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Boston Tries To Beat The Heat 02:56
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Forced outside by a broken air conditioning, from left, Kimberly Gambaro, 13, Maria Gonzalaz and Nani Gambaro, 5, sit outside their Mattapan duplex in an attempt to escape the heat indoors Thursday. (AP)
Forced outside by a broken air conditioning, from left, Kimberly Gambaro, 13, Maria Gonzalaz and Nani Gambaro, 5, sit outside their Mattapan duplex in an attempt to escape the heat indoors Thursday. (AP)

Bostonians — especially those with children — are using a variety of methods to keep cool in the sweltering heat.

At the Connolly Branch of the Boston Public Library, parents, children and camp leaders took shelter on Thursday in the air-conditioned basement to listen to storyteller Valerie Stephens. She had the roomful of children giggling, singing and clapping — away from the soaring temperatures outside.

Dawn Joseph brought her group of kindergarten graduates from the Boston Public Schools Summer Reading Academy to hear the storytelling, but the children had to walk a few blocks in the heat to get there.

Joseph said parents lent a hand in dealing with the steamy weather.

"We had one very generous parent,” she said, “who brought in a cooler and ice and individual water bottles for all the kids, so that was a really good gesture.”

She and her co-workers also dimmed the lights in the classroom where they normally work with the children to keep things cool.

Brothers Michael and Peter Johnson escaped Thursday’s heat in the Boston Children’s Museum.

Their mother, Gigi, said the museum is a great place for her boys to cool off.

Peter, especially, said he was grateful not be outdoors, “because it's really hot, and I don't like getting hot."

The museum was packed on Thursday with parents trying to keep their kids-- and themselves — out of the heat wave, with dozens of children climbing and experimenting at exhibits throughout the facility.

Other local families tried to beat the heat in dozens of public fountains throughout the area.

"I think this is the hottest summer we've had so far,” said Tara McCalpine of Jamaica Plain, wiping sweat from her brow.

She brought her daughter and granddaughter Southwest Corridor Park near the Stony Brook T stop to play in the spray fountain and climb on the jungle gym.

Three-year-old Emmett Skinner of Mission Hill was ready to play in the water, but his father, Michael Skinner, restrained him just long enough to slather him with sunscreen.

"We're visiting here specifically so we can keep cool in the shade,” said Skinner, “and he can get some relief, run off some energy.”

Forecasters expect the heat wave to continue for the next few days, and several cities have opened cooling centers where residents can go for relief.

This program aired on July 22, 2011.

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