Indoor Fun for all ages

I'm offering some options for escaping the heat (or avoiding the rain) this summer without going stir crazy.

Above: Indoor fun in our area includes an area trampoline park and a puzzle course with physical challenges (Altitude and Level 99 pics by Joao Melo)

With a heatwave forecast to hit Tuesday through Friday, I’m posting my annual update on tips for indoor fun in our area.

The idea is to help people find places to find respite from homes that are too hot (or when cabin fever hits). It’s equally handy for rainy days that are bound to hit again this summer. 

Many of the options are geared to families with kids. But there are also ones good for teens and adults (especially if you’re young at heart!), or specifically for seniors.

Note: Some of the regular hours listed below won’t apply this Wednesday, which is the Juneteenth state holiday (and there may be some special hours on/around July 4th.)

Free entertainment/relaxation

  • Free playspaces: the Solomon Pond Mall (on the lower level), and McDonald’s (299 Turnpike Rd, Westborough and 155 Boston Post Rd W, Marlborough). The mall hours are Mon-Thurs 11:00 am – 8:00 pm, Fri-Sat 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, and Sun 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.
  • 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 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on Monday and Friday (plus Saturday except for July & August), and 10:00 am – 9:00 pm Tues-Thurs.

Unfortunately, our Library is closed on weekends in July & August. Fortunately, Northborough (9:30 am – 5:00 pm), Marlborough (9:00 am – 5:00 pm), Westborough (9:00 am – 1:00 pm), Hopkinton (9:00 am – 5:00 pm), and Hudson (9:00 am – 5:00 pm) 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 isn’t on the same lending system, but in addition to being open on 9/9:30 am – 5:00 on Saturdays, in June it is also open Sunday afternoons. (Ashland, also on a different system, is in the midst of a repair project which is impacting open hours this summer.)

  • 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 May/June newsletter here. (I’ll update this when the July/Aug issue becomes available.)

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 is a Jam Time that charges for kids 0-12 yr olds to play there. Mon – Fri: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sat/Sun: 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. Let’s Bee Kids playcenter in Hudson is another option, open Mondays – Saturdays. 9:30 am – 2:00 pm. 
  • Trampolines/inflatables – Both of these require purchasing tickets:
  • Entertainment Centers/Arcades/Laser tag:
    • Apex Entertainment Center in Marlborough 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. (Note: Altitude Trampoline Park and Breakout escape rooms share the facility but have their own websites for reservations.)
    • 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.)
    • GameBox in the Natick Mall: An “immersive reality” gaming experience with projected images, and tracking players’ movements. Games include Paw Patrol for young ones and Ghostbusters older kids through adults. (Mon-Fri: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm. Sat: 10:00am – 8:00 pm. Sun: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm.)
  • Bowling:
    • Apex (needs to be booked at least 24 hours in advance)
    • Pinz in Milford (with an arcade and laser tag). You can sign kids up to bowl for free throughout the summer – two free games per day.
    • Bowlero in Shrewsbury
  • Skating: Roller Kingdom in Hudson (Only open Wed & Friday evenings and weekend days)
  • Challenges/Escape Rooms:
    • Breakout at Apex
    • 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.
  • Painting pottery: PYOP Studio in Northborough (closed Mondays), Clay Time in Shrewsbury, Plaster Fun Time in Marlborough. 
  • 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. This summer’s details TBD.)
  • $1 matinees – Regal Cinema at 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.

Have a tip for someplace that I should add to the list? Post a comment or email

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

[Note: Thanks to Michael Melo for updating some of the details on this year’s hours and options for me.]

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