The newly opened Red Stick Social offers a little bit of everything in one air conditioned facility. Photo by George Castillo.

Beat the heat: Fun indoor activities around Baton Rouge

When I was in Girl Scouts, I don’t think I truly appreciated the simple goal behind “try its’–the patches that adorned our brown vests, and signified each new activity we took on in the after-school meetings. I took for granted the fact that every week would hold something new. As a kid, that is typical. As an adult, not so much. However, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone–and more importantly, making time for it–is essential to not just happiness, but sanity.

With the heat reaching unimaginable levels, it’s the perfect time to engage your younger self and try something new in an air-conditioned environment. Check out the list below for suggestions for indoor activities that are sure to infuse a little creativity and a healthy helping of fun into your summer routine:

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1. Take a cooking class.

The heat in the kitchen doesn’t compare to that of a Louisiana summer. Gourmet GirlsRed Stick Spice Company and the Louisiana Culinary Institute all host classes covering diverse cuisine, and for all levels of experience. Gourmet Girls is hosting a Southern Summer Soirée class next Tuesday, July 16, which will cover favorites like meat pies, seafood platters and even a specialty cocktail. Click here for more information about that class, and future Gourmet Girls classes here. And click here for Red Stick Spice’s full list of classes and here for more on the lineup of leisure classes at the Louisiana Culinary Institute.

Photo courtesy Red Stick Social.

2. Bowl and have some bites at Red Stick Social.

The newly opened venue offers everything under one roof, meaning you don’t have to worry about burning your legs on your car interior to get from one activity to the next. Check the full calendar of events, which includes live music and more, here.

3. Paint some pottery at Throw Me Something.

In addition to classes hosted by local potters for both children and adults, Throw Me Something also hosts “walk-in hours,” where guests are invited to paint prepared ceramics. There is a hand building class with Osa Atoe tonight, July 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. Registration is available here. More information about upcoming classes and store hours is available here.

Photo courtesy Time Warp Boutique.

4. Search for hidden gems at a local thrift store.

Like a modern-day treasure hunt, finding the perfect vintage chair or leather jacket delivers a rush like no other. From Time Warp Boutique to The Pink Elephant Antiques to Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, Baton Rouge’s many thrift stores each offer one-of-a-kind finds that are as affordable as they are eye-catching. Check out this story from the inRegister archives, which covers some key tips for shopping secondhand.

Photo courtesy Knock Knock Children’s Museum.

5. Learn something new at a museum.

Regardless of age, there is always something new to learn. And if you ask us, the best way to do so is through experiences. Here is list of just a few places that are great for fostering learning and creativity in everyone from kids to adults, as well as a few of each facility’s upcoming events.

6. Test your detective skills in an escape room.

Skip the movie and instead jump into one of your own with an escape room. A great group activity, these fun and challenging games will put your reasoning skills to the test. Check out this story from 225 magazine’s archives, which covers everything you need to know about local escape rooms.

Photo courtesy EBRPL.

7. Bring books to life at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library.

In addition to checking out books, the library is taking the words off the page with a summer of special events. From police dogs to mini horses to dance classes and more, visit the event page here for a full list of upcoming events. The library is even hosting several events aimed at teens, which cover topics like career classes and film camps.

If you’re looking for a way to exercise without leaving the air conditioning and comfort or your home, check out Don’t Stop Just Geaux on Facebook. Photo courtesy Don’t Stop Just Geaux.

8. Add something new to your exercise routine.

While it won’t keep you from sweating, there are plenty of local exercise studios that utilize a variety of techniques–and a little creativity–to deliver classes that will make you look forward to your daily burn. Here are a few favorites: Parish Pilates & Yoga, Barre3, Yogalates II, Evolve Studio, GymFit, Above Ground Aerial, Healthcare Gallery.

Check out this story and this story from the inRegister archives for more fun fitness around Baton Rouge.

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9. Get a massage.

Trust us, you deserve it. Everyone needs an hour to themselves, especially when school is out. Here is a list of a few places that offer 5-star spa experiences: Bumble Lane, Massage Envy, Woodhouse Day Spa, Paris Parker, Le Roche Bleu Day Spa, Avant Tous.

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10. Volunteer!

Balance out the luxury with a little hands-on community service. Places like the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Companion Animal Alliance, Volunteers of America Greater Baton Rouge, The Salvation Army of Baton Rouge and more are always looking for people to lend a helping hand. For smaller organizations that could use your help, try searching “Giving Back” on the inRegister website. The recurring column appears in our magazine monthly and details how you can make an impact in various facets of the local community.

Photo courtesy UpTown Climbing.

11. Reach new heights at UpTown Climbing.

With walls for all levels of climbing prowess, this indoor facility offers all the fun of outdoor adventure with the luxury of air conditioning. They even offer classes for climbing basics, as well as fitness and yoga.

Photo courtesy Manship Theatre.

12. Get up close and personal with performers.

The Manship Theatre offers a unique experience, with its intimate venue and star-studded concert lineup. View the venue’s full list of upcoming events here.

Photo courtesy Olive or Twist.

13. Play “cocktail roulette” at Olive or Twist.

Sometimes you’re just in the mood for something new. Olive or Twist lives up to its name by offering a one-of-a-kind bar experience where you choose a direction and a mixologists whips up a drink just for you.

Photo courtesy Proper Prints.

14. Master the art of calligraphy.

Speaking from experience, this skill is invaluable. However, don’t let too many people know you can do it; otherwise, you’ll be addressing envelopes and writing Christmas cards into next year.

Paper n Things is hosting a brush calligraphy class with Paperglaze Calligraphy on July 31 (register here). But keep an eye on stationery stores like The Keeping Room and The Queen Bee, as well as calligraphers like Proper Prints for more learning opportunities.

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15. Learn to play the ancient Chinese game of Mah Jongg.

The Crown: A Royal Bistro offers free play every Thursday, with registration available here. However, if you don’t know how to play–we don’t but have been dying to learn since we saw this scene in Crazy Rich Asians–lessons are available with teacher Sherry Brisco on Thursdays for $25. More information is available here.

Photo courtesy Jackie’s Sweet Shapes.

16. Indulge your sweet side at a cookie decorating class.

While we maintain that the taste is what truly counts–at least that’s what we’re holding onto after our last attempt at a Pinterest DIY–the idea of making cookies as impressive as the ones above is too much to pass up. Local Jackie Wilson of Jackie’s Sweet Shapes turns baked goods into works of art, and she’s hosting several upcoming cookie decorating classes to share her knowledge and talent. Her next classes are on July 18 and can be registered for here.

Image may contain: dog, grass, outdoor and nature
Photo courtesy Friends of the Animals.

17. Reach nirvana with the ultimate combination: puppies and yoga.

Friends of the Animals and All Pups Welcome, a new local hub for all things dog, are teaming up for a morning of exercise and bonding on Saturday, July 27. Instructor Ashley Murphy of Yogalates II will lead a class amid the furry cuteness of Friends of the Animals’ Highland adoption house. A brunch and adoption event will follow. Registration is $25 and available here.

Photo courtesy Baton Rouge Succulent Company.

18. See plants in a new way at a succulent workshop.

At Baton Rouge Succulent Company, plants aren’t just meant for plain old pots. From hanging planters to wreaths to mossy bases, the store’s upcoming workshops show that succulents are popular for a reason. Check out all the new classes here, and register here.

Share with us what you’re doing this summer. Tag us on Instagram and Facebook, or let us know in the comments below.