Center City skyline, summer 2022. (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

The next few days in Philly are going to be absurdly hot.

The city has many pocket parks, as well as a bunch of spraygrounds and splash pads, and there’s even a map you can use to find them.

Tired of walking around the city and feeling like the heat is turning you to steam? If you’re seeking refuge from concrete and crowds and kids, it can be hard to find a place to cool off where you don’t have to pay for entry.

But those who know Philadelphia well know it has a lot of nooks. Secret spots you can duck into briefly to escape the sun. 

Oftentimes these spaces can only serve as pit-stops — because they’re not necessarily meant for hanging out. But they provide shade, don’t see that much foot traffic, and may even provide great views. 

You might have your own go-tos, but if you’re looking to add to your roster, here are three lowkey places to catch a cool break when it’s scorching outside.

Former haunted house

Swanson & Wolf, South Philadelphia

This spot located in between Swanson and Wolf streets in South Philly, right near 2300 Arena and not far from Snyder Plaza, used to be home to the Fright Factory, as well as a Jomar Fabrics and Thrift Store.

The large long buildings provide shade and you can finesse some instagram-worthy pics if your fit is cool. 

Parkade on 8th

Eighth & Arch, Center City

This place is perfect if you are exploring the city and want to catch your breath. Enter on either side of 8th and Filbert and the elevators will take you straight to the roof. 

It’s nice and quiet because of the height, and also has a great view of the Chinese Lantern festival. 

Take note: Garage security isn’t too thrilled with people being here, so it’s really only good for about 15 to 30 minutes before you might be asked to leave.  

Gayborhood nook

10th & Clinton, Gayborhood

This little nook is near 10th and Clinton streets, a rectangular opening on the side of an apartment building, a couple blocks from Pennsylvania Hospital. 

It’s perfect because the building facing it blocks the sun, but also inside this box-like cranny provides its own shade. It’s a small hop up onto the ledge and pretty comfortable if you can get behind sitting on gravel.