Whew. As the mercury starts its climb towards those unseasonable highs Environment Canada is warning about, New West residents may be scrambling to find ways to stay cool this weekend.
Here are seven suggestions from newsroom staff — in particular from a certain assistant editor who may or may not have forgotten to buy an air conditioner earlier this spring and who may or may not now be regretting it.
Seek the spray: New West splash parks opening early
The city’s spray parks normally open on Victoria Day weekend, but the City of New Westminster is working to open some of its spray parks early because of the heat. Watch for the water at key locations including Queen’s Park, Hume Park and Ryall Park.
You can check the city’s website for a list of New Westminster spray park locations.
Take a dip: Moody Park Pool open
Yes, Moody Park Outdoor Pool (701 10th St.) is up and running for the season, and you can book a swim time or take your chances on finding a drop-in spot. It’s open 9:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. on Sunday.
Check the New Westminster outdoor pools site for info and registration.
Take in a show: Theatres offer air-conditioned respite
Why not take a break and take in a show in an air-conditioned venue? There are some excellent offerings in New Westminster this weekend, as it happens:
- Maple Leaf Singers: 55 Years of No. 1 Hits, onstage Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Anvil Theatre. Info and tickets online.
- Crazy For You: Royal City Musical Theatre winds up its run of the Gershwin musical this weekend, with shows tonight (Friday) at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Massey Theatre. Tickets and info online.
- Landmark Cinemas: Enjoy air conditioning, reclining seats and all the concession stand goodies as you take in a movie at the downtown New West cinemas (at the Shops at New West station). Whether your taste runs to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the Super Mario Bros. Movie or the cinematic retelling of the Judy Blume classic Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, you’ll find something appealing on the silver screen — and stay out of the heat at the same time.
Visit city facilities: Anvil Centre, New Westminster Public Library and more
Official cooling centres won’t likely be open, unless the heat becomes more extreme, but New West residents are invited to drop in to any air-conditioned city facilities to escape the heat during opening hours. You can try Century House in Moody Park (620 Eighth St.), the Queensborough Community Centre (920 Ewen Ave.), the New Westminster Public Library (716 Sixth Ave.) or Anvil Centre (777 Columbia St.).
Bonus suggestion: If you stop by Anvil Centre, you can also check out the community art gallery, where Clarissa Banos and Dan Santa Cruz Siglos are showing works in The Eternal Dance, running until May 24. Or you can stop by the New Westminster Museum on the third floor; it’s open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Commune with the trees: New Westminster parks
Trees are nature’s way of cooling off the earth, and you can find some beautiful greenspaces in New Westminster to enjoy them. Stop by Queen’s Park, Glenbrook Ravine Park or Hume Park, to name just a few. (If you stop by Hume Park, you can even dip your toes into the Brunette River.)
Check out this list of our favourite places to hug trees in New West for more ideas.
Grab a bite or a drink: New Westminster shops and restaurants
Any indoor, air-conditioned space will offer a great escape from the heat — so choose your favourite destination and head out to enjoy a meal or a coffee in cool surroundings. As a bonus, it’s Mother’s Day weekend, so you can take Mom out for her favourite treat and stay cool at the same time.
If you just want to hang out with a coffee and some friends, the food court at Royal City Centre and the food hall at River Market offer nice open spaces for spending some time.
Have a frozen treat: Favourite ice cream spots in New West
Yes, ice cream deserves its own special mention in the summer, because you can never go wrong with a frozen treat when it’s 30 C.
So pack up the kids (or just yourself) and get a cone at Rocky Point Ice Cream (100-500 Sixth Ave.), a maple twist at Anny's Dairy Bar (722 Sixth St.), some delightful gelato at Tre Galli Gelato (River Market, 810 Quayside Dr.), a Blizzard at Dairy Queen (708 Sixth Ave.) or a bingsoo at Snowy Village (Shops at New West Station) for the frozen treat of choice.
☀️ Did we miss one of your favourite ways to stay cool? Share your ideas — email Julie.