Whew — we have had some hot days lately. And with all the time we’re spending outside this summer, it can be difficult to escape the heat and stay cool and comfortable. Sometimes it’s convenient to just stay at home in the comfort of your AC. But there are so many things you can do in Fort Collins on a hot day!
Whether it’s retreating to an air conditioned museum or brewery or splashing around in a swimming hole or splash pad, these hot-day adventures are sure to keep you cool the next time the temperature tops 90.
Kayaking is the perfect way to cool off on a hot day. And thankfully, there are plenty of places to go kayaking in Northern Colorado. In fact, we created a whole guide for it, which includes places to get supplies, where to go, and everything else you need to know about the sport. Some of the closest destinations near Fort Collins include Horsetooth Reservoir, Dixon Reservoir, and of course, Cache La Poudre River.
The best way to truly cool off is to completely submerge yourself in an ice cold body of water. A few summers back, we rounded up some of the best swimming holes in Colorado, starting with the in-town Cache La Poudre all the way to Adrenaline Falls in Durango. So whether you’re looking for a quick afternoon swim or a weekend getaway, there are plenty of places to cool you down both near and far. Remember: Check the water levels and current before you swim, and certainly before you jump. If there’s any doubt about the condition of the water, play it safe!
Photo Courtesy of Harry Warters via Old Town Churn
Fort Collins is packed with ice cream shops — providing the perfect sweet treat on a hot summer day. Pick up some cones so each person can choose their own flavor — or opt for a pint if you have a consensus. Some of our favorite ice cream shops in Fort Collins include Old Town Churn, Walrus Ice Cream and Mary’s Mountain Cookies, which combines the best of both worlds with ice cream-filled cookies!
In the wake of the pandemic shutdown, our breweries have opened their doors (or at least their outdoor patios!) just in time to coincide with the summer. But on a hot day, you may want to retreat to an air conditioned indoor area. We created a guide for Fort Collins breweries for this summer, outlining policies in place and all the specifics you need to know before you go. Several breweries have indoor seating available, including Black Bottle, Equinox, Funkwerks, Gilded Goat, Intersect and many more.
Photo Courtesy of Chef Emmy Joy from Z Catering via the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery
Escape the heat altogether by perusing the inside of a museum for hours. And boy, have we missed our museums over the last several months!
After a short closure for installation, Museum of Art Fort Collins reopened on July 31 with a new exhibit: Rocky Mountain Biennial, a juried exhibition of contemporary art from seven states from the intermountain West. They are offering sign ups to ensure your spot in addition to some walk-up spots.
As of July 21, the Museum of Discovery has reopened with some protocols in place, including a timed ticketing system, adjustments to common areas, temporarily closed exhibits, and your typical CDC guidelines.
Let the little ones splash around in one of the many splash pads in the area. Two of Fort Collins’ splash pads — Fossil Creek Park Splash Pad and Spring Canyon Park Splash Pad — are open and free to the public from Memorial Day through Labor Day on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Fossil Creek Park Splash Pad offers a waterfall and various water spouts by the edge of the lake, and the Spring Canyon Park Splash Pad is situated near Inspiration Playground and has touch-sensor activated water spouts in the ground.
Photo Courtesy of Union Bar & Soda Fountain
Fort Collins is full of crafty bartenders and drink connoisseurs making delicious drinks that go down easy on a hot summer day. We rounded up some of our most anticipated chilly beverages in the area—from booze-filled cocktails and refreshing beers to kombucha and mocktail creations. No matter your drink of choice, there’s something for you on this list! You can brave the heat on an airy outdoor patio (in the shade, of course!), or retreat to the air conditioning taproom.
Popsicles and hot days go hand in hand. And our go-to source for popsicles is Revolution Artisan Pops. Originally founded in 2015, Revolution makes gelatos and popsicles using locally sourced dairy, coffee, chocolate and fruit, which means freshness and the support of local businesses — our favorite combination! Visit their new production space in Old Town, find Revolution Artisan Pops all over town at various locations, or get it delivered straight to your door.
What hot-weather activities do you love to do? Let us know about it in the comments below!