Where to enjoy the cool indoors

Given the heat warning, it’s a good time to update and remind folks of options for where to go in our area if you’re looking to cool off. (Indoors that is. For a look at places to swim, check out that post here.)

Just because it will be excessively hot out the next couple of days, that doesn’t mean you have to feel cooped up to stay cool. And for some who are without good AC, you may especially be looking for an escape.

Here are some options. As always, I’d also love readers to share their tips in the comments.

Play for young kids:

Natick Play from Google

  • Free playspaces: the Natick Mall, the Solomon Pond Mall, and McDonald’s (Rte 9 Westborough and Rte 20 Marlborough)
  • Other Playspaces: For a fee, but more options, you can take babes through very young school kids to Playtown Express in Southborough (open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm today and tomorrow) or BB Kidz in Marlborough (open until 9:00 pm tonight, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Saturday, and 9:00 am – 7:00 pm on Sunday).
  • Gymnastics: My Gym in Framingham allows kids ages 2 – 11½ to do a single day of camp. They have a session from 1:00 – 4:00 pm on Sunday.

Play for all ages:

Rock Wall at Altitude

  • Apex Entertainment: The indoor center in Marlborough offers bumper cars, high speed go karts (must be 58″+), ropes course, laser tag, sports simulator, and bowling; the center also hosts other businesses that offer escape rooms, virtual reality gaming.
  • Arcades: Dave & Busters just opened this summer at the Natick Mall (arcade, skeet ball, billiards, and virtual reality). There’s also LazerCraze in Westborough, Fun & Games in Framingham, Tilt Studio at Solomon Pond Mall, and an arcade in Apex.
  • Trampoline Parks: Sky Zone in Westborough and Altitude in Marlborough both offer lots of options beyond just jumping around for young kids through adults.
  • Roller Skating: Roller Kingdom in Hudson
  • Bowling: Sawyers Bowladrome in Northborough, AMF in Shrewsbury, Pins in Milford, and Apex in Marlborough


PYOP cropped from Facebook

  • Cinemas: Regal at Solomon Pond Mall and AMC in Natick
  • Painting pottery: PYOP Studio in Northborough, Clay Time in Shrewsbury, Plaster Fun Time in Framingham
  • Picture painting: Expressions Art Bar in Southborough doesn’t have any day options, but if your home’s AC isn’t up to snuff and you need a break, they have sessions from 7:00 – 9:00 pm tonight (Starry Boston) and tomorrow (Spring Lake).

Free Respites

Hopkinton Public Library from Facebook

The Southborough Public Library is open today until 5:00 pm. In high heat, it can be a little warmer than usual – but certainly better than outdoors. Find a comfy chair and a good book to curl up with. The “Teen Space” is a good area for young adults to hang out. And the Children’s Room offers lots of summer reading activities for younger kids. (Hours are 10-5 on Monday and Friday, 10-9 Tues-Thurs.)

On Saturdays, other area libraries are open. Hopkinton, Northborough, Marlborough, Westborough and Hudson are all on the same library card system as Southborough. So you can check materials out their and return them in Southborough (or vice versa). Unfortunately, it seems that all are closed on Sundays in the summer.

Book stores with Cafes:

If you’re looking for somewhere to hang out and read when the library is closed – Barnes & Noble in Framingham is open from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm every day and has a connected Starbucks open beyond those hours. Tatnuck in Westborough is open 9:00 am – 9:00 pm today and Saturday, and 10:00 am – 6:00 pm on Sunday, but the cafe closes at 3:00 pm each day.

The Senior Center:

The Southborough Senior Center is open for seniors until 3:00 pm today and on Saturday from 9:00 am to noon.


Boston Children's Museum from website
If you are looking for something a little out of your ordinary routine, there are also area museums. Click here for museum passes offered by the Southborough Public Library.

Plus, since today is Friday, you can take advantage of this summer’s Free Fun Friday’s. Today’s free museums are:

  • Boston Children’s Museum • Boston
  • Arnold Arboretum • Boston
  • Battleship Cove • Fall River
  • Cape Cod Children’s Museum • Mashpee
  • Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association • Nantucket
  • New England Historical Genealogical Society • Boston
  • Peabody Essex Museum • Salem
  • Sandwich Glass Museum • Sandwich
  • Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History • Weston
  • Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art • Amherst

Now – where do you like to cool off in this weather? Post your favorite places below.

(photo from Flickr by Furniture San Antonio)

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Rev. Phil LaBelle
3 years ago

On Sunday from 9-5, St. Mark’s Parish House will be open for all. A service runs from 9:30-10:30 in the main hall area — other places in the building will be available as well — followed by a coffee hour with snacks. During the day games can be played and all can enjoy the central AC!

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