As we make our way through this brutally hot week, we’re reminded of the unpleasantness that can come when the temperatures rise. You may feel comfortable in your air conditioned house — but you’re not entertained (and you’re also running up that utility bill). When you can’t bear the heat any longer, you can plan to hit up one of these air-conditioned haunts.
The Museum of the Moving Image
The Museum of the Moving Image is devoted to artifacts and objects related to the art, technique, history, and technology of television, film, and digital media. In practice, this means an extraordinary permanent exhibition of such things as costumes, wigs, scripts, figurines, magazines, and recording equipment. You can see the apparatus that helped Linda Blair turn her head all the way around in The Exorcist, or one of the very first films ever made, a clip of two cats boxing. But we like to head to the video game section, and relive our childhoods through Super Mario Brothers, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and others.
The Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07305
(closed on Mondays)
See Also: The 5 Best Museums For Dates
The Liberty Science Center is an expansive science museum with the largest IMAX dome theater in the United States. It also offers a cafe with surprisingly tasty food. Make a day of it by exploring the varied and extensive exhibits – including the largest exhibition of skyscrapers in the world with artifacts from the World Trade Center, an I-Beam walk two stories above the exhibition floor and an earthquake shake room – before beating the summer heat in the air-conditioned theater’s comfy seats before a documentary shot entirely in 3D. Click here for updated admission and IMAX ticket price information.
Minus5 Ice Bar
1335 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
In the sweltering summer heat, New Yorkers have a new way to find a big chill. The city’s first ice bar is now open at the New York Hilton Midtown on Sixth Avenue, where the entire bar is made of ice. The $20 admission includes Eskimo-style gloves and a parka for the privilege of drinking cocktails in the freezing Minus5 Ice Bar. The temperature inside? A soothing 23 degrees Fahrenheit. That translates to minus-5 degrees on the Celsius scale — hence, the name.
Rice To Riches
37 Spring Street
New York, N.Y.
Already exhausted your frozen yogurt, milkshake, gelato and homemade ice cream options? Looking for a new twist on a cool and refreshing dessert? This is sweetness like you’ve probably never seen. In a skinny city where places like Pinkberry make a business of encouraging visitors to top their non-fat concoctions with healthy additions like fruit and nuts, Nolita’s Rice To Riches offers heaping portions of their trendy take on comfort food while encouraging the overindulgence (the walls are lined with phrases poking fun at thin girls and fitness freaks). Try the Rocky Road or French Toast flavors. It’s a bit pricey, but even the smallest size is big enough for two to share.
The New York Public Library
455 5th Avenue
New York, NY
If the arctic blast of air conditioning isn’t enough to entice you, stay for the atmosphere. Give the children an art lesson or take part in any of the free offerings for families. Flying solo? It’s easy to get lost in this place, with everything the Bryant Park institution has to offer. The Library is also hosting childrens’ events across Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island this week (for free) where you and the little ones can hide out from the heat. Check their website for more information.
New York Aquarium
602 Surf Avenue
Brooklyn, New York
This New York City institution is making a resurgent comeback after Hurricane Sandy. Explore the air-conditioned halls of the Aquarium to see sea lions splashing around or check out other underwater creatures. You can also catch daily shark feedings. The partial reopening will include Glover’s Reef; exhibits in Main Hall (Coral Triangle of Fiji, Great Lakes of East Africa, and the Flooded Forests of the Amazon); outdoor spaces of Sea Cliffs (walrus, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters and penguins); and a fully re-modeled Aquatheater with a new sea lion demonstration. Adults $13; Kids (3-12) $9; Kids under 3: Free!
Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center
The 4,000-square-foot Brickhouse Ceramic Art Center in Long Island City includes a glaze mixing room, glaze application room, wheel throwing room, kiln room, mixed use studio, handbuilding classroom, garden, and retail emporium selling things made on site. Its year-round pottery classes cater to adult beginners, intermediates, and experts, and there’s a separate area for independent ceramicists. You can also sign up for “benchtime,” during which students can work in the studios without instructor supervision.