Summer in the desert is nothing if not hot. The kids are out of school and the sun is blazing down. Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about beating the Phoenix heat and keeping the kids happy and occupied, too.
Big Surf Waterpark, which is down in Tempe, is a great way to get away from the heat and spend the day relaxing in the wave pool while the kids go nuts on the waterslides and other attractions. Well, I enjoy the waterslides, too. The park really is amazing and it’s the first inland surfing facility in North America. So, even teens might find a good reason to visit and adults might pick up a new hobby in the meantime.
Here in Phoenix, we have Wet-n-Wild, a huge waterpark which has a variety of packages, including a night-time ticket. Myself and my boys have checked this one out to cool off and on Friday nights they have family-friendly movies. Let the kids float around in the water and enjoy a lounge chair and let the work week fade away.
Kiwanis Park Recreation Center
The Kiwanis Park Rec Center in Tempe has movies, too. It’s a huge recreation center with loads of tennis courts, batting cages, a fitness center, and a huge indoor wave pool. This is where you want to be when the heat climbs over 100.
Phoenix Parks and Pools
If you want to stay around town or even in your own neighborhood, many Phoenix parks have splash pads where the kids can run around and cool off while having fun. Since kids are so good at making their own fun, these are great options for parents who’d rather not spend much money. Bring a picnic and make the most of the time.
Phoenix also features 29 community aquatic centers across the city. They offer all sorts of swimming lessons, water sports, and general water-safety courses. They do charge a daily fee and season passes are available. Scottsdale and Surprise, AZ have aquatic centers, as well, so you’re not left out if you’re not in Phoenix. I always enjoy making use of these facilities where I can meet my neighbors, get in a little swimming time, and enjoy the desert. You can also go swimming at some of the great resorts around town. We personally like Arizona Grand for the slide! Tempe and Chandler also have great splash pads at the Tempe Marketplace and Chuparosa Park. Pretty much anything indoors or with water is a great bet.
Don’t forget all of the great museums with your kids. They can mine for gold at the Mesa Southwest Museum, or have fun learning and experimenting at the Arizona Science Center. Then there is my personal favorite, the Phoenix Children’s Museum. Try to get there on a weekday if you can, but early on the weekends is good too. There is this awesome indoor ‘tree’ that the kids could spend hours climbing, along with fort building and art.
Festivals and Fun
Lastly, keep your eyes peeled for the numerous festivals and events going on all summer long. There are free (or cheap) concerts, movies, and lots more. Phoenix has so much to offer, so even though our summers are a bit extreme, we don’t let that slow us down. But remember to always stay hydrated. Keep a bottle of water handy at all times, especially if you’re outside.