- WONDER WORKS
Whine. The beach is hot and far away. The springs are crowded, and the parking lots fill up by noon anyway. The neighborhood pool? Maybe, but we just went there yesterday. Summer stretches out, days blend together, and really all anyone wants is to find a fun way to beat the heat to keep the boredom at bay. For some, that means escaping into the air-conditioned oases of Orlando’s coolest spots where you can stay indoors and out of the sun’s mean, judgey glare.
Orlando Science Center
777 E. Princeton St. | 407-514-2000 | osc.org
Situated near Loch Haven Park, the Orlando Science Center looms above the tree tops with its rotating exhibits ripe for discovering new things about the world around you – without going far from home. Check out interactive exhibits that transport you to dinosaur days or catch a Science Live! program in the Digital Adventure Theater. Keep an eye on their calendar for night-time opportunities to visit the Crosby Observatory and utilize Florida’s largest publicly accessible refractor telescope – skies tend to be clearer in the summer, so it’s better for exploring the night skies.
Player 1 Video Game Bar
8562 Palm Parkway, Lake Buena Vista | 407-504-7521 | player1orlando.com
In the summer, it rains pretty much every day around noon, so really, your best bet is to sleep in and wait for Player 1 to open (4 p.m. weekends, 5 p.m. weekdays). The video game bar mixes craft beers with consoles – everything from Playstation 4 to arcade puzzle games, plus a motion gaming dance floor if you’re looking to break a sweat for reasons other than the sweltering sun this summer.
9067 International Drive | 407-351-8800 | wonderworksonline.com
Every year, sensible Floridians cross our fingers to avoid any serious damage during hurricane season (which starts June 1), but for those who admit the storms can be thrilling, WonderWorks’ hurricane simulator is a much-preferred experience during the summer. You can also shake it up West Coast-style with the earthquake simulator or take a dip in the freezing waters the victims of the Titanic were subjected to. There are tons of other exhibits to while away the day, but try not to be tempted to walk out of there in the body-temperature-regulating space suit no matter how muggy it gets in Central Florida.
1300 S. Orlando Ave. | 407-629-0054 | enzian.org
Movies are a staple of summer culture for many of reasons, not the least of which is that theaters have a reputation for keeping the atmosphere dark and cool. At the Enzian, you might not find the summer’s blockbusters, but once you’ve exhausted your patience for superhero plotlines, alternative cinema can be the refreshing breeze you’ve been looking for all summer. Check their site for late summer screenings, but as of now, June looks legit, with James Franco’s Palo Alto tentatively scheduled for June 13 and Obvious Child (starring Saturday Night Live’s Jenny Slate and featuring David Cross and Gaby Hoffman) for June 27. Bonus: Both are dark comedies, which should further your mission to avoid sunny stuff.