Escape the Heat with Laurel's Best Family-Friendly, Indoor Activities

Everyone who visits the South should know the rules of Summer.

Rule #1: Wear Linen or Cotton.

Rule #2: Outdoor activities are illegal between 11:00 to 5:00 pm. 

We don't make the rules, but we do abide by them. Though we avoid the heat like the plague, we still like to have fun, preferably in an establishment with air conditioning. Here's an insider's guide on ways to escape the heat, chill down, and make some memories while in Laurel. 

1. Grab A Snowball From the Scotsman Snow Stand

You can thank Jim Rasberry for the Scotsman Snowball stand. Jim pointed out that visitors and locals need a place to sit and enjoy a sweet treat. So the Scotsman General Store came to be for those who love and appreciate a simple refreshment on a hot summer afternoon. Jim and our snowball team have been concocting the best mixture of flavors since its opening last spring, and now our time to shine has come. 

While you're at it, grab lunch from The Scotsman Food Truck Park and sit under the shaded observation deck, complete with multiple fans to cool you down.

Then visit the neighboring store, Scotsman General, an ode to the old feed stores in the South. Inside the General Store is an assortment of American Made products, like Scotsman butcher blocks, flannels, tools, wood shop essentials, and old-time candy. You can even watch Ben make special builds for Home Town through the Woodshop window!

2. Enjoy Free Family Art Day at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art is one of the most celebrated institutions in Laurel and the state. It was the first museum in Mississippi and is continually awarded for its community-driven approach to promoting the arts.

Each week they offer unique hands-on art activities inspired by their collection and exhibitions. No reservations are needed for this free make-and-take art program for families.

3. Play at The Social Club

Featured on Ben's Holiday Workshop last year, The Social Club is a sensory-friendly indoor play space and a game room. Their caring staff and founder have regulations to promote safe and inclusive play for all individuals. 

It's a fun place to play, but its mission is even cooler. According to, the Social Club "provides a community-based outreach center that hosts inclusive recreation and socialization. They also hope to serve as an educational and networking hub for caregivers and professionals." Now that's something we can get behind!

3. Visit the Laurel-Jones County Library

The LJC Library offers weekly Storytime Playdates for children and families, Summer reading programs to maintain children's skills and interest in reading during school break, and touch screen computers to practice technical skills.

The LJC Library hopes to engage with the community, locals, and visitors and offer valuable resources and a fun place of respite on a hot day. Visit their community calendar to learn more!

4. Visit the Laurel Sportsplex and Natatorium 

For Erin and Ben, the best way to relax and refresh is by jumping into a cold pool with their daughters on a hot afternoon. If you're in town, try visiting the Laurel Natatorium. The facility offers swimming lessons and possesses entrance/access for all physical abilities.

 5. Grab A Lemonade and Create Something at HAND+made

HAND+made is one of our Downtown Laurel neighbors and one of the most hands-on, creative places to visit. Stop by Fresh Squeezed Lemonade Truck on the sidewalk for a refreshing break.

Head indoors at HAND+made and browse their home decor, kitchenwares, Laurel attire, and accessories. Pick out their assorted painting projects and get started! They offer all the supplies, inspiration, and even a little help if you need it. 

Feel free to bring the whole gang with you and make it a party! Learn more here. 


Need more recommendations? Check out the Complete Guide to Your Next Laurel Weekend Getaway.