New England

The Best 5 Indoor Adventures

Battling a rainy or snowy day? Bad weather is no object for these all-weather activities. Get our picks for the 5 best New England indoor destinations.

By Kim Knox Beckius

Feb 05 2018

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Scale new heights at Rock Spot Climbing in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Photo Credit : Kim Knox Beckius

Why should warm sunshine be a prerequisite when you want to break the law of gravity or feel the grass beneath your feet? The fun is endless at these five indoor attractions that have outwitted New England’s fickle weather.

Scale new heights at Rock Spot Climbing in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.
Photo Credit : Kim Knox Beckius


Rock Spot Climbing South Kingstown, Rhode Island

If you can climb a ladder, you can conquer this indoor gym’s vertical surfaces studded with Starburst-colored holds. Designed to foster a love of the sport and a sense of accomplishment for beginners of all ages while also providing serious training opportunities for mountaineers and boulderers, this Rock Spot—one of four in Rhode Island and greater Boston—has the tallest walls and a newcomer-friendly vibe. Day passes include a free, 15-minute orientation. You’ll learn to trust your climbing harness and the gym’s auto belays and to land properly on cushy mats if you give bouldering a go. Reach the second-floor boulder’s summit, and your reward’s a descent via a super-fast slide that may make you squeal like a kid.

It Adventure Indoor Ropes Course New Haven, Connecticut

Epic thrills inside a store filled with… sofas? Embrace the unlikely at Jordan’s Furniture, where water blasted from 1,000 nozzles dances in sync with a pumping soundtrack, and you can climb, rope walk, and soar above the colorful spectacle. “It” is the odd little name for the world’s largest indoor ropes course: a challenging, aerial web of swaying plank bridges, cargo nets, tightropes, and ziplines. With more than 100 different ways to walk on air while safely secured in your harness, plus add-on experiences like the Jump It freefall and Climb It’s four intricate walls to scale, you’ll sleep well no matter how old your mattress is.

Big air awaits at Skyventure in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Photo Credit : courtesy of Skyventure

SkyVenture New Hampshire Nashua, New Hampshire

Take a controlled leap out of your comfort zone at this multifaceted facility, where you can give the activities you’d normally relegate to your stunt double a try. Fly without skydiving inside the vertical wind tunnel, where an encouraging instructor will have you riding hurricane-force winds like a cape-less superhero. It’s an invigorating rush for virtually anyone, from kids as young as 3 to seniors in their 90s. Then, catch a wave at companion attraction Surf’s Up: North America’s largest indoor surfing pool. All of the gear you need is provided: You can even rent a swimsuit. And the water’s 85 degrees on New England’s coldest day.

Mill 180 Park Easthampton, Massachusetts

This 19th-century felt mill has an elevator to rival Willy Wonka’s. Take it to the second floor, and you’re suddenly in an enchanting green space where play dates never have to be rescheduled. Grown-ups sip Massachusetts-brewed beers and talk smack over rounds of cornhole. Children bounce barefoot across the artificial turf and build forts with Big Blue Blocks. And musicians play Friday night concerts in the park even in the dead of winter. You could find yourself pleading with your kids, “We’ve gotta go; we’ve been here for three hours,” without ever quite realizing how edgy this experimental prototype is. The world’s only indoor hydroponic park is an adventure in urban transformation, where the joy of outdoorsy play is free year-round for everyone, and healthy, affordable cuisine is made with ingredients grown on-site without

New England Center for Circus Arts Trapezium Brattleboro, Vermont

A swing on a flying trapeze is the easiest way to toss off the weight of the world and fulfill your childhood “join the circus” dreams. Since New England’s own circus school opened its indoor trapezium in June, the rollercoaster-like combination of fear, flying, and faith is super-accessible year-round to anyone who’d love to momentarily “let go.” Professional coaches introduce would-be aerial artists—ages 7 and up and up to 200 pounds—to this circus staple during monthly Flight Night events. For as little as $10, you can check this memorable exploit off your bucket list. Ready for more? Two-hour weekend drop-in classes will soon have you hanging from your knees and allowing an instructor to catch you. Once the adrenaline spike subsides, you’ll realize how empowering it is to trust in others—and safety nets.