks.  You can see all sorts of movies at the different theaters around the city, from the newest Marvel movie to an indie French flick from the 60s.  

Visit museums: You know what’s also got AC?  Museums!  Not only that, but they offer terrific art, and most of them aren’t expensive at all (places like the Met and the Museum of Natural History have “suggested donations”, but you can get away with just paying a dollar).  There are all sorts of museums around New York, so you’ll have plenty of options.

Drink outdoors: I’ve written about outdoor drinking in New York before, and there are some great outdoor spots all over the city.  If you’re into ice cold beer, you can grab a mug at Bohemian Hall in Astoria, Beekman in FiDi or Radegast in Williamsburg.  There are plenty of outdoor bars around the city, such as Loopy Doopy in FiDi, Blockheads in Hell’s Kitchen or Northern Territory in Greenpoint.