Where to cool off as Salem braces for a heat wave

A heat wave is expected to bring triple-digit temperatures to Salem starting Friday, July 5, with highs in the 100s all weekend.

Several organizations have opened cooling centers in response. Cherriots provides free transportation to cooling centers. Riders can tell the driver when boarding that they’re traveling to a cooling center.

Here’s a list of where to go to cool off.

Kroc Center, 1865 Bill Frey Dr. N.E.

Friday and Saturday, 1-9 p.m., and Sunday, 1-6 p.m.

Located in “The Hub” community room. Air conditioning, movies, cold drinks and activities for all ages will be provided for free. People can reach it by Cherriots Route 23. No pets are allowed.

ARCHES Day Center, 615 Commercial St. N.E.

Thursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Friday-Sunday 9 a.m.- 7 p.m.

The day center serves unsheltered people and is open to anyone, with pets welcome. Water and snacks provided, along with help to meet long-term goals like housing or health care.

The organization is also deploying outreach teams daily from 8:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. when temperatures are above 90 degrees. Teams will provide water, electrolytes and other supplies. They can also assess people for heat-related illness and offer transportation to cooling centers.

The Drop-In, 1255 Broadway St. N.E., Suite 110

Friday-Sunday, 2-7 p.m.

Cooling for youth age 11-17, and 18-year-olds enrolled in school or a GED program.

Woodburn Cooling Center, 1560 Hardcastle Ave., Woodburn

Thursday-Sunday, 12-7 p.m.

Santiam Outreach Community Center, 280 NE. Santiam Blvd. Mill City

Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (extended to 7 p.m. if temperatures are above 95 degrees)

Salem Public Library

Main branch: 585 Liberty St. S.E., Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

West Salem Branch: 395 Glen Creek Rd. N.W., Saturday 12-5 p.m.

While not an official cooling center, the library has air conditioning and drinking fountains and is open to the public.

Splash pads

Splash pads will also be open this weekend as an option to cool down outside at city parks. See a list of parks and hours here or below.

  • Englewood Park
    1260 19th Street N.E.
    12-8 p.m.
  • Fairmount Park
    650 Rural Street S.
    12-8 p.m.
  • Northgate Park
    3575 Fairhaven Avenue N.E.
    12:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
  • Riverfront Park
    200 Water Street N.E.
    10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • River Road Park
    3045 River Road N.
    10 a.m. – 8: p.m.
  • Wes Bennett Park
    2200 Baxter Road S.E.
    12-8 p.m.
  • West Salem Park
    265 Rosemont Avenue N.W.
    12–8 p.m.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.