Escape the Heat


Ah, the great outdoors, where humidity renders eyeglasses completely opaque, the no-see-ums attack us, and the summer sun wants nothing less than to roast our skin to an angry red.

Sure, it’s not all bad. But the fact is, there are times where the great outdoors can be a little bit too much. There comes a time when a little air-conditioned comfort is called for, when we yearn for some kind of indoor diversion while we recharge for our next outdoor foray.

The Lowcountry has you covered — quite literally, as you can enjoy these activities under a roof while following social distancing and other guidelines to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Reminder: Please adhere to the most recent coronavirus guidelines before having a fun time indoors.


The Sandbox: An Interactive Children’s Museum has long been a mainstay among Lowcountry families with locations on Hilton Head Island and at the Tanger 2 Outlet in Bluffton. It’s home to a wonderland of activities for young kids, from interactive playsets to building tools and arts and crafts. Is your kid ready to play pirate, put on a puppet show or strap into the cockpit of a jet plane? They’ll do all that and more. The Sandbox re-opened in June and is following CDC, state and local health guidelines. Phase 3 of the opening (open each day) is set to begin Aug. 10. Drop in and explore, or check out the regular schedule of programs and events and new re-opening policies and procedures. Ticket purchases are online only.


Located in the lively Buckwalter Place in Bluffton, Station 300 is the place to knock down some pins. This clean, modern bowling alley offers 24 lanes and all the high-tech options, from self-setting pop-up bumpers and automatic digital scoring to 12 projection screens that let you watch the big game while you bowl. Enjoy arcade games too. Get some tasty grub and enjoy beverages offered from a lengthy menu. Because of the coronavirus, Station 300 is operating at 50% capacity on its bowling lanes, according to its website. Birthday parties have resumed as has Kids Bowl Free. Check out the website (station300. com) for safety protocols.

Summer Fun2


Beat the heat and test your accuracy at On the Mark Archery at Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. The air-conditioned range is overseen by Mark Pirrello, a Level 4 USA Archery instructor, and offers instruction for adults and children. On the Mark Archery will follow coronavirus precautions, including having a maximum of five people per session; separate targets for each archer; social distancing between assigned shooting lanes; and sanitization of all equipment. Private lessons are offered.


Want to create your own beautiful home décor, perfect for livening up your space and garnering more than a few likes on Instagram? Hammer & Stain in Bluffton hosts a variety of workshops that let you try out your craftier side. From paint to wood to rustic metal, you’ll create a unique home item all your own while enjoying a few sips of liquid inspiration. On Hilton Head, flex your crafty muscles at The Art Café, where you can paint your own pottery from a selection of hundreds of different pieces. Your unique work of art will be available for pickup two days later, or you can have it shipped home.


For many of us, the flashing lights and digital cacophony of an arcade ignite the nostalgia of childhood days spent blasting pixelized aliens out of the sky and fishing for stuffed animals with a tiny metal crane. Those days are back at Adventure Cove Mini Golf & Arcade on Hilton Head. Test your luck — and your skill — on the hottest new games and collect tickets to trade in for awesome prizes. You can rake in fistfuls of candy, or save up for top-shelf items like Nerf guns and cool gadgets. If you really want to play like a high roller, test your mettle and your coordination on Key Master and you could claim bigmoney prizes from video game consoles to Beats headphones. Then get a dose of fresh-air competition at the two masterfully designed mini-golf courses. 

Adventure Cove said all its clubs and balls are sanitized after each use. Per the Town of Hilton Head’s mandate, masks are required.


There’s something about bounce houses that just sends kids into a frenzy. And we get it: It’s freeing to get inside and give gravity the old heave-ho while you rocket around in complete safety. Which probably explains part of the appeal of Island Playground, an indoor garden of inflatable bounces houses, slides, basketball hoops and climbing surfaces. Beyond the inflatables there are climbing ropes, rock walls and “American Ninja Warrior”-style structures that let kids burn off energy and have a blast. “They’ll sleep well tonight,” you’ll think as you enjoy the grown-ups coral, with its free Wi-Fi and comfortable seating.

For the latest Island Playground schedule and coronavirus guidelines, visit its Facebook page.