Hot trip to Philadelphia for visitors, sightseers

Katherine Scott Image
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Hot trip to Philadelphia for visitors, sightseers
In the birthplace of America, during the week before Independence Day, sightseers flocked to historic sites and museums regardless of the heat.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- In the birthplace of America, during the week before Independence Day, sightseers flocked to historic sites and museums regardless of the heat.

"We've been looking around the history and stuff; it's been really amazing, nothing like I've ever seen before," said young Jake Bruno from Stuart, Florida in his Phillies hat, who was visiting the city with his father.

There's a little excitement for everyone in the Lieske family from Valparaiso, Indiana.

"It's fantastic. It's one of the things we try to time. We have an opportunity to show these guys real American history," said dad Ben Lieske, who is a history teacher.

"We're really excited to take in all the sites and enjoy all the history," said Rachel Lieske.

And their little son had something to say, too, exclaiming, "We're in an Airbnb!"

Make no mistake: it's hot.

The Philadelphia Health Department issued a Heat Health Emergency in Philadelphia as dangerous temperatures hit the region.

Some travelers looked for the cool inside museums or a little relief in the shade.

You could see the Liberty Bell through the condensation on the windows, with the line growing outside.

At Independence Hall, the line rounded the corner.

"The heat is so strong already, and it's only 8 o' clock in the morning," remarked Joanna Francese from Manchester, New Jersey.

Dave Francese added, "I think we're done by noon."

"It affects the plans enough that we're getting up early in the morning, way earlier than we normally do," according to the Monnin Family from the suburbs of Indianapolis.

The Jackson Family from Lubbock, Texas said the weather would not change their plans.

They added from what they've seen, people are coming out regardless of the heat as pandemic restrictions have eased.

"It's not the temperature so much as it is the humidity. For us, especially in West Texas, it's very dry," said Mr. Jackson.

Mrs. Jackson added, "Along the way, most of the hotels, they've been booked, especially on the weekends. So, everybody wants to get out and have fun!"

Cooling Centers

The following libraries will operate with extended hours on Tuesday, June 29 and Wednesday, June 30. Masks are strongly recommended at the library cooling centers.

Open until 7pm:

  • Frankford Library at 4634 Frankford Avenue
  • Lillian Marrero Library at 601 West Lehigh Avenue
  • Widener Library at 2808 West Lehigh Avenue

Open until 8pm:

  • Blanche A. Nixon Cobbs Creek Library at 5800 Cobbs Creek Parkway
  • Fox Chase Library at 501 Rhawn Street
  • Lucien E. Blackwell Regional Library at 125 South 52nd Street
  • Whitman Library at 200 Snyder Avenue

SEPTA Cooling Buses

The City is working with SEPTA to make air-conditioned buses available for folks to drop in to cool off. The buses will be open between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29 and Wednesday, June 30. Consistent with City guidance on masking on public transit, masks are required on the SEPTA cooling buses.

  • Germantown and Allegheny Avenues
  • Wyoming and Rising Sun Avenues
  • 52nd Street and Larchwood Avenue
  • Broad and Snyder Streets
  • 22nd and Moore Streets
  • N. 29th and York Streets

Parks and Recreation Spraygrounds

Residents are also encouraged to visit any of the Parks and Recreation Department's 92 spraygrounds.

City-run Vaccine Clinics

City-run vaccine clinics may need to close early due to the heat health emergency. Call 311 or visit for updates or to reschedule your appointment.

Help the homeless

If you see someone on the street who needs help you can call (215) 232-1984. Call 911 if there is a medical emergency.

Keep an eye on pets

During excessive heat, all dogs must have one or more separate areas of shade large enough to accommodate the entire body of the dog at one time and protect it from the direct rays of the sun. Owners can face a $500 fine (and can put their pets in grave danger) if they don't follow ACCT Philly's requirements. To report a dog left outdoors in very hot weather, call (267) 385-3800.