Student Newswire of The University of Arizona School of Journalism

Arizona Sonoran News

Arizona Sonoran News

Student Newswire of The University of Arizona School of Journalism

Arizona Sonoran News

It’s a dry heat, but Tucson is still hot: here’s some ways to cool off

Shawn Flanagan
Summertime can be brutal, but there are lots of ways to escape the wrath of a hot Tucson summer day.

As the scorching summer sun settles over Tucson, residents who stick around are looking for ways to beat the heat and stay cool. 

From splashing around in public pools to indulging in icy treats, we found several ways to stay refreshed and out of the summer’s sweltering heat.

Dive into Tucson’s public pools

The first place everyone thinks of when trying to cool off during the summer is to enjoy a nice day at the pool. 

Admission to Tucson city pools is free  and the hours vary by location; go here for a list of the city’s 17 pools and their hours.

For families with young children looking for a fun day out, there are seven splash pads across the city where kids can cool off and have fun. They are  open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset. For locations, visit

Stay hydrated: Tips from Pima County Health officials

“Heat is a very important health topic for our community,” said Theresa Cullen, public health director of the Pima County Health Department. “Every year we have people die from heat-related illnesses that can be prevented. If you have to be outside during extreme heat, make sure you stay hydrated, wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, put on sunscreen and stay aware of any symptoms of heat-related illness you might be experiencing.”

Pima County Health Department reports that nearly 2,000 people a year visit emergency rooms because of heat-related illnesses. If you or someone around you is experiencing heavy sweating; cold, pale, and clammy skin; fast, weak pulse; nausea or vomiting; muscle cramps; tiredness or weakness; dizziness; headache; or fainting (passing out), you may be experiencing symptoms of a heat-related illness.  Dr. Cullen recommends  that you move to a cool place, loosen your clothes, sip water and cool off with whatever means available. You might also want to sit in a cool tub of water or take a cool shower, spray yourself with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, fan while misting with cool water, or place ice packs or cold, wet towels on your head, neck, armpits and groin. 

Dr. Cullen also suggests getting medical help right away if you are throwing up, your symptoms get worse, or your symptoms last longer than an hour.

Stay indoors and catch a movie

When the sun is blazing outside, escape into a world of entertainment indoors. Catch the latest and greatest shows on Netflix or head to the theaters for blockbuster hits like “Inside Out 2” in June and “Despicable Me 4,” along with action-packed films like “Deadpool” and “Wolverine,” hitting screens in July.

For those seeking a cultural experience, Tucson’s theaters and performance venues often host summer events, including live music concerts, comedy shows, and theatrical performances. It’s a great way to stay cool while enjoying the arts. Some big shows coming our way at the  AVA at Casino del Sol, 5655 W. Valencia Road, includes country singer Walker Hayes on June 14 and rappers T.I. with Chingy on June 29. For tickets and the summer lineup, visit

Or if you’re looking for more of a family friendly entertainment, Saguaro City Music Theatre is performing “Willy Wonka” from June 21-23 at the Berger Performing Arts Center, 1200 W. Speedway. More information about tickets and times can be found at

Funland Raspados and Munchies located at Grant         














Indulge in a refreshing raspado

During hot Tucson summers, ice cold treats like raspados might be one of the only ways to quench your thirst and help you cool down. If you don’t know what a raspado is, it’s basically shaved ice (but better!). Think icy, sweet, fruity and flavorful. 

Tucson is home to a number of raspado shops, including Funland Raspados and Munchies at 2100 W. Grant Road that has been serving Tucson since 1999. 

Funland has 13 flavors of Raspados to choose from including their popular mango. 

Manuel Alvarez, a cashier at Funland, shared insights into the summer rush at the establishment. “Business really picks up during the summer months,” said Funland employee Manuel Alvarez. “Lunchtime is probably our most busy because that’s when everyone wants to come get a raspado to cool off during the day.”

Alvarez said his go-to flavor is pineapple.

“It’s the perfect blend of tropical sweetness that our customers love,” he said. 

Funland is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and also serves Sonoran hot dogs and burgers.

Take a mall walk for fitness

When temperatures soar in Tucson, staying cool and active can be a challenge. One practical solution is to explore Tucson Mall or Park Place for an air conditioned walk.

Tucson resident Lenette Urquidez hits the mall during the summer to maintain her fitness.

 “Walking around Park Place Mall is my way of getting steps in during the summer because it’s too hot out during the day unless you wake up right at sunrise or wait until night but that can be scary walking alone,” she said. 

Since it doesn’t cost anything to go to the mall, mall walking is also a budget-friendly alternative to joining a gym. And unlike a gym, after you walk, you can shop, catch a movie or grab a bite to eat in the food court.  

Arizona Sonoran News is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism. 




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