Cool Off in a Cool Place

Pennsylvania’s Americana region offers many great ways to cool off during the hot summer months. From water activities and sports to movie theatres and museums, there’s plenty to do for the whole family! Explore more ways to cool off this summer and start planning your next visit. July is the hottest month in Berks County. With an average high temperature hovering around 85 degrees and humidity making it feel as hot as 102 degrees, many families may be looking for ways to cool down.

When the weather heats up, it’s time to visit the coolest places around. Here are some of the best ways to beat the heat in Berks County this summer..

Blue Marsh Lake

Blue Marsh Lake provides 6,100 acres of summertime fun, including almost 1,150 acres of cool, blue water with a swimming beach and showers. Purchase on-site concessions or enjoy prepared meals and snacks from home at the ample picnic area. Put in your boat any time of day at one of three boat launches and spend the day water skiing, tubing, swimming, or fishing. Don’t have a boat? 3D Outdoor Rentals and Blue Marsh Rentals are happy to supply you with various boats and boards to get you out on the water. In addition to paddle board rentals, Aqua Om Paddle offers unique water experiences like yoga and pilates classes at the lake.

French Creek State Park

French Creek offers two great spots for boating, 68-acre Hopewell Lake and 22-acre Scotts Run Lake. Both locations provide public boat launches. Once in the water, enjoy the gentle current as you take in French Creek State Park’s abundant beauty and wildlife.

While swimming in the lakes is prohibited, visitors are welcome to fish for Northern pike, Walleye, Bass, Muskies, and Panfish at both locations. Another form of water fun can be had at French Creek State Park’s pool (a use fee is charged). Unfortunately, the swimming pool is closed for maintenance during Summer 2021.

Crystal Cave

Crystal Cave in Kutztown is one of the best and oldest ways to beat the summer heat in Berks County. In fact, at a year-round temperature of 54 degrees, its “cool” environment might require a sweater or light jacket for the one-hour tour. The tour includes a movie explaining the history of Pennsylvania’s first show cave and the geology of caves. A knowledgeable guide leads visitors through the 125 feet underground cavern past the crystalline formations on the walls and ceiling.

Following the tour, there’s more to do. Stop at the Historic Inn and Gift Shop. Purchase interesting specimens at the rock and mineral shop. Explore the museum and trading post or pan for gemstones outside. You can even play miniature golf at Crystal Cave. Hungry? Enjoy hand-dipped cones at the Ice Cream Parlor, or grab a bite at the Crystal Cave Restaurant/Café.

Theatres

No doubt about it, movie theatres always seem to have the best air conditioning in town. So grab a sweater and head to our local theatres to cool off. Add some snacks, and you and your family are ready to enjoy totally comfortable and entertaining hours of fun. Wondering where to go? Here are some of the best movie theatres in Berks County to help you beat the heat.

RC Theatres

RC Theatres in Reading boasts an 11- screen complex complete with an IMAX theatre. Catch all the latest releases seven days a week, with showtimes from 1 pm until 7:45 pm. Children under 11, seniors 60+, and active military and their dependents receive special discounts. Matinees are just $6.50 for 2D or $9 for IMAX. You can’t beat the theatre’s Bargain Tuesdays with tickets priced at just $5.25 or $7.75 for IMAX all day and night (some restrictions apply).

Fox Berkshire

Fox Berkshire offers movie-goers the ultimate viewing experience. Movie fans can watch the latest blockbusters on massive screens while relaxing in comfy, heated recliners. And that not all; Fox Kitchen & Bar makes handcrafted meals and specialty cocktails to enjoy in their lounge area, outside patio, or in the theatre. You can even pick your seat in advance of the show. See you at the movies!

Historic State Theatre Boyertown

Boyertown’s Historic State Theatre is operated by The State Theatre Preservation Society, a group of dedicated volunteers determined to maintain the splendor and comfort of the 1912 theatre.

The volunteers also aim to provide customers with an exceptional experience at a reasonable price. A well-stocked concession, excellent service, and a recent upgrade to digital make the Boyertown State Theatre look and sound better than ever. Come and see!

The Hamburg Strand Theatre

Step into local history when you watch a movie at the Strand. The building that houses the Hamburg Strand Theater dates back to 1799. Originally a Federal-style home, the house was converted to a theatre in 1920. Since then, the Strand has gone from silent movies to talkies. Today it remains a single-screen theater with seating for 200. Now owned by Our Town Foundation, Hamburg’s Community Revitalization Organization, the group took on the historic venue to prevent its demise. Movie tickets are $5 for children/students, $7 for adults.

Albert and Eunice Boscov Theatre at GoggleWorks

For more avant-garde tastes in movies, Boscov Theatre at GoggleWorks is just the ticket to art-house and international films. In addition to these artful works, the theatre is used for programs and presentations, including music, dance, plays, lectures, and wedding ceremonies. The theatre seats 125 comfortably and features a Christie Digital Projector and Dolby Surround Sound. The theatre is fully accessible for folks with physical limitations, including hearing and mobility challenges. Ticket prices are priced at $9.00 for adults, $7.00 for senior citizens, and $6.00 for students with valid ID.

Reading Public Museum

The climate-controlled halls and galleries of the Reading Public Museum offer the perfect place to spend a day browsing a wide range of exhibits and collections. Various events and programs for all age groups and interests will keep you and your family busy and cool with museum activities all summer long.

Neag Planetarium

Neag Planetarium offers weekday and weekend programming for children and adults alike. Children can explore our solar system with Elmo and Big Bird on weekdays at 2 pm with One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Adventure. And Out There details humankind’s quest to find new and distant worlds outside our solar system on weekdays at 4 pm. And the ubiquitous Floyd Final Fridays attracts all ages with hourly start times from 7 pm to 10 pm on the last Friday of each month. Find more activities on the museum’s Facebook page.