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6 ways to stay cool without central air

Yes, there are the public pools, the beaches and the splash parks, but where can you go to stay cool if you don't want to don a bathing suit?

Here are a few options.

Hit the ice at HarborCenter. In the immortal words of Andre 3000, "What's cooler than being cool? Ice cold." Check the public skate and open hockey schedule at, or take in another team's game or practice.

See you at the movies. Forget Netflix and chill, the big screen will have you reaching for a sweater halfway through the movie. And even the cheap shows have soft, reclining seats now. Check out the Dipson McKinley 6 Theatres at McKinley Mall, where ticket prices are just $2.50 Monday through Thursday, $3 Friday through Sunday, and just $1 more each for 3-D flicks. And all Dipsons have half-priced popcorn and fountain drinks every Tuesday.

Head into the woods. Trees are nature's air conditioning. You can go big and make the drive to Allegany State Park, or keep it simple with a picnic at a smaller place like Pinewoods Park in North Tonawanda.

Get some cool culture. We have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to museums and art galleries in Western New York. Pick one and take a leisurely look around inside. The kids might especially enjoy the Explore & More Children's Museum, 300 Gleed Ave. in East Aurora. Admission is free for families on WIC, SNAP or Arts Access and for children under age 1, or $7 for adults and children ages 1 and older.

Visit the public library. Don't worry, they're expecting you. Libraries are a popular place on hot days, so librarians will welcome you and the kids. Check each county library system's website for a full schedule of events at each branch.

Shop til you stop . . . sweating. Climate control has always been a major selling point for shopping malls. If you have little kids, they can play in the fun center in the concourse outside Laux Sporting Goods at Boulevard Mall while you watch or, if you're on your own, choose a bench near the fountains at Eastern Hills.

When a fan won't help and other tips for staying healthy in the heat

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