Many Atlantans wouldn’t be caught dead referring to their city as “Hotlanta,” but there’s a reason the word persists. Atlanta summers are hot — very hot.
The heat and humidity can kill many people’s enthusiasm to enjoy the summer outside, but there are plenty of adventurous indoor activities across metro Atlanta. Here are eight fun places to keep your summer cool and exciting.
Conventional wisdom would tell you it’s impossible to skydive indoors, but iFLY has been proving doubters wrong in Atlanta since 2016.
Located in the shadow of SunTrust Park, iFLY creates the sensation of free-falling by using large wind tunnels. On a hot summer day, what could feel better than a breeze the speed of terminal velocity?
9 a.m.-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Fridays; 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays; 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays. 2778 Cobb Parkway, Atlanta. 678-803-4359, iflyworld.com.
While people are sweating in nearby Centennial Olympic Park, patrons at this gaming pub and bar have plenty of options to keep themselves entertained.
Established in 2013, Game-X features more than 60 games, which vary from arcade classics to high-tech newcomers. The arcade bar offers other ways to keep cool, namely its selection of handcrafted cocktails and craft beers.
4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays; noon-10 p.m. Sundays. 275 Baker Street, Atlanta. 404-525-0728, gamexatl.com.
Bury The Hatchet
It’s a satisfying feeling to hit a target. If dinky darts don’t do it for you, this Sandy Springs spot offers the chance to lob axes at large wooden bull’s-eyes.
Prior lumberjack training isn’t necessary, since “Axe Masters” will guide groups in the art of hatchet throwing. Sessions last two hours, and up to 12 people are allowed to play per lane.
Noon-9 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. weekends. 6450 Roswell Road, Suite B, Atlanta. 404-974-4831, burythehatchet.com.
Bethesda Park Aquatic Center
While water parks are great ways to cool off, they typically involve a lot of waiting in line while baking in the sun. However, swimmers at this Gwinnett-based indoor aquatic center won’t require any sunblock.
Featuring a large waterslide that exits and then reenters the building, the Bethesda Park Aquatic Center offers plenty of thrills.
11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays- Saturdays; 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 225 Bethesda Church Road, Lawrenceville. 678-277-0880, gwinnettcounty.com.
This reality can be hot and sweaty, so why not leave it behind for a better one?
NexusVR opened in May 2019, and it offers more than 30 virtual reality games and experiences for single players and groups. These include popular apps like “Fruit Ninja” and virtual escape rooms, such as ones based on Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed.”
3 p.m.-8 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 3 p.m.-11 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. 3547 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard, Duluth. 833-475-2987, nexusvr.com.
There’s no shade when playing an 18-hole game of golf, but Topgolf offers two locations in metro Atlanta that include climate-controlled hitting bays and much more.
Located in west Midtown and Alpharetta, golfers can enjoy several game options, a chef-driven menu, stocked bar and the satisfaction of lobbing countless golf balls.
Times vary by day and location. 1600 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard, Atlanta. 404-475-4000. 10900 Westside Parkway, Alpharetta. 770-217-0513. topgolf.com.
Go karts, laser tag, a spinning coaster, arcade games — what more could you ask for?
FunXcess occupies a 35,000 square foot building in Lithonia, and it has filled that space to the brim. Like the place’s name says, there’s fun in excess here, and surely you’ll find something to bring out your inner child.
4 p.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; noon-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; noon-9 p.m. Sundays. 8000 Rockbridge Road, Lithonia. 770-484-0386, funxcess.com.
Andretti Indoor Karting and Games
While kart drivers may not go fast enough to win the Indianapolis 500, it’s easily fast enough to cool off on a hot day.
In addition to high-speed driving, the Roswell location offers a zip line, while the Marietta location features virtual reality racing simulators, bowling lanes and a two-story laser tag arena. Both spots also have two bars, a restaurant and an arcade among other attractions.
Hours vary by day and location. 1255 Roswell Road, Marietta. 678-496-9530. 11000 Alpharetta Highway, Roswell. 770-992-5688. andrettikarting.com.