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Where to find free air conditioning in Philly during a heat wave

Duck in these places for a cool breeze and some even cooler art and culture.

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They say that rain is supposed to break the heat, but that hasn’t quite been happening in Philly. It seems that the more it rains, the hotter, stickier, and more humid it gets.

And the heat’s only climbing: this week is supposed to see temperatures in the high 80s and 90s, so maybe it’s time to cool off.

What better way to do that than in an air conditioned museum, market or other visitor-friendly Philly building? While taking in the free air conditioning you can check out some great art, grab a bite, or just see some of the interior architecture that makes this city so gorgeous.

Here’s our list of the best free air conditioned spots to check out, listed from west to east.

Got another air-conditioned spot? Leave a comment or send us a tip and we’ll add it to the list.

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1. Institute of Contemporary Art

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118 S 36th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-7108
Visit Website

Admission is always free at the Institute of Contemporary Art in University City. Enjoy the art, stay for the AC.

2. Arthur Ross Gallery

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220 S 34th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

This free art gallery is located in the Frank Furness-designed Fisher Fine Arts Library on Penn's campus. Only library patrons are allowed in the actual library, but the gallery is open and free to the public.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

3. 30th Street Station

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2955 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(800) 872-7245
Visit Website

The main train station in Philadelphia offers plenty of space to just chill out and enjoy the cool air. Once your body temperature has returned to normal levels, you can relax outside at the Porch, which features lounge chairs, food trucks, and porch swings. Take time to check out the stunning art deco architecture. Need a better list of things to do? We’ve got you covered

4. Rodin Museum

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Benjamin Franklin Pkwy & N 22nd St
Philadelphia, PA
(215) 763-8100

It's always pay-what-you-wish admission at the Rodin Museum on the Parkway, where you can admire this special collection of the artist's work while cooling down. If you can bear the heat, the museum's grounds and garden fountain offer some quiet, shaded respite, too, and are open to the public free of charge.

Rodin Museum Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

5. The Galleries at Moore

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20th St and The Parkway (1916 Race St.)
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 965-4027
Visit Website

All of the exhibits at the Galleries at Moore are free and open to the public and are meant to promote community dialogue. The space supports the Moore College of Art & Design.

6. Free Library of Philadelphia: Central Parkway

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1901 Vine St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

There are a whopping 54 free libraries around Philadelphia in this network. You can find the library in your neighborhood here. Grab a book, find a chair, and chill.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

7. Comcast Center and Comcast Technology Center

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1701 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 496-0610
Visit Website

The lobbies of both the original Comcast Center and its newer sister site, the Comcast Technology Center, are both open to the public and very well air conditioned. Grab a coffee while you’re at the technology center, and make sure to check out the interiors of both spaces. There’s a ton of interesting design aspects and art pieces to check out.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

8. The Fabric Workshop

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1214 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 561-8888
Visit Website

The public can visit the Fabric Workshop Museum in Center City for free, seven days a week. You might even catch an artist create a new piece of work from start to finish.

9. Reading Terminal Market

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51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-2317
Visit Website

No trip to Philly would ever be complete without a stop at Reading Terminal Market. And luckily—for visitors and vendors alike— the indoor market is air conditioned. Stop in to grab some food from around the world and relax away from the humidity.

10. The Curtis Center & Dream Garden

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699 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Curtis Center is one of those Washington Square West buildings that gives the neighborhood its iconic old Philly look. But, if you haven’t already, take some time to step inside the building, too. There’s a a lot of history and beauty, from the massive mural in the lobby, to the towering atrium. Bonus: it’s air conditioned to perfection and sometimes the atrium has free yoga.

11. Independence Visitor Center

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1 N Independence Mall W
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(800) 537-7676
Visit Website

The tourist-friendly spot is open to the public and has places to rest, charge your phone, and get free internet. There are also grab-n-go food vendors and a gift shop.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

12. The Bourse

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111 S Independence Mall E
Pennsylvania, PA 19106
(215) 625-0300
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When Independence Mall gets too hot to handle, just walk into the historic Bourse building, which sits on the edge of the park. The Bourse recently got totally revamped on the inside, and now it offers a chic, black and white look, with details that recall its historic past. Plus, great food.

Photo by Melissa Romero

13. Mummers Museum

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1100 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

The Mummer's Museum in Pennsport is open and free to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays. See colorful costume displays, listen to oral histories, even catch a summer concert–all in the comfort of the air-conditioned museum.

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14. United States Mint

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151 N Independence Mall E
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 408-0114
Visit Website

During 45-minute self-guided tours at this museum you can learn about how U.S. currency is made and its long history. Yes—tours in the air-conditioned museum are free.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

15. The Science History Institute

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315 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 925-2222
Visit Website

Over in Old City you can check out the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation), which is free to the public and now open on Saturdays.

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1. Institute of Contemporary Art

118 S 36th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Admission is always free at the Institute of Contemporary Art in University City. Enjoy the art, stay for the AC.

118 S 36th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

2. Arthur Ross Gallery

220 S 34th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

This free art gallery is located in the Frank Furness-designed Fisher Fine Arts Library on Penn's campus. Only library patrons are allowed in the actual library, but the gallery is open and free to the public.

220 S 34th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

3. 30th Street Station

2955 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

The main train station in Philadelphia offers plenty of space to just chill out and enjoy the cool air. Once your body temperature has returned to normal levels, you can relax outside at the Porch, which features lounge chairs, food trucks, and porch swings. Take time to check out the stunning art deco architecture. Need a better list of things to do? We’ve got you covered

2955 Market St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

4. Rodin Museum

Benjamin Franklin Pkwy & N 22nd St, Philadelphia, PA
Rodin Museum Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It's always pay-what-you-wish admission at the Rodin Museum on the Parkway, where you can admire this special collection of the artist's work while cooling down. If you can bear the heat, the museum's grounds and garden fountain offer some quiet, shaded respite, too, and are open to the public free of charge.

Benjamin Franklin Pkwy & N 22nd St
Philadelphia, PA

5. The Galleries at Moore

20th St and The Parkway (1916 Race St.), Philadelphia, PA 19103

All of the exhibits at the Galleries at Moore are free and open to the public and are meant to promote community dialogue. The space supports the Moore College of Art & Design.

20th St and The Parkway (1916 Race St.)
Philadelphia, PA 19103

6. Free Library of Philadelphia: Central Parkway

1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

There are a whopping 54 free libraries around Philadelphia in this network. You can find the library in your neighborhood here. Grab a book, find a chair, and chill.

1901 Vine St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

7. Comcast Center and Comcast Technology Center

1701 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The lobbies of both the original Comcast Center and its newer sister site, the Comcast Technology Center, are both open to the public and very well air conditioned. Grab a coffee while you’re at the technology center, and make sure to check out the interiors of both spaces. There’s a ton of interesting design aspects and art pieces to check out.

1701 John F Kennedy Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19103

8. The Fabric Workshop

1214 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

The public can visit the Fabric Workshop Museum in Center City for free, seven days a week. You might even catch an artist create a new piece of work from start to finish.

1214 Arch St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

9. Reading Terminal Market

51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

No trip to Philly would ever be complete without a stop at Reading Terminal Market. And luckily—for visitors and vendors alike— the indoor market is air conditioned. Stop in to grab some food from around the world and relax away from the humidity.

51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

10. The Curtis Center & Dream Garden

699 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

The Curtis Center is one of those Washington Square West buildings that gives the neighborhood its iconic old Philly look. But, if you haven’t already, take some time to step inside the building, too. There’s a a lot of history and beauty, from the massive mural in the lobby, to the towering atrium. Bonus: it’s air conditioned to perfection and sometimes the atrium has free yoga.

699 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

11. Independence Visitor Center

1 N Independence Mall W, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The tourist-friendly spot is open to the public and has places to rest, charge your phone, and get free internet. There are also grab-n-go food vendors and a gift shop.

1 N Independence Mall W
Philadelphia, PA 19106

12. The Bourse

111 S Independence Mall E, Pennsylvania, PA 19106
Photo by Melissa Romero

When Independence Mall gets too hot to handle, just walk into the historic Bourse building, which sits on the edge of the park. The Bourse recently got totally revamped on the inside, and now it offers a chic, black and white look, with details that recall its historic past. Plus, great food.

111 S Independence Mall E
Pennsylvania, PA 19106

13. Mummers Museum

1100 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

The Mummer's Museum in Pennsport is open and free to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays. See colorful costume displays, listen to oral histories, even catch a summer concert–all in the comfort of the air-conditioned museum.

1100 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

14. United States Mint

151 N Independence Mall E, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

During 45-minute self-guided tours at this museum you can learn about how U.S. currency is made and its long history. Yes—tours in the air-conditioned museum are free.

151 N Independence Mall E
Philadelphia, PA 19106

15. The Science History Institute

315 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Over in Old City you can check out the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation), which is free to the public and now open on Saturdays.

315 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106