Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Summer Fun Without the Sun
Family friendly things to do to beat the summer heat

by Karen Ring

June 01, 2011

We’ve weathered the ice and snow of winter, the torrential rains of spring, and just when it seemed we would never get outside again, summer and all its glorious sunshine has arrived!

Indianapolis is home to countless outdoor entertainment options and green spaces to run and play, but there will inevitably be those days when your children’s skin begins to look just a little too pink and you’re bombarded with chants of, “It’s just too hot…” and it is time to head back indoors. But never fear, for there are plenty of alternatives that will keep your kids (and you!) entertained while taking a break from the sun.

The branches of the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library (IMCPL) are a great place to escape the summer heat. Parents can visit any branch to sign their children up for the Science Odyssey: 2011 Summer Reading Program. The program runs June 6 to August 1. Children of all ages, teens and families are invited to have fun reading (or being read to), while earning points that can be exchanged for great prizes.

IMCPL also offers its Summer Showtime series, which provides children a break from their outdoor escapades. The series features popular movies like, “How to Train Your Dragon”, “Tangled” and “Megamind”, this free movie series offers something for everyone.

In keeping with the Science Odyssey theme of this year’s reading program, IMCPL will also offer a series of science workshops this summer with programs such as, It’s a Gas! presented by Nitro Joe and the Amazing Magnet Workshop, presented by Mad Science of North Central Indiana. Children are sure to be entertained and educated at the same time with these programs.

Additional programs ranging from, Wild About Animals: Live Animal Shows! to kite making and pottery workshops for kids are also available throughout the summer. All programs are free of charge and open to the general public. Visit for a complete calendar of summer events and to find a branch near you.

For a break the whole family can get on board with, try a movie and a meal with the kids at the Cinema Grill, which features family friendly shows every week.

Ron Hahn, owner and operator of Cinema Grill, said, “This summer's blockbusters like ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ and ‘Cars 2’ will give moviegoers a great reason to get out of the heat this summer.”

Cinema Grill will show these movies opening weekend and at a discounted price. Add a meal by checking out the kids selections, or share one of the hand made pizzas and you’ll never look at dining out with the family quite the same way again. Visit for a list of show times.

If it’s creativity you are after, stop in at The Creative Escape, Carmel’s original paint-your-own-pottery studio located just north of 116th street on Range Line Road. Walk-ins are welcome and no experience is necessary.

The Creative Escape’s staff can assist you in creating your own personal work of art. There are no studio fees, which allows ample time to cool down in the relaxing studio environment and let your creative juices flow. And the options extend beyond pottery painting with offerings such as Mosaics and classes in Glass Fusing and Pottery Wheel. Visit for a list of store hours, classes and special events.

Keep the younger set from getting overheated by visiting Peewinkles Puppet Studios for a performance of their "Summertime Cabaret", running June 30 to August 4. Ideal for ages 2 to 8, this wonderful variety show with trick marionettes is sure to please. With optional post-show workshops available, your kids can become a part of the puppet action. Visit for a complete list of show times.

Want to get out of the sun, but still keep your kids physically active? Climb Time Indy brings outdoor fun inside by offering more than 8,500 square feet of rock climbing surface. Difficulty levels range from very easy to moderate to extremely difficult and the routes are changed weekly in order to ensure there is always something new to challenge you.

Climb Time Indy’s Kids Club is a great way for kids to get involved with the sport of rock climbing. The Kids Club allows kids to get coaching on a weekly basis to help build rock climbing skills and confidence. Visit for more information on hours and programs available.

If you prefer to keep your feet planted firmly on solid ground, sign up with one of four Royal Pin Bowling Centers in Indianapolis: Expo Bowl, Western Bowl, Woodland Bowl, and Southern Bowl, all of which are participating in the Kids Bowl Free program. This program is designed to give back to the community and provide a safe, secure, and fun way for kids to spend time this summer.

Children ages 14 and under are eligible to register for two free games a day (standard shoe rental rates apply), all summer long, courtesy of Royal Pin and Kids Bowl Free. Visit to find a participating Royal Pin near you and sign up for this fantastic summer program.

And when it’s a variety of activity you need to match the varying interests of your family members, look no further than Snapperz Family Fun & Sports. Snapperz is 34,000 square feet of fun! Your kids can play on a four story soft play unit, themed inflatables, an 18 foot climbing tower, two bungee-trampolines, mini bowling, themed laser tag and laser frenzy as well as bumper cars. There is also a great toddler area for the little ones.

There are more than 50 arcade and redemption games and great food at Snapperz Cafe. Definitely something for everyone, all under one roof! Please note, as of May 31, the current Snapperz location on Sunnyside Drive will be closing and Snapperz will reopen at their new Carmel location on June 15th. Visit for more information.

So get outside and enjoy the summer – let your kids run and splash and play. But when the temperatures heat up and the air-conditioning beckons, rest assured that does not mean the fun has to end!