In the blink of an eye, Spring has disappeared and made way for the longest season in Arizona – summer. With our terrifyingly high temperatures and dry heat, many parents may be dreading the next few months that are sure to push kids back indoors to the safety of the air conditioner.
However, the blistering heat shouldn’t stop the family from having fun. There are plenty of fun family activities and weekend road trips for the whole family to enjoy around Phoenix.
Swim, swim, swim!
If your family doesn’t have a pool, don’t be afraid – there are plenty of watering holes throughout the valley that are open to the public. Some even have water slides and splash parks! Sign the kids up for swimming lessons offered by the City of Phoenix by certified teachers and lifeguards. Check out the City of Phoenix’s pool page to find the closest neighborhood pool to you.
Looking for something more exciting? Take the family to one of the many water parks throughout the valley. Check out the nation’s first wave pool at Big Surf in Tempe, play mini golf at Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa, or ride the roller coaster water slide at Wet ‘n’ Wild in Glendale. Families planning on visiting the parks regularly should consider investing in a season pass. Don’t forget to keep your eye out for discount days!
For the families ready to take it easy for the weekend, consider getting a room at one of the many Arizona family-friendly resorts that feature their own enormous pool parks. The Arizona Grand Resort is home to the Oasis Water Park, complete with a floating river and waterslide. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is another great resort with multiple pools, each offering guest different attractions. Take advantage of the family friendly activities in the hotel pools before heading to the either resort’s excellent dining and spa experiences!
No matter where you decide to swim, make sure to apply plenty of sunscreen!
Head up north!
Another great Arizona summer tradition is to take a road trip up north for the weekend to escape the heat. Considering renting an SUV, packing it full of supplies, and heading towards a cooler town in the mountains or a nearby lake.
One attraction close to town is Lake Pleasant. Heading northwest from downtown Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is only about an hour drive. Rent a boat, play on the beach, pack a picnic, or even camp out overnight at the Desert Tortoise campsite on the lake’s shore.
For more natural family-friendly fun, head up to Slide Rock in Oak Creek. The Slide Rock State Park is located just north of Sedona, and features the same beautiful scenery and landscape as the famous red-rock town. Spend the day hiking the trails, exploring the orchard, or sliding down the natural waterslide in formed in Walnut Creek.
Just to the east of Phoenix lay the White Mountains. Home to a number of quaint communities, including Show Low, Alpine, and Greer, the White Mountain region is the perfect example of Arizona’s truly diverse geography. Explore the hiking trails and lakes all around the region, or spend some time in exploring local shops and restaurants.
Have fun learning!
Even though school is out, there are plenty of fun family activities to do in the summer that are both educational and entertaining. Take advantage of the living in a big city by visiting some of the amazing museums and learning centers.
Start with the Arizona Science Center, a science themed museum filled with tons of hands-on activities. Kids will have a blast learning all about anatomy, solar energy, and forces of nature as they wander through the multi-leveled maze of exhibits. Don’t forget to catch a showing of the latest documentary in the center’s big screen, 3D movie theater!
For the musicians in the family, be sure to check out the Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale. The museum is home of over 6,500 different instruments from around the world that are displayed throughout the museum in regionally-based exhibits. Sign up for a self-guided tour and listen to a tour guide narrate all about music throughout the museum. Be sure to check out the museum’s kids programs and have them play in the Experience gallery to get some hands-on action with different instruments!
Of course, one of the most wild museums in the Valley is the newcomer, the Odysea in the Desert in Scottsdale. This compound is home to a number of attractions, including one of the largest aquariums in the southwest, Odysea Aquarium. Spend the day at Odysea learning about marine life, dinosaurs, butterflies, and the human body at one of the 5 major attractions on the compound. And throughout the year Odysea throws a number of family-friendly events, such as screening movies in the courtyard, fitness classes, and co