Your Guide to Air-Conditioned Activities in Portland for Summer 2022

Movie Theaters, Museums, and More Activities to Beat the Heat
July 25, 2022
Have some good, clean, air-conditioned fun at Grand Central Bowl. (Grand Central Bowl)
The hottest week of summer (so far) is upon us. If you’re looking for ways to escape your A/C-less house, we’ve rounded up some places and activities to beat the heat. It’s also much too hot to do any kind of cooking, so if the sweltering heat outside is somehow preferable to the sweltering heat inside, check out our picnic guide, and don’t forget to hydrate!


Four overnight cooling centers and one daytime cooling center will be in operation beginning Tuesday, July 26 at 2 pm. Overnight cooling centers can be found at the Charles Jordan Community Center, East Portland Community Center, the Portland Building, and the Sunrise Center. The overnight cooling center is located at 435 NW Glisan in Old Town-Chinatown. Pets are welcome and KN95 masks will be available onsite. For real-time information, check Multnomah County's heat resources page. Due to the extreme heat emergency declaration, TriMet will not turn away anyone riding to and from a cooling shelter who cannot pay fare. Additionally, Lloyd Center will open from 10 am-10 pm through Friday as a cooling station. 
Various locations


Academy Theater Add to a List
This Montavilla movie house has repertory screenings in addition to new releases and serves food from neighbors Flying Pie Pizza and Miyamoto sushi.

Cinema 21 Add to a List
Check out independent, foreign language, documentary, and classic movies at this art house movie theater, which was built in 1926.
Nob Hill

Laurelhurst Theater Add to a List
Catch Nope, Jordan Peele's dip into sci-fi, or the adorable Marcel the Shell With Shoes On in the comfort of A/C while enjoying pizza, cold beer, and other concessions. 

Living Room Theaters Add to a List
The downtown theater that provides the comfort of a living room, but with air conditioning, is blessedly cooler than your own. Watch the Miranda July-narrated documentary Fire of Love while avoiding the fiery temperatures outside.
West End

Studio One Theaters Add to a List
Kick back in one of the theater's plush sofas to enjoy new-American cuisine and current flicks like Nope, Thor: Love and Thunder, and Where the Crawdads Sing.


Portland Parks and Recreation's four indoor pools (East Portland, Matt Dishman, Mt. Scott, and Southwest) and seven outdoors pools (Creston, Grant, Montavilla, Peninsula, Pier, Sellwood, and Wilson) are all open for the season. Check the city's website for individual hours.


OMSI Add to a List
It's the perfect time to explore watery worlds in the James Cameron - Challenging the Deep Add to a List exhibit, get hyped for the upcoming Lord of the Rings show by rewatching the movies at the Middle-earth Film Festival Add to a List , or come out when the sun goes down for OMSI After Dark: Surf and Sand Add to a List .
Central Eastside

Oregon Historical Society Add to a List
The Beaver State’s documentarians have several exhibitions running to cater to a variety of interests, from A Century of Wonder: 100 Years of Oregon State Parks Add to a List to Gambatte! Legacy of an Enduring Spirit Add to a List , which offers a look into the lasting effects of the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The museum is also running its annual summer sales spectacular starting this week, with $5 book mystery bags and housewares. Multnomah County residents enjoy free admission with valid proof of residency (state-issued ID, driver's license, utility bill, etc.).
Downtown, Open Monday-Sunday

Portland Art Museum Add to a List
Check out the justice-minded exhibition Perspectives Add to a List , which compiles works by local BIPOC photographers who documented the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, or the new exhibition Forces of Nature: Ecology in Japanese Prints Add to a List , which opens this weekend.
Downtown, Open Wednesday-Sunday

Hallie Ford Museum of Art Add to a List
This museum located at Willamette University has nixed their admission fee for this week, inviting folks to come cool down and take in exhibitions like the transportive April Waters: Water-Ice-Sky, Antarctica Add to a List .
Salem, Open Tuesday-Saturday


Grand Central Bowl Add to a List
Grab a lane and some refreshments or hit the arcade (also with some refreshments) at this fun center.
Buckman, Monday-Sunday

Mox Boarding House Add to a List
Grab a crew of your friends and play your favorite tabletop games in the cool comfort of this cavernous game store and Parisian-inspired restaurant.
Goose Hollow, Monday-Sunday

Multnomah County Library Add to a List
Take advantage of the library’s A/C while making a dent in your summer reading list. Three libraries will be open extended hours for relief from high temperatures: Central (July 27-30 til 8 pm), Holgate (July 26-30 til 9 pm), and Gresham (July 26-30 til 9 pm).
Various locations

Pioneer Place Add to a List
It's kinda random, we know, but the downtown mall is playing host to an exhibit right now, and this week seems as good a time as any to check it out. Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition Add to a List features reproductions of the Italian Renaissance artist's famous frescoes complete with audio narration. 

Pips & Bounce Add to a List
Perfect your ping pong game in an air-conditioned atmosphere while enjoying "pong-tails," daily happy hour, and more.
Buckman, Wednesday-Sunday

Portland Mercury's Summer of Slushies Add to a List
Cool off with a frosty drink or three (it's really, really hot, y'all) at bars and restaurants across town for $6 a pop!
Various locations, Monday-Sunday

Portland Rock Gym Add to a List
Look, the idea of doing any sort of physical activity in these temperatures is so not our jam, but if you're trying to get some circuits in, head to this air-conditioned gym.
Kerns, Monday-Sunday

Powell’s City of Books Add to a List
Get lost in the towering stacks at the flagship location of Portland’s favorite independent bookseller. 
Pearl District, Monday-Sunday

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