6 great ways in Atlanta to beat the heat and enjoy summer inside

Sometimes, it’s too hot to be outdoors, and no amount of water or icy beverage can bring enough relief from the scorching sun.

Sometimes, you seek refuge indoors — with, of course, air conditioning.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat indoors in Atlanta while also experiencing summertime fun. From kicking back and watching a phenomenal Imax film that will transport you to outer space to strapping up and enjoying one of the most popular (indoor, of course) rock climbing gyms in the Southeast, there are many ways to enjoy summer inside.

Here are six great ways to take the fun indoors:

Imax film at Fernbank Museum

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Take a seat in a climate-controlled Imax theater and enjoy “A Beautiful Planet,” featuring awe-inspiring footage of Earth from space. This stunning, thrilling space documentary gives viewers a sense of what it looks like, and what it must feel like being in space. Made in cooperation with NASA, the film features footage of our magnificent planet — and the marks that humans have had on it over time — captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Now showing at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, it runs until Sept. 15. (Check the website for showtimes.) Adults can also enjoy Martinis & Imax events for the same cover price every Friday (excluding holiday weekends) from 7-11 p.m. Imax tickets: $13 for adults; $12 for seniors; $11 for children and $8 for museum members. 767 Clifton Road, Atlanta. 404-929-6400, www.fernbankmuseum.org.

‘An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness’ at Children’s Museum of Atlanta

This new exhibit at the Children’s Museum features many creative elements designed to foster conversations and experiences about love and forgiveness.

One of the activities invites children (and their parents) to write or draw a thought, idea or message of love on a piece of paper. Then they roll it up and put it into a custom-made paper compressor. They use their strength to pump a lever, and the paper gets transformed into a smooth, round token — embossed with a heart. There is also an exercise to release the negativity. Families can write something that frustrates or angers them on a piece of paper. That paper is shredded right before your eyes, symbolizing the release of negativity. All the shredded paper fills jars to form a display.

“XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness” runs through Sept. 4.

Open six days a week (closed on Wednesdays): 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. As part of its special summer hours, the Children’s Museum will be open on Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. now through Aug. 3. $14.95 for children and adults; children under 1 are free. Children’s Museum of Atlanta, 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-5437, www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org.

Rock climbing

Climbers of all ages and experience levels are welcome to visit Atlanta Rocks. While several camp sessions for youngsters take place during the summer, Wednesdays (aka College Student Days) are for the big kids. Home-schooled? No worries. There’s a program for you, too. And for those new to climbing, the facility encourages first-timers to make an appointment to discuss your options. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; noon-8 p.m. Saturdays; noon-6 p.m. Sundays. Rates begin at $5, and you can even sign up for a membership. 1019 Collier Road N.W., Suite A, Atlanta. 404-351-3009, www.atlantarocks.com. Check website for different hours on holidays.

Other rock climbing places include Wall Crawler Wall Club (1522 DeKalb Ave. N.E, Atlanta. 404-371-8997, www.wallcrawlerclimbing.com) and Stone Summit Climbing and Fitness Center (2801 George Busbee Parkway, Kennesaw. 770-545-6227. 3701 Presidential Parkway, Atlanta. 678-720-9882, www.ssclimbing.com).

The Comet Pub & Lanes

New from the team behind Twain’s Brewpub & Billiards, the redo of the former Suburban Lanes space in Decatur boasts 32 lanes for bowling, plus shuffleboard, a large beer selection and a chef-driven food menu from Savannah Haseler of Twain’s.

It’s pitched as both a family and late-night destination. Look for sandwiches, build-your-own burger and pizza options, and a variety of bar snacks featuring local and Georgia products, including Pine Street Market, White Oak Pastures, Gum Creek Farms and Springer Mountain Chicken. The Comet Pub & Lanes recently opened, and current hours are 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m., with early afternoon hours planned for the near future. Weekend pricing for Friday and Saturday night is $30 per lane per hour and includes up to six bowlers (rental shoes are $4 per person). Sunday-Thursday night pricing is $20 per lane per hour for up to six bowlers. 2619 N. Decatur Road, Decatur. 470-225-1931, www.facebook.com/thecometpubandlanes.

Karaoke Melody

What better way to bond with your group than to completely embarrass yourselves? Sing your hearts out from a selection of more than 21,000 songs by artists from ABBA to ZZ Top while you and your friends indulge in drinks, snacks and more. Noise-canceling headphones optional. Make reservations to save a private karaoke room. There are two locations, including a new one open only two days a week.

Karaoke Melody, 5979 Buford Highway, Suite A-11 (inside International Plaza), Atlanta. $5-$6 per hour per person (three-person minimum or pay a higher price). 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 6 p.m.-3 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 6 p.m.-midnight Sundays. 770-986-8881. Karaoke Melody 2, 7130 Buford Highway, Suite B-240, Atlanta. Currently open only on Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m.-2:30 a.m. both nights. $6 per hour per person (three-person minimum or pay a higher price). 770-825-0088, http://karaokemelody.com/.

Sky Zone trampolines

Fly high at one of the several Sky Zone trampoline parks across the state. Have a blast while burning calories as you bounce and flip around, and eventually land in a pit filled with 10,000 foam cubes. Get to know your group on a higher level and make a reservation today. There are locations in Roswell, Kennesaw and Suwanee. $10-$21, depending on the length of the session.

Roswell location (1425 Market Blvd., Suite 100-A, Roswell. 678-745-9900, www.skyzone.com): Summer hours now through Aug. 7: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; noon-8 p.m. Sundays. Hours, Aug. 8-May 27: closed Mondays-Tuesdays; 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; 4-9 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; noon-7 p.m. Sundays.

Kennesaw location (1650 Airport Road N.W., Suite 105, Kennesaw. 678-426-4400, www.skyzone.com): Summer hours now through July 31: noon-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; noon-9 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. Hours beginning Aug. 1: closed Mondays-Tuesdays; 3-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; 3-9 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; noon-7 p.m. Sundays.

Suwanee location hours (560 Old Peachtree Road N.W., Suwanee. 678-745-9900, www.skyzone.com): Now through Aug. 7: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; noon-8 p.m. Sundays. Hours beginning Aug. 8: closed Mondays-Tuesdays; 4-8 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; 4-10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; noon-7 p.m. Sundays.

Go to websites for special classes and other programming. Spots fill up so reserving and buying tickets ahead of time are recommended.

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Jenn Jones, Fiza Pirani and Bob Townsend contributed to this article.

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