Sterling Heights

How to beat the summer heat in Sterling Heights

In the hottest stretches of summer, when days-long heat advisories force even the nimblest of creatures to move a little slower, there’s a balance that’s often struck. It exists somewhere between being safe, cautious, and mindful of the dangers wrought by excessive heat, and having to go about our daily lives.

When the heat index pushes the temperature well past 100 degrees, it’s best to stay indoors whenever possible. That’s especially true for the most vulnerable among us, including but not limited to the elderly and young people. But for those willing, able, and well-prepared, there are still ways to get out of the house (or get the kids out of the house) and beat the heat – and cabin fever.

There’s no shortage of such options in Sterling Heights. So grab your bottles of water, sunscreen, and providers of shade – here’s a few ways to beat the heat in Sterling Heights this summer.

City cooling shelters

At the time of publication, metro Detroit is under a days-long heat advisory, prompting local communities to open emergency cooling centers for those in need of respite from the extreme heat. In Sterling Heights, city officials are pointing residents to various air-conditioned municipal buildings that work as cooling shelters during these extreme days.

Given their day-to-day uses, these buildings also offer residents a host of amenities and indoor activities that can occupy their time while taking a break from the hot temperatures outside. Just need a quick few minutes out of the heat? The Sterling Heights Police Department lobby is open 24 hours a day for a cool down.
Inside the Sterling Heights Community Center. (File photo: Joe Powers Insitu Photography)
Community Center
40250 Dodge Park Rd.

Among the amenities of the Community Center, having recently opened in 2020, are two multipurpose gymnasiums, an indoor walking/running track, dance and fitness studios, dedicated teen and tot rooms, and the USA Softball of Metro Detroit Hall of Fame.

Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Senior Center
40200 Utica Rd.

Available to those 50 years-old and older is the Sterling Heights Senior Center, which offers a host of programming and activities throughout the summer. A daily lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. every Monday through Friday, with suggested donations set at $3 for those 60-years-old and above, and $6.50 for those under the age of 60.

Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Public Library
40255 Dodge Park Rd.

From our youngest to our eldest, the Sterling Heights Library has something for just about everyone. That includes its catalog of books, music, and other media, of course, but also access to its Maker Space, Library of Things, and much more.

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday 1 to 5 p.m.; Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

The “Two Bears” sculpture by Marshall M. Fredericks in front of the Sterling Heights Public Library. (File photo: Steve Koss)

Indoor activities

For those looking to enjoy some air-conditioning but are getting a touch of the cabin fever, there’s a host of indoor activity destinations throughout the city.

Full Throttle Adrenaline Park is sure to shake the dust off your shirt with its high-speed indoor karting track, axe throwing area, rage room, virtual reality gaming opportunities, and more. And for a slower-paced indoor activity, the city’s local bowling alleys, like Sterling Lanes and 5 Star Lanes, and its recently opened Bocce Barn provide an air of competition atop the conditioned air.
The Sterling Heights Esports Arena is complete with 12 Alienware Aurora R12 gaming computers with i7 processors. (File photo: Steve Koss)
The city’s young people might want to nudge their parents toward any number of indoor play places, a deep list that includes the maze of playscapes at Kids Empire; the trampolines of Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park and Top Flight Trampoline & Game Park; and a playplace built for and open to children of all cognitive levels and special needs, the Play-Place Autism & Special Needs Center.

And the award-winning Sterling Heights Esports Arena, with its high-powered machines built specifically for gaming, can be found at the city’s Community Center.


When you grew up without air-conditioning in your home, the hottest of summer days would either have you calling the friends that did have AC and/or a swimming pool, or going to the mall or movie theater – and hopefully a combination of all three. Sterling Heights has three movie theaters to offer, including the AMC Forum 30, an IMAX Theater, and the MJR Marketplace Cinema 20. Time is running out on enjoying that air-conditioned mall, though.

A rendering of the future former site of Lakeside Mall, first released in 2022, which will be redeveloped as Lakeside Town Center. (Photo courtesy of City of Sterling Heights)

With the news that Lakeside Mall will officially close at the end of the month, the current heat wave provides one last good reason to visit the nearly 50-year-old indoor shopping center. Following its official closure on July 1, the mall will be demolished to make way for Lakeside Town Center, a $1 billion mixed-use development from Miami-based Lionheart Capital and its subsidiary Out of the Box Ventures.

Clinton River Canoe & Kayak. (File photo: David Lewinski)Splish splash

Splash your paddles along the Clinton River, much of which is shaded by the wilderness running along it. Universally accessible EZDock systems can be found at Rotary Park (37328 Utica Road) and North Clinton River Park (8600 Riverland Drive). And those without their own equipment can check in with Clinton River Canoe & Kayak about available rentals, which offers canoe and kayak rentals, guided trips down the river, and more.

And for a more immersive water experience, the Sterling Heights Splash Pad is free for Sterling Heights residents and $5 for non-residents, open Mondays from noon to 8 p.m. and Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by MJ Galbraith.

MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.