3 local — and fun — ways to stay cool
How do you cool off with a heat index above 100? Short of staying at home covered in cold wet socks, you could venture out to an ice cream shop to eat "ice balls."
At Schneider’s Sweet Shop in Bellevue, Ky., the summer specialty is ice balls. It's homemade crushed ice covering homemade ice cream and coated with homemade syrup, according to third-generation owner Kelly Schneider Morgan.
The ice cream is stored in a cold freezer that the employees volunteer to go in. "Once it comes out of the machine it does have to harden for 24 hours in a deep freezer that is about -20," Morgan says. "And then we put it into a freezer that's about -10 maybe, to soften it up and then we move it out to the case."
Morgan grinds up the ice to make ice balls, scoops in the ice cream and then adds flavored syrup. Customers get creative. One person wanted peanut butter ice cream and grape syrup to mimic peanut butter and jelly.
Schneider's Sweet Shop has been in Bellevue since 1939 when Kelly's grandfather opened it.
Grab a jacket and go ice skating
The temperature at Northland Ice Center in Reading is just 50-55 degrees. Owner Rich Szturm says a lot of people don't think about ice skating in August, but it's a good way to cool off.
"Usually if people are afraid, it's because they've skated in bad skates," he says. "We've got really nice rental skates. They are really supportive. And they'll find out that it's a lot easier than what they think."
Professional ice skater Erin Egelhoff was headed into the Northland rink Wednesday afternoon. "It's great. The ice rink is a nice cool place especially when the weather is this hot," she says.
Visit a rec center
The Cincinnati Recreation Commission is operating all 23 of its rec centers as cooling locations for free. Marketing Manager Chris Pike says they'll be open normal hours to anyone who needs water and a place to keep out of the blazing sun.
"If there's any sort of distress (when entering), we would obviously call emergency paramedics," he says. "But generally, we just ask them to have a seat, cool down, catch their breath, help them get some water and help them make sure everything is OK."
You do not need to have a membership to enter, Pike adds.
You can find a list of the centers and their locations at cincyrec.org.
Additional reporting by Nick Swartsell.