The Thrifty New England Traveler is a blog of VisitingNewEngland, a web site that features real New England travel stories told by a lifelong local.

12 Ways to Beat the Summer Heat in the Boston Suburbs

Nantasket Beach, Hull, Mass. (photo by Eric)

Here are 12 ideas on how you can beat the heat in the Boston suburbs. Isn’t that cool?

1. Take a dip at the beach in Hopkinton State Park, Hopkinton, Mass. Nice lake swimming, beautiful state park.

2. Go skating at the Norfolk Arena in Norfolk. What a great way to beat the heat, and one that many never even think of — indoor ice skating in the summer! They typically have public skating time between 1-3 p.m. on weekdays and more limited time on weekends (Saturday: 7:00 p.m. – 8:50 p.m.,
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.), but call first at (508) 520-9200 as schedules can change.

3. Visit the Children’s Museum in Easton. Located in a former fire house, this local gem founded by four moms in 1986 has some great indoor activities, exhibitions, displays and classes for kids to stimulate curiosity and motivating learning — mostly geared for ages one-eight.

4. Go bowling at King’s in Dedham. This 26,000 sq. ft. ultra modern entertainment center also features a full service restaurant and bar, 60 HDTVs, skee ball tables and a shuffleboard table. Keep in mind that after 6:00 p.m., Kings is a 21-plus establishment.

5. Go shopping at the Emerald Square Mall on Route 1A South in North Attleboro, Mass. The air conditioning always seems to work very well here! The mall has 155 or so stores on three floors, anchored by Macy’s, Sears and JC Penny. There’s also free WiFi and an excellent food court.

6. Visit Nantasket Beach in Hull, located about a half hour south of Boston. The home of the former Paragon Park, Nantasket Beach is still fun with its great stretch of ocean beach, the original carousel from Paragon Park, and a limited number of arcades.

7. Enjoy CocoKey Resort, an extensive indoor water park in Danvers. Call at (978) 777.2500 or purchase a CocoKey day pass online before heading here, though!

8. Get in a rotating barrel slide at Fishpipe in Nashua, N.H. (about an hour’s drive from Boston), where you can “slip and slide inside the rotating sphere as 10 gallons of filtered water lubricate each twist and turn.”

9. Play a round of ghoulish miniature golf at Monster Mini Golf in Norwood. This indoor monster themed glow in the dark 18 hole miniature golf course is quite unique, not too scary and with enough challenge to keep things from getting boring for kids of all ages.

10. Enjoy an ice cream indoors at Bliss Brothers (at 711 Park Ave. Attleboro), a family restaurant serving some mighty delicious homemade ice cream. You might have enjoyed a Bliss ice cream cone before without even knowing it: many ice cream stands and shops in the area use their ice cream. Additionally, the Bliss Brothers restaurant serves up some very good comfort foods, including burgers, hot dogs and chicken fingers in a Friendly’s-type setting. My favorite ice cream flavor is the Graham Central Station — graham-flavored ice cream with a graham cracker. You can also peak through the window on the store wall’s milk truck design to view the working ice cream manufacturing plant in the back of the building.

11. Take a 45-minute narrated tour of Cape Pond Ice, where you can see ice blocks made for the fishing industry as well as some amazing ice sculptures. Also included in the tour are historic exhibits. Believe it or not, but on a hot summer day, you need to wear warm clothes — like a sweatshirt or jacket — to take the tour! Cape Pond Ice is located at 104 Commercial St. in Gloucester, at the historic waterfront.

12. Cool down at Revere Beach, only seven miles north of Boston. This is America’s first public beach, established in 1896. You’ll find a nice stretch of sand, relatively calm waves, pavillions for shade or eating, and roadside stands like Kelly’s Roast Beef for fabulous roast beef, fried clams and lobster rolls, and Bianchi’s for some of the bets Italian pizza in the area. Revere Beach is accessible from the Blue Line.

Editor’s note: We recommend calling your summer beat-the-heat travel destination first before setting out on the planned itinerary.

Related articles:
Going beyond ice cream at Richardson’s ice cream stand in Middleton, Mass.
Saving money on dining out in Boston
The scenic side of Boston

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