This summer is finally starting to heat up. But before you crank up that A/C during the next heat wave, check out our list of activities and tips to beat the heat.

1. Go to a local beach

Who says you have to leave the city to get to the beach? There are plenty of great beaches right here in town. Or you could take a short ride on the Blue Line to America's first public beach—Revere Beach. Be sure to check out the annual Sand Sculpting Competition, which takes place this year from July 18-20!

2. Catch a free movie or the big game outdoors

Spend an evening outdoors enjoying a free movie. There's a film for every one, from Frozen (this Sunday in Mattapan) to The Boston Harbor Hotel’s Summer in the City Series, which features classic movies like Casablanca and West Side Story every Friday. Prefer the big game over a movie? You can watch the Red Sox on the big screen July 27 in the Common. Or, if you've caught the World Cup fever, join hundreds of other fans on City Hall Plaza. In addition to today's match against Germany, you can catch the finals on the Plaza on July 13th.

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3. Escape the heat island...

The urban heat island effect can make Boston up to 8° warmer than the surrounding areas. Green spaces in Boston provide a cool oasis, so why not spend the day exploring some of Boston's great parks such as Franklin Park or the Arboretum?

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4. …by checking out our own islands!

Who needs Yellowstone or Yosemite when we have our own National Park right here in Boston? In 1996 the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area became an official National Park made up of 34 different islands. Hop on a ferry and spend the day swimming, hiking, practicing yoga on the beach or take in a vintage baseball game or Shakespeare performance. Ferry tickets cost $15 for adults, $9 for children, and children 3 and younger ride free! Check here for a complete list of what’s happening on the islands.

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5. Adopt a tree

Planting trees help reduce the Urban Heat Island effect, improve the quality of our air and water, while offsetting carbon emissions and making Boston even more beautiful. The city is constantly planting new and with your help, we can give these trees a better chance of survival.

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6. Check out a free concert

Boston has a great music scene, and what’s better than a free concert? Whether it’s Latin music at City Hall Plaza, jazz on the waterfront, or the famous 4th of July Boston Pops concert at the Hatch Shell, there’s something for everyone and it’s guaranteed to be a great show. Find a complete list of concerts here.

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7. #BeCoolBoston

In the event of a heat wave the City of Boston has established cooling centers to provide aid to those without access to air conditioning. There are also spray features throughout the city and a spray pool at Frog Pond to help beat the summer heat.

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8. Free Fun Fridays

This summer, the Highland Street Foundation has partnered with museums and cultural venues across the state for Free Fun Fridays. On these days you can find free entry to everything from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to the Franklin Park Zoo.

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Check out www.boston.gov/summer for a complete list of how to have an awesome Boston summer. And of course, stay safe in the heat this summer by increasing your water intake, limiting your intake of dehydrating beverages, such as coffee and alcohol, taking breaks if you’re spending a long time in the sun, and using the buddy system to check on elderly friends, family, and neighbors.

Stay cool, Boston!

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