Summertime. It means trips to the beach, outdoor concerts, flip-flops — and, on some days, extreme heat. When the temperature feels like it is in the triple digits and you don’t want to sit in traffic on the way to the shore or deal with the crowds at the pool, there are plenty of indoor options in the Montclair and Essex County area to help keep you cool — and we’ve rounded them up for the next NJ heat wave. Read on to learn the best ways to have fun while escaping the heat in the North Jersey area.
Hit a bull’s eye at Bury the Hatchet I 672 Bloomfield Avenue, Bloomfield
(Photo credit: @burythehatchetmain)
When you want to hang out with friends and blow off some steam, axe throwing is a fun way to be competitive with your best buddies and get some exercise at the same time. If you’re in the mood for team competition, Bury the Hatchet offers multiple throwing lanes. You can also enjoy a drink and a bite to eat while you wait your turn — just know that this spot is BYO.
Make your own baubles at Charmed Beading Studios I 41 Church Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @charmedbeading)
If you’re looking for an excellent activity for a kid’s party or a gal pal outing, look no further than Charmed Beading Studio. You can head over to the website, book your time, and pick a DIY item for guests to create. Options include necklaces, earrings, bookmarks, and keychains. When the party’s over, your guests have a handmade creation to take home. For those flying solo, You can drop in and make a bracelet for $10.
Go ice skating at Codey Arena | 560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange
When it comes to beating the heat, there’s nothing better than some ice skating — yes, even in the summer. This indoor arena in West Orange has public skating sessions, family stick + puck sessions, senior skating sessions, and more. It’s a great way to get out of the sun, cool off, and have a blast at the same time. You can find the calendar of events here.
Watch a movie at The Clairidge I 486 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair
Thanks to the non-profit status of this Bloomfield Avenue staple, you will be supporting a good cause – The Montclair Film Festival – when you watch a show on one of six screens. There’s a movie for everyone — from indie films to documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters. After the show, we recommend some of Mamma Giuseppina’s famous meatballs at Fresco da Franco or a few orange blossom hazelnut financiers from Jayce Baudry French Pastry. Or you can simply marvel at the coolness of the Bedlam on display in the lobby.
Express your artistic side at Doin’ Dishes I 50 Church Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @doindishesmontclairnj)
This vibrant and welcoming studio is a great place to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind stoneware that you can keep for yourself or give to someone as a gift. You can choose from an assortment of bowls, oversized coffee mugs, decorative plates, and more. Brushes, sponges, stamps, stencils, and of course, paint are all provided. Leave your creation behind for glazing and firing, and you can come back in a week to pick it up. You can also pick up a Take Home Kit to keep on hand for a rainy day activity.
Attempt an Escape Room | Multiple Locations
There’s no denying that escape rooms can be a ton of fun. Whether you go with your family, friends, or on a date, escape rooms are a great way to exercise your mind, bond with others, and have a wonderful summer day inside. There are escape rooms all over the place these days. Trap Door Escape Room in Morristown, Puzzle Out Escape Room in Newark, Escape Garden State in Fairfield, and Escape Room NJ in Madison are just a few in the North Jersey area to try out.
Stroll the galleries of the Montclair Art Museum I 3 S Mountain Avenue, Montclair
(Photo credit: @mammontclair)
In addition to the world-class collection of American and Native American art, MAM offers art workshops for adults and SummerArt Sessions for kids and teens. For those wanting to spend some family time, the Family Learning Lab brings the exhibitions to life for all ages with activity prompts and tools. The Learning Lab is free with Museum admission.
Create artistic creations at Mud Clay Studio | 370 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair
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For those of you who have an artistic side, Mud Clay Studio has a variety of art-making classes such as clay hand building to pottery wheel classes. Also, if you are looking to have a night out with your friends, Claydates is an option at Mud Clay Studio to have a fun private art session.
See a show at SOPAC | 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange
(Photo credit: @sopacnow)
SOPAC gives locals the chance to sit in a comfortable environment and enjoy some excellent theater right here in South Orange. Now through early August, a political musical satire called The Last Supper is running and tickets are available to purchase. For the full calendar of upcoming events and performances, you can click here.
Indulge in self-care at the Woodhouse Day Spa I 56 S Park Street, Montclair
(Photo credit: @woodhouse_spa_)
Tucked away from the music and chatter of Church Street is an oasis of serenity. While you wait for your treatment, guests are seated in the Quiet Room where they can enjoy a soothing cup of tea or lemon water. Here, you’ll find comfortable seats, salt lamps, and soft lighting. If you sign up for the Signature Meditative Mood Soak, you’ll be pampered with a dry brush bath, body balance massage, and sensory sea mineral bath. You’ll find your zen in no time.