Denver Opens Recreation Centers as Warming Centers - Nov. 17-18

Published on November 16, 2022

With frigid temperatures in the forecast, the City and County of Denver is offering support to help residents stay warm and healthy.

Denver Parks and Recreation will open all currently operating recreation centers as warming stations during regular business hours on Thursday and Friday for people who need a place to warm up during the day. An area in each center will be staffed, with access to drinking water, restrooms, and a place to sit.

While Rec Centers will amplify choices for residents, Denver’s robust network of shelters have capacity for individuals experiencing homelessness to seek refuge while getting connected to case management and other stability services. For more information on overnight and day shelters for individuals and families, visit the Department of Housing Stability’s Find Shelter webpage.  

Also, while not designated as warming centers, open Denver Public Library locations (except for Athmar Park Branch Library, Central Library, Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library and Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library) are available to the public as an indoor reprieve from the cold. Double-check library hours in advance: denverlibrary.org/locations.  

Cold temperatures can lead to a higher risk of hypothermia, frostbite, and carbon monoxide poisoning. The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) offers these tips to stay safe:

  • Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, wear layers of warm clothing.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite and seek medical attention immediately.

Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes. Skin can turn white or grayish-yellow and become firm or waxy. To warm the affected area, soak in warm water or use body heat. Don’t massage or use a heating pad.

Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature accompanied by shivering, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin. Keep dry and wrapped in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

Keep pets safe too!

Denver Animal Protection (DAP) reminds residents not to forget the needs of pets during cold weather. While dogs and cats may have fur coats, that’s not enough protection from frigid temperatures. The safest place for your pets is indoors. If your pet must be outside for a longer duration, Denver requires they have adequate outdoor shelter, like a doghouse, that allows the animal to escape the elements.

If you see a dog exposed to the dangerous cold without appropriate shelter call 311 or the Denver Police non-emergency number, 720-913-2000. Failure to protect a pet could lead to a $999 fine, and/or 300 days in jail.