With July moving into full swing and the days where the thermometer reads over 90 degrees Fahrenheit continue to lengthen their streaks, Herndon residents and visitors are rediscovering timeless methods for getting a break from the hot, sticky weather.
In a town where community pools are plentiful, diving into some cool water on a hot afternoon is the number one way for Herndon resident Natalie Dubishar, 16, to get a reprieve from the scorching summer weather.
"It keeps you cool, it’s a nice thing to do on a hot day and it gives you some exercise," said Dubishar while standing on the deck at the Four Seasons community pool in Herndon last weekend. If the pool didn’t exist "I guess I’d sprinkle myself with the hose or go to the beach … especially if I was going to be outside."
Taking a swim in a community pool is a great way for Great Falls 11-year-old Gabrielle Pijaca to stay active outdoors during the summer, incorporating other sports, like basketball, into her swimming.
"It’s water, and the water’s always cold," Pijaca said. "And I like to be with my friends and be out in the sun, but still cool down."
SINCE THE ADVENT of the air-conditioned movie theater, Hollywood studios and local cinemas have been welcoming scores of people looking to get out of the house but stay cool.
Going to the movies "is a fun thing to do when it’s hot outside and you’re bored," said Rachel Grochowski, 15, while taking a break from her movie to get a drink at Worldgate Theaters in Herndon. "Anything to beat the heat."
And taking in an afternoon movie is an excellent opportunity to get close to the ones you love, Grochowski’s 9-year-old brother, William, added.
"When it’s the weekend and our parents are off, it’s something we can do for a family activity," William said. "It cools you off because the air conditioning is so cold and the theater is dark."
The annual avalanche of summer blockbusters aren’t the only reason that cinemas are a classic summer escape, as patrons can and do come during any weather conditions, said 16-year-old Worldgate Theaters usher Alexandra Caberto, of Herndon.
"A lot of people are always coming, especially on the weekends … families, couples, friends," Caberto said. The weather "doesn’t matter. If it rains, they come. If it’s hot, they come."
FOR THOSE WITHOUT the time to get to a local pool or the desire to drop into a movie theater, a classic American institution is available for a quick summer cool down: ice cream.
"There’s a lot of activities here in the town, especially in the summer … people are always out," said Zaki Zakaria, owner of the Dairy Queen in downtown Herndon. "They come in and cool down, enjoy the ice cream, it’s a good time of year for us."
To get a quick caffeine boost in the afternoon without sipping a hot cup of coffee was the main reason that Herndon-area resident Mary Beth Thompson stopped in to purchase an blended iced coffee on a hot afternoon.
"It’s coffee, but it’s iced down, so it takes it a step further … especially when it’s hot out like it is in the summer," Thompson said. "When it’s hot, ice cream and iced coffee is a nice combination."
For Columbia, Md., resident Davis Scherer, 12, who was visiting Herndon with his family, ice cream has always been a safe summer bet.
"It just tastes good," Scherer said with a laugh. "And sometimes it’s too warm to do anything else."