It's Freaking Hot: Five Alternative Indoor Activities for Beating the Heat

It is hot...really hot. It was the hottest June on record in our fair and miserable city, so everyone is looking for ways to cool off. There is the beach or the swimming pool, but you risk sunburn, swimmer's ear and skin cancer and nobody wants that. You could go to the movies or the Galleria, but everyone is doing that.

We at Hair Balls are concerned for your well-being, so we've put together a list of some different things to do that involve air conditioning this summer.

5. Ice Skating If you want an experience that is the complete opposite of summer in Houston, try some ice, and not the kind you put in your glass. There are, remarkably, a handful of year-round ice rinks in the city of Houston, with the Galleria rink probably the most well known and places like Aerodrome and Sugar Land Ice for the hockey enthusiasts. But, there are other options as well, including the often overlooked Memorial City Mall ice rink, complete with what seems to be a working year-round fireplace. Head down towards Pearland and hit Space City Ice Station, a 49,000-square-foot facility with a full bar if you just want to have a drink while wearing a coat in the summer time.

4. Williams Indoor Pool There is something really odd and awesome about a pool with a roof over it. The obvious reason for an indoor pool is so people can go swimming when it is cold outside, but it's not just for avoiding hypothermia; it can be a great defense against melanoma. In Houston, one of the better indoor swimming facilities open to the public is the Williams indoor pool in Clear Lake. They are open year-round and a single session is just five bucks. So, if you want to get in some laps, but don't want to apply sunscreen, this is your answer.

3. Indoor Go-Kart Racing Honestly, if this had been around when we were kids, we might never have left the place. Track 21 is an indoor go-kart and laser tag (really?) facility that makes us want to be 13 again. We don't know about you, but few things sound as unappealing as getting into a burning hot go-kart and racing around a blacktop track in the 100-degree weather. But, doing it in air-conditioned comfort -- sign us up! 2. Hang Out in the Tunnel If you live or work in or near downtown, you are probably familiar with the mole-like existence most folks down here lead during the summer months. Unlike other cities with bustling downtown streets, in June the tunnel system that connects many of the buildings downtown is packed with ladies in skirts and tennis shoes. Eat, shop, do your dry cleaning (there are, at last count, around 10,000 dry cleaners in the tunnel, though that's not an official statistic) or just hang around and people-watch. It's better than the mall, but it's only open weekdays, so don't tote the kids into downtown hoping for some underground fun on a Saturday. You'll be out of luck.

1. Houston Roller Derby If you can't figure out why sitting indoors and watching a bunch of women on roller skates beat the hell out of one another while racing around a track is a good thing, honestly, we can't help you.

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