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Where To Go Beat The Heat For Free In The Twin Cities

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Since pandemic restrictions have rolled back, there are plenty of free places open to cool off during this weekend's heat wave.

Every Thursday, you'll find Andrea Davila and her little ones at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, also known as MIA.

"It's really, really fun. My daughter loves ancient Egypt hieroglyphics," Davila said. "It's cool and there's a lot to see. My kids can run around."

Free admission doesn't hurt either. And now if you're fully vaccinated, no is mask necessary, according to Jenny Rydeen, MIA's visitor experience manager.

"You can just come on in, you don't need a ticket in advance. We're happy to get you a free general admission ticket at the door when you arrive," Rydeen said.

MIA also holds a Free Virtual Family Day, where people can pick up art supplies and join in virtually to create together.

Kids Playing In Minneapolis Park Wading Pool
(credit: CBS)

City wading pools are another great and free way to cool down in the summer. The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board tell WCCO there's a lifeguard shortage, and that's impacting things. Some pools are going to start later in the season because of it, but the pool at Mueller Park is wide open.

"It was hot today, so it felt great getting down here," said Russ Frey of Minneapolis. "This is awesome, I mean, a block away from home that you can walk down any time."

The YWCA is also struggling with the lifeguard shortage. They're exploring things like pay raises to draw people in. They're also recruiting swim instructors and say there's a crunch there as well as demand for lessons rise.

Bookworms will be happy to hear that Hennepin County Libraries are gradually bringing back furniture, like at the 106-year-old Sumner Library in Near North, where Thomas Redd serves as the patron experience supervisor.

"We want it to be a space that's cool for people to be and welcoming," Redd said. "We're very happy to welcome people back into our library."

For now, masks are required in county buildings, but WCCO is told that will be re-evaluated soon.

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