NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Families across the Tri-State Area looked for places to cool off Monday.

Unlike last year, there were plenty of options at public places where COVID-19 restrictions have been eased, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.

READ MORE: NYC Cooling Centers Open As Potentially Dangerous Heat Arrives

The heat was so oppressive that even the most energetic kids had to take a timeout after hours of playing at a Jersey City splash pad.

“You can just look at their faces. They are having fun, they don’t want to leave. Some of them are already telling me, ‘I don’t ever want to go back to the school,'” said teacher Jennifer Rodriguez.

With a heat wave in the forecast, Rodriguez is already planning a return trip for her summer camp.

Families across the area flocked to parks, beaches and pools, now that capacity limits are a thing of the past.

“For me, it’s a relief because it was kind of hard planning everything and trying to schedule,” said Brooklyn resident Stephanie Ternize. “When it was cold, I was complaining it needs to get hot. Now that it’s hot, I’m kind of complaining that it needs to get cold.”

Click here for the latest forecast.

Chopper 2 flew over Coney Island, which was dotted with beach umbrellas in the morning.

Visitors tired of cooling off in the water could retreat to the air conditioned aquarium on the boardwalk.

“Sometimes we go to the beach, put up a little tent and we just try to stay hydrated and cover ourselves in ice cream whenever possible,” Lauren Charkow said, as 4-year-old Henry Lee enjoyed his melted Haagen Dazs.

READ MORE: Dozens Of Public Swimming Pools Reopen In New York City

For those who had to work in the sweltering conditions, there were few places to hide. Some told Fan they planned to end the workday early.

But for the mechanics at Chariot Auto Repair, the garage doesn’t close until 6 p.m. for the remainder of the week, when the hottest part of the day is already over.

“I’m feeling exhausted already, but you know you got to drink a lot of water and you gotta do what we gotta do,” said Ricky Cunningham. “The heat, the snow, we gotta get out here and do what we got to do.”

Click here for CBS2’s Summer Safety Guide with tips to beat the heat.

In the Town of Hempstead, Supervisor Don Clavin warned residents about the severity of this week’s heat advisory. With temperatures feeling like the 100s over the next few days, he’s extended the town’s pool and beach hours.

“It’s like a 15-degree drop going down to the beach. Go take a ride, take advantage of it. We don’t want to hear a story of people overheating. It has happened already,” Clavin said.

The town also opened nine cooling centers, where CBS2 found seniors taking a break from the high humidity.

Back in the city, Emergency Management Commissioner John Scrivani echoed many of the same concerns for the elderly.

“If you have to go out, please avoid strenuous activity, especially during the peak hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. And if you must do the strenuous activities, please stay hydrated,” Scrivani said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio also urged people to take the heat advisory seriously and said there are more than 200 cooling centers open.

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CBS2’s Christina Fan contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team