Families and Kids

How to Survive the Arizona Summer in Tempe

Since summers can get pretty hot here in Arizona, now is a the perfect time to put together a list of go-to activities to keep cool this summer in Tempe.

So, here it is, my official list of how to survive the Arizona summer in Tempe:

1) Cool off at one of Tempe’s splash pads. The Tempe Marketplace Splash Pad is located in the heart of The District at Tempe Marketplace and surrounded by shaded seating area for parents, and lots of great shops and restaurants too. It’s also close to a few spots where you can get an iced beverage or dessert, such as MoJo Yogurt and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. It is open daily from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. On Friday and Saturday evenings, parents can also enjoy live musicians who play within earshot of the splash pad.

2) Get really wet at Big Surf Waterpark. America’s original wave pool is open again for the summer season. Big Surf has lots of activities to choose from – for little kids and those seeking more than a little adrenaline rush. There are calm play areas just for toddlers and food and beverage options on site. The waves at their “Waikiki Beach” come every three minutes and they even offer surf lessons. Visit the Big Surf website for hours of operation, special offers and more details.

3) Get up close and personal with sea creatures, with the bonus air-conditioning. SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, located inside Arizona Mills on Priest and Baseline, is a perfect place to go for a family outing. More than 5,000 sea creatures call it home, from sting rays to sharks to clownfish. Don’t miss SEA LIFE’s traveling exhibit Octopus Hideout, on display through December 2015. Before or after your visit, make sure to save time to roam around the 1-mile circumference of Arizona Mills for some retail therapy. There are also several yummy restaurants and a new food court to tempt your taste buds.

4) Head to a museum for some indoor fun. Plan a visit to The Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA), located on the south bank of Tempe Town Lake. The TCA features a 600-seat theater, a 200-seat studio theater and a beautiful gallery space with rotating, themed exhibits. The summer exhibition, Birds of a Feather, is on display June 19-September 19 and celebrates the birds that make Arizona home or a migration stop to some exotic location. Admission to the gallery is always free. The ASU Art Museum, located in Downtown Tempe on Mill Ave. and 10th St., was cited in “Art in America” as “the single most impressive venue for contemporary art in Arizona.” This free contemporary art museum hosts a First Saturday for Families on the first Saturday of every month. Summer hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (closed on Sunday and Monday). The Tempe History Museum , located on the corner of Rural and Southern, is another great option. Check out Super Summer Adventures where kids will not only beat the heat, they will beat the drums and other musical instruments while enjoying  special hands-on activities, crafts, games that follow the musical themes of the day. Admission is always free and the hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

5) Play a video game at one of Tempe’s entertainment attractions. Dave & Buster’s, located at Tempe Marketplace, is fun for kids and adults alike with over 150 video, prize and simulator games. There’s also a yummy restaurant to grab a bite to eat before or after your gaming fun. If you’re heading to Arizona Mills for the day, be sure to make a stop at Tilt Studio, featuring hundreds of the latest and greatest arcade and prize games, as well as old school classics. And don’t miss out on a day of fun at Main Event, near IKEA on Priest and Warner, home to 26 high quality recreational bowling lanes, laser tag, a gravity high ropes course, billiards and shuffleboard tables and more than 125 interactive games

For more ideas on fun things to do this summer in Tempe, visit www.tempetourism.com/summer.


Written Amy Griglak

Originally from California, Amy loves to travel, go for runs, read all kinds of books, enjoy all things Disney, drink caramel macchiatos and explore new places and old favorites with her husband and two kiddos.