Beat the heat: How to cool down in Columbia, get free fans in Lexington

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 5:18 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2021 at 7:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - With temperatures set to reach 100 degrees Friday and a heat advisory in affect for most of the Midlands, people are looking for ways to stay cool.

WIS has gathered several ideas to help people cool down around Columbia and Lexington. Keep reading for more details.

Thursday, the heat index soared to 107 degrees, leading Columbia to put out misting stations in its parks.

Columbia Parks and Recreation officials said when the heat index reaches 90 degrees, they turn on the misters.

Mark Sowell loves to exercise outside, but the heat had him sweating Thursday.

“Number one is just staying hydrated,” he said.

He said he appreciates the city’s misters.

“It helps the body cool down once everyone finishes whatever they’re doing, so it’s a big plus,” he said.

The Parks and Rec Department also said people should wear loose clothing when out and about in the heat.

Another option to stay cool are the public pools around Columbia that are open until Labor Day. See the locations and hours below.

These high temperatures can also be dangerous for people at home without air conditioning.

The Lexington Police Department is here to help by giving away free box fans to those in need through “Operation Cool Down.”

>> MORE: Lexington PD offers free box bans through ‘Operation Cool Down’

“This program was for Lexington, but people are driving an hour away to get one -- so there’s definitely a need in the Midlands area,” Sgt. Cameron Mortenson said. “We can give fans as long as we have them.”

The department has already given out 150 fans this summer and it’s always looking for more fan donations.

Here is a list of the pools, splash pads, misters and spray pools around Columbia.

Maxcy Gregg Pool, 1655 Park Circle

Regular hours for recreational swimming are as follows:

  • Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Fridays Closed for Maintenance
  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.

Greenview Pool, 6700 David Street

Regular hours for recreational swimming are as follows:

  • Mondays Closed for Maintenance
  • Tuesday through Friday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sundays from 2 to 6 p.m.

To accommodate all guests, visitors must observe a two-hour time limit in the pool and water play areas when the maximum capacity is reached. Guests will be given a color-coded wristband before entering the pool area.

The Columbia Parks & Recreation Department reserves the right to initiate a rotation at a minimum of every two hours.

Pool fees
  • Per visit: $3 (ages 12 and under), $4 (ages 13 and over)
  • Season tickets (individuals): $80 (ages 12 and under), $120 (ages 13 and over)
  • Group passes (church, civic, camps, etc.): $100 (child), $140 (adults)
Misting stations will operate from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:
  • Granby Park, 100 Catawba Street
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., 2300 Greene St.
  • Owens Field Park, 1351 Jim Hamilton Blvd.
  • Riverfront Park, 312 Laurel St. and 4122 River Dr.
  • Rosewood Park, 901 South Holly St.
  • Southeast Park, 951 Hazlewood Rd.
Splash Pad/Spray Pools Locations (Free and open to the public)

The following spray pools will be open from Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., and closed on Sundays:

  • Lorick Park - 1600 Lorick Ave.
  • Pinehurst Park - 2300 Pinehurst Rd.

The following spray pools will be open from Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. and will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays:

  • Edisto Discovery Park - 1914 Wiley St.
  • Emily Douglas Park - 2500 Wheat St.
  • Heathwood Park - 800 Abelia Rd.
  • Melrose Park - 1500 Fairview Rd.
  • Sims Park - 3500 Duncan St.
  • St. Anna’s Park - 1315 Liberty Hill Ave.

The following spray pools will be available upon request:

  • Mays Park - 4100 Trenholm Rd.
  • Pacific Park - 200 Wayne St.

Drew Park splash pad located at 2101 Walker Solomon Way will operate the following hours:

  • Monday-Saturday from 12-8 p.m.; Closed on Sundays

The spray pad at Roy Lynch Park, 900 Abbeville St., is user-operated and is available during the park’s operating hours from sunrise to sunset.

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