Beat the Heat in Western/Southern Wake County

Andia's Homemade Ice Cream, known for whimsical desserts like ice cream sandwiches with sprinkles, has shifted to curbside pickup of sundae kits and quarts of ice cream.

Beating the heat isn’t always easy during the dog days of summer, especially when you live almost two hours away from the nearest beach. While we might not have easy access to the ocean, we DO have ways to keep cool and enjoy ourselves without a trip out of town. Here is a local roundup of fun things to do this summer that will keep you from drowning in a sea of sweat. 

National Ice Cream Day

Did you know that National Ice Cream Day is on Sunday, July 17? Many local ice cream slingers mark this day with deals and promotions, so be sure to ask when you go in for a tasty treat. Last year, Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream offered $2 vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry scoops. Even better, the Town of Fuquay-Varina serves free ice cream, iced tea, and lemonade at their annual Ice Cream Social on July 17 from 4-6 p.m. at the Fuquay Mineral Spring Park. Don’t miss it!

Jack Smith Park

Formerly known as the Bartley family farm, Jack Smith Park is on the south side of Penny Road near Holly Springs Road in southeastern Cary. Unlike other parks in the area, Jack Smith Park is rocking the town’s first ever splash pad for ages 12 and younger (boasting seven water features). Other park features include a playground, an off-leash dog park, a 10-foot-tall climbing rock, a picnic shelter (yay, shade!), picnic tables, greenway trails, and public art in the form of three whirligigs by artist Vollis Simpson and a flock of nine Suffolk sheep by artist William Moore. 

Fuquay-Varina Splash Pad  

The Fuquay-Varina Splash Pad is located inside South Park at 900 S. Main St. in Fuquay-Varina, and if you have kids, then trust me — it’s worth the drive! Enjoy 6,000 square feet of aquatic amusement for all ages (yes, even adults can have a massive green bucket of water dumped on their heads). Other spray features include water guns, misting tunnels, short and tall sprays, and more. Open from Memorial Day until Labor Day, residents are free but there is a $2 fee per person for nonresidents for all-day admission. 

Night Markets

Do you enjoy strolling through an outdoor market but can’t stand the thought of doing it in the heat of the day? You’re not alone! Thankfully, both Cary and Apex have monthly pop-up night markets throughout the summer featuring locally made goods from Triangle-area artisans, food, drinks, music, and entertainment. For locations and dates, click here!

Fenton Live! Music Series

It’s hard to enjoy an outdoor concert with sweat running down your face, but Fenton has timed their outdoor concerts perfectly — running from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. every Tuesday night through July 26. Featuring a lineup of local musicians performing in Fenton Square, attendees are free to shop and dine at their leisure (and out of the sun, of course)! To view the schedule, visit their website.

The Cary Theater

Located in downtown Cary, “The Cary” is a 175-seat art house theater, originally built in 1946, that offers independent films, classic cinema, locally produced film festivals, live music, and comedy. Experience their Pride film series throughout the month of June and their upcoming food film series! For tickets to a show in a (blessedly) air-conditioned theater, visit their website and see what’s coming.

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