Reminder: Where to cool off (or stay dry this summer)

I'm reminding about local options for avoiding the hot sun or the rain this summer.

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Wednesday. 

A few weeks ago, I shared my updated info for local places to escape the heat this summer. (Or places to go if rain had you feeling cooped up.) For those of you who were out of town when I posted it, I’m sharing it again. 

Most of the options below are geared to families with kids. But there are also ones good for teens and adults (especially if you’re young at heart!) And, this time, I’m adding a category I forgot to include in my earlier post – local senior centers.

Free entertainment/relaxation

  • Free playspace: The Solomon Pond Mall playspace is open – geared to really little ones. (Unfortunately, the other usual area options are either closed or charging.)
  • Libraries – The Southborough Public Library can be warmer than usual in high heat – but certainly better than outdoors or no A/C. 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.)

Unfortunately, our Library is closed on weekends in July & August. Fortunately, Northborough, Marlborough, Westborough, Hopkinton and Hudson are all open on Saturdays this summer – and on the same library card system as Southborough. So you can check materials out there and return them in Southborough (or vice versa). (Framingham and Ashland are also open Saturdays, but they’re not on the same lending system.)

  • Senior Centers For seniors, you can relax at the Southborough Senior Center weekdays from 8:30 am – 3:00 pm. You can play pool, or maybe drop in on a game of cards or Mah Jongg. See the senior center’s newsletter here.

Surrounding towns’ centers are open a little longer (4:00 or 4:30 pm) most weekday afternoons and evenings on Tuesdays (7:00 or 7:30 pm). Click the following links for Northborough, Marlborough, Westborough, and Framingham.

Indoor Play for a price

  • Paid playspace: The Natick Mall playspace now charges for kids 0-12 yr olds to play there. (It’s usually open daily, but it’s closed this Saturday-Monday for the 4th of July.) Let’s Bee Kids playcenter in Hudson is another option, open Mondays – Saturdays. (Sadly, Playtown Express in Southborough apparently never reopened after its “temporary” closure in 2020.)
  • Trampolines/inflatables – Both of these are open daily starting at 10:00 am, but require purchasing tickets:
  • Entertainment Centers/Arcades/Laser tag: 
    • Apex Entertainment Center in Marlborough has limited hours these days. But when it is open, it definitely has the largest range of indoor activities – ropes course, bowling, arcade, laser tag, Bumper cars, go karts, sports simulators, arcade, and mini golf. Bowling has to be booked at least 24 hours in advance. The facility is closed on Mondays. (Note: Altitude Trampoline Park and Breakout escape rooms share the facility but have their own hours. Apex Kids hours are also different – as listed above)
    • Dave & Busters at the Natick Mall has an arcade, virtual reality games, and sports bar. Fun & Games in Framingham and Pinz Bowling in Milford also both have an arcade and laser tag. (Roller Kingdom also offers laser tag.)
  • Bowling: 
    • Apex (needs to be booked at least 24 hours in advance and is closed on Mondays
    • Pinz in Milford (with an arcade and laser tag) is open daily. (You can sign kids up to bowl for free throughout the summer – two free games per day.)
    • Bowlero in Shrewsbury is open daily (varying hours)
    • Sawyer’s Bowladrome in Northborough is a small candlepin bowling alley. (I recommend calling ahead to check on their availability.)
  • Skating: Roller Kingdom in Hudson (Currently only open for Wednesday and Friday evenings, plus Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Wednesday’s are “Dollar Nights”.)
  • Challenges/Escape Rooms:
    • Breakout at Apex (open daily with options to book starting at 10:00 am)
    • Level 99 at the Natick Mall is described as offering “challenge based entertainment”. It includes a slew of physical and mental challenges that can be taken on individually or as a team. Instead of purchasing a challenge, you purchase the amount of time you want to spend in the facility. (It opens at 11:00 am daily with varying closing hours.) 
  • Painting pottery: PYOP Studio in Northborough (closed Mondays & Tuesdays), Clay Time in Shrewsbury, Plaster Fun Time (One opened in Marlborough. The Framingham location closed.)
  • Museums: Click here for museum passes offered by the Southborough Public Library. (Plus, Highland Street Foundation will be offering free admission to one Massachusetts museum/venue each day in August. Check that out here.)
  • $2 matinees – Solomon Pond Mall’s summer deal is back for kids’ movies matinees on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this summer. As usual, the discounted lineup doesn’t include recent releases. The times vary by movie.

For more of my “Favorite local places” series, click here.

  • © 2024 — All rights reserved.