Indoor Fun to Beat The Summer Heat


Alabama summers generally have two settings: brutally hot and humid, or thunderstorms. When water play isn’t an option and you need a change of scenery that’s indoors and air-conditioned, here are some ideas to try to beat the summer heat.


The public libraries in Auburn, Opelika, and Chambers County have fantastic programming year-round, but they especially focus on children’s activities while school is out for summer break. All of these branches have their summer calendars available online. From magic shows to crafts, escape rooms, puppet shows, and family movies, there is something for everyone! You don’t need a library card to participate in these events, but having one will enable you to take home materials and access online resources like ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and classes. The Auburn Library has board games available for in-library use. The Opelika Library has a Makerspace with a 3D printer and Glowforge. Patrons can use these machines for their own creative projects after taking the requisite safety class.

Indoor Gyms

Too much energy for the library setting? Better head to a place designed for movement and play! Surge Adventure Park in Opelika has weekly specials and you can download their app for additional deals and freebies. This is a great option for toddlers to teens. The Opelika Sportsplex has a basketball gym, racquetball courts, youth game room, indoor track, and indoor pool. Guests can get a day pass for the whole facility for $10, or for pool access only it’s $4, which includes the splash pad located outdoors. Call ahead to make sure the space you want to use is available because they host several camps and swim meets throughout the summer. Free play basketball and racquetball are offered at the Frank Brown Recreation Center, as well as free play basketball on the weekends at Boykin Gymnasium. Patrons must be at least 13 years old and have a membership card (free for Auburn residents and $25 for non-residents) to access these gyms.

On Saturday afternoons, take advantage of the Family Fun Discount Skate Session at The Skatin’ Rink in Valley from 12pm – 4pm (Eastern Time). Jump For Joy Family Fun Center located in Lanett features inflatables, a toddler area, and arcade games.

If you can drive a bit further, Newtopia Fun Park in Montgomery is a popular choice for the 0-10 crowd. In Columbus, you’ll find an indoor rock climbing gym at Treadstone and public ice skating at the Ice Rink on Thursday – Sunday evenings from 4pm – 8pm (Eastern Time).

Indoor Games

Video games, arcade games, axe throwing, bowling, laser tag, and more are offered locally! AMF Auburn Lanes offers a Summer Games Season Pass for kids that includes 3 games and shoe rental daily from May 2nd to September 5th. GoodTimes in Auburn has bowling, escape rooms, and an arcade. Downtown Opelika is where you can find Axe Marks The Spot, Rock N’ Roll Pinball, and CyberZone! Blade & Barrel in Midtown Auburn is a family-friendly axe throwing entertainment venue where everyone age 8 and up can participate. They are open Thursday – Sunday afternoons/evenings. Frank Brown Rec Center has an eSports room that is open 8am – 8pm, Monday through Friday, 8am – 11pm on Saturday, and 1pm – 5pm on Sunday. Membership cards are required and free for Auburn residents.


Summer is a great time to check out a local museum you may have not had time to visit during the school year. In Opelika, you’ll find the Museum of East Alabama, which has a new mural on the outside of the building that was painted this spring. Auburn University is home to the beautiful Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. Collections change frequently here so it’s a good one to revisit several times a year.

Here are several more that you can reach within an hour’s drive:


National Infantry Museum – Voted Best History Museum and Best Free Museum in the USA Today Reader’s Choice 2022.

The Columbus Museum – Don’t miss the Transformations Family Gallery on the bottom floor for hands-on play for kids.

National Civil War Naval Museum – Check out their Family Fun Day program on Fridays in June and July starting at 1:00 pm Eastern Time.

Coca-Cola Space Science Center – You might pair this with a chance to splash in the fountains at Woodruff Riverfront Park located just a couple of blocks away.

World’s Largest Lunch Box Museum – Quirky collections like this make for fun summer memories!


The MOOseum – Open weekdays 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM; free admission.

Montgomery Museum of Fine Art – Their ArtWorks kids’ gallery has reopened and it’s worth the trip! Free admission.

The Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice – An important place to visit for older kids, teens and adults. It will be open on Monday, June 20th, the day of observance for Juneteenth, and no tickets are required that day.

Rosa Parks Museum – If you only want to visit the children’s wing, tickets are $5.50 for ages 4-12 and $7.50 for adults.