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Indoor Summer Fun for When the Weather Gets Too Hot (Or Smoky!)

111 ways to play it cool

Author Elisa Murray

Published on: June 27, 2019

kids camping indoors

Between the (anticipated) smoke and heat of summer, sometimes even the most sun-starved Northwest family will need to seek respite from the great outdoors. Here are several indoor ways — some with AC included — to play in and out of the home.

Take in a cool movie. The big screen can be a cheap, chill thrill. In addition to the Regal Summer Movie Express matinees, try the Tuesday kid matinees at the historic Edmonds Theater, the always-cheap Crest Cinema Center in Shoreline and, of course, movie nights at your library. (Or plan a home movie night that’s outta sight here.) 

Go bowling. Go online to the Kids Bowl Free website to get access to free alley time for kids at participating bowling alleys.

Love your library. Your public library is a summer treasure trove of performances, story times, STEM activities and so much more here.

Roll on. Relive the 1980s and get your heart pumping at a local roller rink.

Rocket on. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing — and take a virtual-reality rocket ride — at The Museum of Flight’s “Destination Moon” exhibit.

Teach thrift. Give your kids $5 to spend on clothes or craft supplies at Goodwill and see how far they can stretch it.

Set up an indoor gym. Indoors doesn’t have to mean inactive. Get a mini trampoline, hang a swing, use the hallway for ball games and get creative.

Get the kids to “Kondo.” First, have the kids watch an episode or two of “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” Then, make a game of having them go through their books and toys to figure out what “sparks joy” and have fun giving away what doesn’t.

Camp indoors. Set up your old pup tent in the living room, break out the sleeping bags and marshmallows, and let the kids play at camping.

Stock up on homemade gifts. Let the kids get creative and make easy gifts for relatives — bookmarks, hand-painted mugs and the like — which you can then pull out in December.

Seek respite at over 100 indoor places to play. When the air quality or outdoor conditions are unhealthy or uncomfortable, peek at our list of the best indoor play destinations and ideas to keep you and your crew from going completely stir crazy. 

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