The country is currently under an ominous-sounding "heat dome," with temperatures in Boston soaring to the 90s and expected to stay there for some time. This may throw weekend barbecue plans for a loop, but don't worry. There are lots of places to go to beat the sweltering heat.
Boston Public Library:
The Central Library’s Johnson building recently reopened its doors to literary enthusiasts after a significant, nearly three-year renovation. Stop by out of curiosity or for a trip to the whimsical Children’s Library upstairs. Either way, there’s something cool for everybody.
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Free. 700 Boylston St., Boston
Dorchester Brewing Company: Two years in the making, this trendy spot just opened Thursday and serves up to 20 different kinds of beers. During the grand opening weekend, you'll also be able to grab a bite from the visiting b.good food truck. So grab some friends and head over — a couple of frosty brews are waiting for you. 11:30 a.m-11 p.m., Saturday; 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sunday. 1250 Massachusetts Ave., Dorchester
Frog Pond: The Frog Pond, a wading pool and 70-foot-tall spray plume, gives kids a refreshing place to hop around and frolic on a hot day. The nearby cafe adds to the appeal. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 38 Beacon St., Boston
Boston Children's Museum: The museum, known for giant bubbles, wacky rope climb, and innovative construction zones, is open almost all day on weekends, providing hours of discoveries for your kids. And did we mention that it's air-conditioned? 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $16. 308 Congress St., Boston
Institute of Contemporary Art: Any day is a good day to appreciate contemporary art, but the heat might provide the extra bit of motivation needed to venture out to the Seaport. Once there, cool down with the contemplative work of photographer Liz Deschenes. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission prices vary. 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: You've been meaning to go, but have never gotten a chance. Why not run from the sun and use this weekend as an excuse to do so? Not only does the museum display Gardner's stunning collection, but the space itself is breathtaking. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission prices vary. 25 Evans Way, Boston
Legoland Discovery Center: Legos on Legos on Legos. The expansive locale will provide hours of indoor, infrastructure-related fun for your little ones. Be sure to protect sandaled feet from those little bricks, though. 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday. $17.50-$23. 598 Assembly Row, Somerville.
Museum of Fine Arts: The museum is always a fine destination, but the new "HOMiE: In Our Eyes" exhibit is a special draw. The exhibit, created and curated by Boston-area teens, contains themes of race, immigration, and heritage. With multiple floors to explore in the museum, the blistering sun will be the last thing on your mind. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission prices vary. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston
North Point Park and Splash Pad: Across from the Museum of Science, this playground/spray deck has plenty of space to run, jump, and climb, and it boasts a great view of the Zakim Bridge for photographers and architecture buffs. 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. 6 Museum Way, Cambridge.
Ride the ferry: Did you know the MBTA has a public transit ferry that takes you from Long Wharf to the Charlestown Navy Yard? Tap your Charlie Card and set off on a breezy, 15-minute cruise to the home 0f the USS Constitution. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $4. Long Wharf, Boston.
Rose Kennedy Greenway fountains: Never rule out the obvious — splashing in water is a foolproof way to cool off. These fountains take the running-through-sprinklers tradition to a whole new level. 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Free. 185 Kneeland St., Boston
Taza "Chill Out Saturday Tastings": To the pleasure of kids and grown-ups alike, Somerville's Taza Chocolate Factory has featured free samples of frozen treats from 1 to 4 p.m. each Saturday in July. This weekend's creation? Frozen cheesecake pops from 7ate9 Bakery. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. 561 Windsor St., Somerville.
Walden Pond: Part beach, part forest, iconic and historic Walden Pond has something for everyone. Picnickers and transcendentalists are always welcome and lifeguards are on duty until 6 p.m. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. $8 for parking. 915 Walden St., Concord.