While the temperatures are well into the 100s, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the surrounding area is a great place in the summer. Honestly, it’s great all year ’round! From the city-run splash pads and pools to the fun indoor activities, there is something new to do every day! Whether it’s a staycation at one of the many 5-star resorts or day-camp style events for the kids, Phoenix has something for everybody.
I’ve put together a list of places you’ll want to check out whether visiting or just needing something new to do with the kids. Whether you’re a 2 or 102, you’re certainly find plenty to do in the Phoenix metro area. Fun in Phoenix
Arizona Coyotes Little Howlers Hockey – what’s not to love about spending a little time in an ice-filled room when the mercury is hovering above 100. According to their website, “Little Howlers Hockey is an on-ice youth hockey program hosted in cooperation with the Arizona Coyotes Hockey Development Program, Arizona Amateur Hockey Association, One Goal and local hockey rinks. The program consists of four one-hour sessions designed to provide kids ages 4-8 a risk free introduction to the sport of hockey.” If hockey is your thing, this is a great way to introduce the kids to a sport you love.
Ikea Events for Kids – Mmmm, meatballs! The first Saturday & third Sunday of every month, from 11 am to 1 pm, Ikea’s Children’s Department transforms into craft central. Air conditioning, food, and entertainment for the kids? Now that’s a summer day we can all appreciate.
Imagination Avenue Indoor Play Town – Located at 32nd Street and Shea, Imagination Avenue is designed for kids up to age 8 to interact in a kid-sized town. Sign up for their newsletter and receive a coupon for a reduced price visit.
Japanese Friendship Garden – While it may not be your first thought for how to spend a hot summer day, the Japanese Friendship Garden in downtown Phoenix is a wonderful oasis of calm and beauty. Named Ro Ho En, this 3.5 acre garden is meticulously cared for as a symbol of the cultural friendship between Phoenix and its Sister City Himeiji. Self-guided tours are available throughout the year. If you’re here between October and May, definitely make time for the tea ceremony. Fun in Phoenix
Musical Instrument Museum – Beat the heat and let the kids beat on drums at this one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to musical instruments. You can spend days touring the many different galleries and enjoying instruments from different countries and throughout history. Kids of all ages enjoy the museum, concerts, and events.
Fiddler’s Dream Coffee House – Not your typical destination, this quirky coffee house is home to great local music. A smoke-free and alcohol-free venue, it’s a wonderful place to enjoy live music, have a cup of coffee, and hang out with friends.
Chase Field Tours – One of the most unique ballparks in Major League Baseball, Chase Field offers tours Monday through Saturday (excluding game days). While most of the tour is not air-conditioned, the baseball fan in your group won’t care. Grab lunch with a front row seat looking into the ballpark before or after the tour.
Jewish Heritage Center – While not for everyone, the center stands as a Phoenix Point of Pride and preserves the history of the Jewish people in Phoenix. It’s a wonderful way to learn a little bit of history of both Phoenix and the Jewish people.
The Bookshop – previously Bard’s Books, this local bookstore at 16th Street and Bethany Home Rd. is a cozy place to grab a book, get comfy and enjoy a little bit of quiet. Check out their events with local authors to find out new favorite reads.
Butterfly Wonderland – Boys and girls, alike, have fun exploring this huge pavilion. It’s a wonderful respite from the summer heat, but also brings family fun all year around. Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, Cousins, and friends will enjoy the butterflies, ants, bees, and beautiful plants in a safe and educational setting.
Challenger Space Center – Located in the West Valley, every time I walk in and pass the dedication wall I get choked up. My daughter and I love this place. It’s a great place for kids to learn about science and space exploration. It’s not huge but you can definitely spend most of a day here. There are evening events, too!
Mystery Castle – While only open October – May, the Mystery Castle is a tribute of a dad’s love for his daughter, Mary Lou. It’s an eclectic place, but full of history. It’s a bit of a drive out there, but everyone I know who’s gone to visit was glad they took the time.
Hall of Flame – One of my favorite hidden gems in Phoenix, this homage to fire fighting is a nice way to spend a few hours out of the heat in the summer. It’s great any time, but if you’re looking for something indoors to do with the kids it’s a little bit of history and fun combined.
Desert Botanical Garden Flashlight Tours – The Desert Botanical Garden is a world-class garden. After dark in the summer, though, desert creatures comes to life. Bring a flashlight, walk at your own pace, and see the desert come to life when the sun goes down.
Summer Concerts – Many locations around the valley put on Summer Concerts during the evening when the weather cools down. Kierland Commons has a weekly line-up and every Sunday at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park bring your blanket and enjoy live music from local bands.
Of course, part of visiting the Phoenix area or planning a staycation means getting to enjoy one of the many fabulous resorts and spas we have. During the summer months many have great deals since it’s low season. Nothing like 5-star service for a fraction of the cost!
Check out resorts like The Boulders, The Hermosa Inn, and the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia for truly high-end luxury. The pools are great, you don’t have to cook, and the kids always sleep well.
Need more ideas? Check out my Staycation Guide, my list of over 60 Fun Things To Do In Scottsdale, and my Guide to Summer in Phoenix. Whether it’s a staycation, your first visit to the Phoenix area, or you’ve been here many times before, I hope you find plenty of fun ways to spend your time.
If you happen to be in the Phoenix area for Thanksgiving, check out my Ultimate Guide to Dining Out on Thanksgiving.
Looking for ideas of what to do in other cities around the country?
I’ve teamed up with a group of bloggers showcasing the great things their cities have to offer, so check them out to get a local’s view of fun things to do in their town.
Fresno, California — Living A Frugal Life
Orange County, California — More With Less Today
San Diego, California — Southern Cali Saver
Denver, Colorado — Bargain Blessings
Washington, District of Columbia — Kidventurous
Disney World, Florida — The Happy Housewife
Jacksonville, Florida — Saving The Family Money
Orlando, Florida — Coupon Mamacita
St Augustine, Florida — Simply St. Augustine
Tallahasse, Florida — SwagGrabber
Tampa Bay, Florida — LaToyaEdwards.net
Atlanta, Georgia — Pretty Frugal Diva
Dahlonega, Georgia — Kathys Cluttered Mind
Savannah, Georgia — This Mommy Saves Money
Aurora/Chicago, Illinois — A Savings WOW!
Chicago, Illinois — Entertaining Chicago
Indianapolis, Indiana — Chaos Is Bliss
Lexington, Kentucky — Homeschool Village
Louisville, Kentucky — The Kennedy Adventures
Northern Kentucky, Kentucky — Simply Sherryl
Carroll County, Maryland — Looking at life CreativLEI
Boston, Massachusetts — Maven of Savin
Battle Creek, Michigan — Pichea Place
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Give Me Neither
Metro Detroit, Michigan — Saving Dollars and Sense
Kansas City Area, Missouri/Kansas — Redefined Mom
Omaha, Nebraska — Family Fun in Omaha
Central, New Jersey — Our Good Life
Cincinnati, Ohio — Adventure Mom
Cleveland, Ohio — Kosher on a Budget
Columbus, Ohio — Cleverly Simple
Dayton, Ohio — Savings Lifestyle
Mansfield & Richland County, Ohio — The Traveling Praters
Miami County, Ohio — Something 2 Offer
Northeast, Ohio — Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring
Portland, Oregon — Frugal Living NW
Harrisburg/Central, PA — Family Balance Sheet
Erie, Pennsylvania — Growing Kids Ministry
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — Moms Need To Know
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — The Coupon High
Arlington, Texas — Grocery Shop For FREE
Fort Worth, Texas — Coupons and Freebies Mom
Houston, Texas — Melissa’s Bargains
Katy, Texas — Moms Confession
San Antonio, Texas — How to Homeschool My Child
Tyler, Texas — iLoveMy5Kids
Charlottesville, Virgina — How to Have it All
Norfolk, Virgina — The Talking Suitcase
Richmond, Virgina — Vacation Maybe
Seattle, Washington — Thrifty NW Mom
Tacoma/South Puget Sound, Washington — Queen Bee Coupons
Oshkosh, Wisconsin — A Little Bit of This and That