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Ways to Beat the Summer Heat

Published: Jul 12, 2023
Museum-PA National Fire Museum in Harrisburg

Summer is in full swing and with temperatures rising, we've got you covered. Check out these cool ideas to fill those scorching summer days:

Visit the Pennsylvania State Museum

In addition to the PA State Museum's 11 permanent exhibits, including their always popular mammal hall and dinosaur exhibit, they also offer a series of summer events and temporary exhibits. New this year, "HORSEAUTO: A Transportation Revolution" explores the transition from horse to automobile through the history of three vehicles from Pennsylvania’s last transportation revolution.

Visit Mecum Auto Auctions

Inside the massive PA Farm Show Complex, over 1,200 vehicles will be auctioned at the end of July. From collector cars and motorcycles, to trucks, SUV's and even a vintage go-cart, Mecum has something for everyone. The four-day event kicks off on Wednesday, July 26th at 8am and runs through Saturday, July 29th. Tickets can be purchased here.


Catch a Show

Cool off at a theatrical performance by one of Harrisburg's fabulous theatre groups. The Popcorn Hat Players are performing their children's show, The Three Little Pigs throughout the summer and tickets are only $10! The HBG Improv Theatre offers free Improv Jam on Fridays, and free mixers on Saturdays! Open Stage of Harrisburg will be hosting their Musical Theatre Workshop 2023 Showcase on July 27th. 

Grab a Sweet Treat From Urban Churn

Who doesn't love ice cream on a hot summer day? Stop by Urban Churn for "Unique Flavors. Natural Ingredients. Nothing Fake." Located at 1004 N 3rd St., Urban Churn is known for their seasonally rotating flavors like sauerkraut, summer corn, mango habanera and more! 

Sweet Corn Ice Cream Urban Churn
Photo: Urban Churn

Explore Local Art

If you haven't gotten the chance to explore the Millworks local artist studios, the heat of the summer is the perfect time! Grab a drink from the Millworks Brewery or a bite from their fabulous restaurant before exploring the creations of 36 regional artists who all have studios inside the Millworks. Seize the opportunity to watch these artists create their one-of-a-kind pieces and demonstrate their techniques at an open house, and take home a unique piece at the shop located on the first floor, which offers a selection of pieces from all of the studio artists.

In addition to the galleries at the Millworks, you can also stop by the Art Association of Harrisburg (AAH) for their current International Juried Exhibition. AAH also hosts several events throughout the summer which can all be viewed here. The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9:30am to 9pm, Friday from 9:30am to 4pm, Saturday from 10am to 4pm and Sunday from 2pm to 5pm. 

Harrisburg's Millworks Art Gallery & Shop

Feed Your Inner Bookworm

In the afternoon heat, pop over to the Midtown Scholar, Harrisburg's award-winning independent bookstore, stocked with over 200,000 new, used and rare books! While exploring five levels of towering bookshelves in this renovated 1920's movie theater, you can grab a refreshing snack or beverage from their cafe and find a quite nook or cranny to curl up in and sort through your finds. The Scholar also hosts dozens of summer events including book signings, author talks, poetry readings, community events and more. Check out Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead to for an in-person conversation on his new novel, Crook Manifesto on July 21st at 7 pm.

Cool Down at a FIRE Museum

Yes, you read that correctly! Harrisburg is home to the PA National Fire Museum, a beautifully restored 1899 Victorian Firehouse filled with exhibits showcasing the history of the fire service. Explore antique fire engines, wagons and models. Admission is only $7.

Relax on the Riverboat

Ok, we know this is an outdoor adventure, but did you know that the Riverboat has a refreshingly air-conditioned interior? Enjoy the view from the rooftop deck of the riverboat, then hop downstairs to cool off and grab a bite to eat at their cafe. The interior of the Riverboat was beautifully restored years ago and dozens of windows offer you breathtaking views of the City and the river, while staying cool.

Copy of Syeda headshot
Author: Syeda Tayyeba

Director of Marketing & Communications, ExploreHBG