Summertime is for enjoying the sunshine and playing outdoors—except for when it’s not. As nice as it is to spend the day in the sun at the beach, the playground, the zoo, and any other outdoor attraction, too much sunshine can be exhausting.
If you’re looking to escape the heat and entertain the kids in an indoor environment, here are some of my favorite places. Did I miss your favorite? Add it in the comments.
Children’s Museum of Sonoma County
With something for kids of every age, this is one of my personal favorites. The museum has multiple interactive exhibits, both indoors and outdoors, including water exhibits (perfect for a hot day!) and art exhibits that will feed your budding artist’s creativity. This summer’s museum events include Sensory Friendly Afternoons (monthly and The Great Train Days (July 27 & 28).
cmosc.org, 1835 W. Steele Lane, Santa Rosa.
Admission: $12 for adults and children, free for babies under 12 months.
Open Daily: 9am – 4pm, closed Tuesdays, Sundays: 11am – 4 pm (open 9-11 a.m. members)
Mrs. Grossman’s Warehouse
I mean, who doesn’t love stickers? Mrs. Grossman’s is a local must-go destination, whether you’re five or 99 years old. This is a nostalgic favorite of mine, as I remember my mother taking us to the warehouse to stock up on stickers, and then spending afternoons creating sticker scenes with bears and penguins, flowers, stars, and more. The company store is filled with any kind of sticker you can imagine. You can also reserve your spot on one of their tours (must be in advance).
mrsgrossmans.com, 3810 Cypress Drive, Petaluma
Store open Monday – Friday, 9am to 5:30pm
Tour Times Monday through Thursday, 10:00, 11:00, 1:00 and 2:00
Tour Admission: $7.00 – 12 years and up; $5.00 – ages 3-11; Free – under 3
My Gym Santa Rosa
Perfect for the littles, My Gym is a great place to get the wiggles out and spend an afternoon playing indoors. The venue offers classes for ages three months to nine years. First class is free so you can determine whether this is a good fit. Membership and tuition include weekly classes and unlimited “Practice and Play.” The gym also offers camps and Parents Night Out, and hosts birthday parties.
mygym.com, 3267 Airway Drive, Santa Rosa
See website for cost and hours
An afternoon with Snoopy and friends is just what the summer ordered. The Schulz Museum not only has interesting exhibits showcasing the cartoons and art of the late Charles Schulz, it also features classes, camps, and events that are bound to entertain. Coming classes include a Comic Boot Camp, a cartooning workshop, Lego Animation, and more. The museum also hosts Museum Mondays, a great event for kids aged 1-5.
schulzmuseum.org, 2301 Hardies Lane Santa Rosa
Open weekdays 11:00 am–5:00 pm and weekends 10:00 am–5:00 pm
Admission $5-12, free for members and children under 3
There’s something for everyone at Epicenter. With a sports center, a trampoline park, a health club, bowling, an arcade, laser tag, and more, this center will keep your family entertained all day long.
visitepicenter.com , 3215 Coffey Lane, Santa Rosa
Visit website for hours and admission
Reel Kids $1 Movies
Until August 10, Reading Cinemas in Rohnert Park is offering $1 movies every Wednesday and Thursday at 10am. For a schedule, visit readingcinemasus.com.
555 Rohnert Park Expwy West, Rohnert Park
10 a.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 7.
Other favorite venues to escape the heat:
Time Out Family Fun & Event Center
Petaluma Village Premium Outlets, 2200 Petaluma Blvd N #800a
Pump It Up
374 Blodgett St Ste 1, Cotati
3360 Coffey Ln Ste A, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
555 Rohnert Park Expy Suite C, Rohnert Park
Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park
3215 Coffey Ln, Santa Rosa
Kids Party Central
327 O’Hair Court, Santa Rosa
6100 Commerce Blvd, Rohnert Park
Snoopy’s Home Ice
1667 W Steele Ln, Santa Rosa
Crissi Langwell is a Petaluma local, blended family mom to three young adults, and author of 11 books. Her latest novel, Numbered, a dystopian romance that takes place in 2050, is available at bit.ly/NumberedKindle, Visit Crissi’s author website at crissilangwell.com.