Families and Kids

Tempe splash pads and water park fun this summer

What makes any summer day in Tempe just a little bit better? Water. As in splash pads, water parks and pools. Even though the summer days get pretty toasty in Arizona, my family always cools off and has fun when there is water around. Luckily for us, Tempe has lots to choose from!

Here are a few options in Tempe to keep you cool all summer long:

Kiwanis Wave Pool

The Kiwanis Pool is perfect for the whole family. No need to reapply sunscreen here – the pool is indoors. It has water slides and 3’ waves – rafts are also available for rent. Admission is inexpensive at just $5 for adults and kids who are 13 years and older. For children from 2-12 years old, admission is $4. Check the website for more details, including hours of operation. Pool capacity will be kept at a max of 125 people per session.

Splash Pad at Tempe Marketplace

The splash pad at Tempe Marketplace is surrounded by a shaded seating area for parents and it’s close to a few spots where you can get an iced beverage or dessert, such as the cafe inside Barnes & Noble, Panera Bread, Churroholic and Zero Degrees.

It’s 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. And, if you plan it correctly, you can even schedule your visit around a blockbuster movie at the Harkins Theatre at Tempe Marketplace.

Splash Pad at Tempe Marketplace

Boating in Tempe

There are two places in Tempe where you can get out on the water: Tempe Town Lake and Kiwanis Lake.

Boat Rentals of America at Tempe Beach Park offers electric boats (with surrey tops for shade), stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, pedal boats and the snazzy new swan pedal boats. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Boat Rentals of America at Kiwanis Lake rents kayaks and pedal boats by the half hour, hour or two hours. A signature part of Kiwanis Park, this smaller lake is perfect for a family outing. You can also rent cruiser, tandem and surrey bikes by the half hour or hour.

Riverbound Sports schedules sunset paddle board meetups at the Tempe Town Lake Marina on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The paddle boards can be picked up from their shop located at 415 E. University Dr., Ste A-112, Tempe, AZ 85281. Check their website for more information and a calendar of events.

Northshore WaterSport Rentals provides rental kayaks, stand up paddleboards, large party boards (that accommodate more than one person) and e-bikes. Check their website for rates and directions to their location on the north side of the lake.

Tempe Town Lake boating

Tempe neighborhood splash pads

Check out one of Tempe’s neighborhood splash pads. Kiwanis, Esquer, Hudson and Jaycee neighborhood parks are open April 1 through October 31.

The Cloud at Kiwanis Park – 5233 S. Ash Ave. Tempe, AZ 85283
Jaycee Park – 817 W. 5th St., Tempe, AZ 85281
Esquer Park – 2407 E. McArthur Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281
Hudson Park – 1430 S. Cedar St., Tempe AZ 85281

The Cloud at Kiwanis Park Tempe web
The Cloud at Kiwanis Park

The Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo, located in beautiful Papago Park, has several splash pads and water play areas. Summer hours are 7 a.m.-2 p.m. daily.

  • Leapin’ Lagoon Splash Pad is perfect for babies and toddlers. Adults can take a break and watch from shaded benches or join in the fun if they don’t mind a good soaking. There’s also a changing area.
  • Yakulla Caverns with its stalactites, stalagmites and a splash pad is great fun for kids five and over.
  • At the Virginia G. Piper Enchanted Forest, kids can take the bridge over a trickling river to the treehouse, slide down the giant tree trunk and end with a splash through the river bottom.

Golfland Sunsplash

155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa, AZ 85210 | (480) 834-8319

Waterslides and mini golf in the same spot? Yes please! Featuring over 30 rides and attractions, Golfland Sunsplash is sure to please everyone in the family. Thrilling waterslides, a huge wavepool, a winding lazy river and more, are all there to take advantage of to cool off this summer. Check the website for hours, as they vary throughout the summer.

Check out more summer fun ideas that are happening all summer long in Tempe!

Find the perfect Tempe hotel for your stay, and better yet, find a hotel with a rooftop pool!

Written Toni Smith

An Arizona native, Toni Smith loves to dine out, conquer hiking trails, go to concerts and survive hot yoga classes. She has also never met a dog she didn’t love instantly. She lives in Tempe with her husband and daughter.