Six Indoor Activities to Do in Boston When the Weather Is Frightful

Burn off some energy and stave off cabin fever with these physically demanding and mostly kid-friendly indoor games and activities.

Photo provided Urban Axes / Photo via Getty Images / Photo provided Archery Games Boston

Boston may be filled with plenty of great museums, an aquarium teeming with wildlife, and spectacular art exhibits to keep you busy during every dreary day in the winter, but when you really need to burn off some energy (or let the kids chase each other around for a couple hours) only a few options will do. Here, we’ve rounded up the best indoor activities to do in Boston that are both physically demanding and fun, so you don’t have to feel stir crazy all season long.

1. Urban Axes

Unleash your inner lumberjack at this axe throwing bar in Somerville. The Philadelphia-based chain opened its fifth national location in Union Square back in December. Head on over to grab a pint with your buddies, indulge in a charcuterie board, and hurl axes at wooden targets. Don’t worry if your throwing skills aren’t up to par with the likes of Paul Bunyan—you can join an eight-week league to sharpen your skills or drop in for a session with an “Axpert” to help you stick a coveted bullseye. Close-toed shoes must be worn and the facility is 21+.

$25 deposit to book a lane, sessions last one hour, 2 Union Square, Somerville,857-997-0025,

2. Archery Games Boston

Grab your family and friends and head out to Chelsea for a game of archery tag at Archery Games Boston. Similarly to paintball, games take place in a turfed arena with inflatable barriers to hide behind as you take aim. Each player receives a face mask and bow as well as foam arrows. The game play is similar to dodgeball and is under the supervision of a referee. Sessions last 75 minutes, including 25 minutes of briefing and target practice.

$27/person, 121 Webster Ave., #3, Chelsea, 617-466-0142,   

3. Chez-Vous Roller Rink

Bust out your best roller skating moves at this beloved Dorchester establishment. Come for open skate while you listen to groovy tunes and glide in circles or drop in for any number of special events, like holiday skates and dance parties. Chez-Vous also offers packages and space to host private parties or school field trips.

$10/person during open skate, 11 Rhoades St., Dorchester, 617-825-6877,

4. Pups of War Nerf Arena

You’ll have to wait a bit to try this one: The first Mass. location of a dedicated Nerf arena is officially coming to the North Shore in about two months, according to The Salem News. The arena, based on a Hawaii attraction, will here replicate key features of Boston, all with the goal of keeping kids active. Participants will compete against each other using Nerf guns and foam bullets. Inside the facility, located at the Liberty Tree Mall, you’ll also be able to shop for retail Nerf toys as well as food and drinks.

Coming soon to the Liberty Tree Mall, 100 Independence Way, Danvers, 978-777-0794,

5. South Boston Candlepin Bowling

Candlepin bowling started right here in Massachusetts in 1880, when Justin “Pop” White, a lane owner in Worcester, invented the sport. Today, it remains a big part of New England culture. New to the area? It’s just like regular bowling, but with skinnier pins (that resemble a candle—get it?) and a smaller ball. You get three balls per frame instead of two, and the fallen pins aren’t cleared away after each round. It makes the strategy a bit more demanding. At Southie Bowl, you can drop in for open bowl sessions or join a league, and the space even has beer on draft to sip while you bowl nothing but strikes…hopefully.

$30/person for a one-hour session, 543 E Broadway, Boston, 617-464-4858,

6. Laser Quest

Prepare for a quest to the future as you’re outfitted in a laser vest with a gun in hand. At Laser Quest in West Roxbury, missions include 15 minutes of hide-and-seek-esque tag with a “high tech twist.” The arena is multi-level. It features specialty lighting, fog, and energetic music to add to the ambiance of the game. During Thanksgiving weekend, take advantage of a triple play pack. On Friday and Saturday nights, drop in for an Ironman Mission which includes 30 minutes of game time.

$10/person for 15-minute game, 1580 VFW Parkway Plaza, West Roxbury, 617-325-1005,