SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Cooling centers, community pools, and splash pads are all hot spots for cooling down on a scorching day like Wednesday.

In Springfield alone, there are 7 cooling centers throughout the city where people can get some relief from now through Friday, and there are other fun ways to escape the sun, like taking a dip in a local pool.

“Oh my God, it’s so hot. and staying at home is too much so we decided to come to cool off, just have fun. Got a lot of water and we brought a lot of snacks and we’re just going to chill in the water today,” said Millicent Frempon of West Springfield.

Swimming areas are a popular destination in the summer, especially on extremely high-temperature days. Several people in West Springfield visited the Alice Corson pool today, enjoying the free access given to residents.

“Really, I love going in this pool because I play basketball and I get really sweaty, then I just come over here and cool off,” said Ricky Alicea of West Springfield.

While swimming is an enjoyable way to beat the heat, it’s important to remember to be safe when out in the sun. According to health experts, the safest times to be outside in extreme heat are early morning and later evening since the sun isn’t as strong at these times.

And it’s also important to stay hydrated on days like today and lather up that sunscreen, at least SPF 15 or higher. When these precautions are taken, the pool is just the place to be on a hot summer day, and don’t forget your goggles!

“I can’t wait to jump in and go under the water!” said Alicea.

The heat wave continues tomorrow, but several cities and towns in western Massachusetts provide free access to community pools for residents. To learn more you can click here to find more information.