Cool Activities for the Whole Family in Tempe, Arizona this Season

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From water parks to theatre to learning about animals and sea creatures, the Tempe Tourism Office is the best resource for planning a fun family getaway

The temperatures are starting to warm up and the last day of school is right around the corner. In Tempe, Arizona, that means it’s just the beginning of cool family fun. The Tempe Tourism Office is a great resource for visitors and locals who are looking for entertainment ideas at places such as The Phoenix Zoo, the Desert Botanical Garden, SEA LIFE Arizona and several water parks in the area.

Come see why The Phoenix Zoo in Papago Park has been voted one of the top 5 zoos for kids in the country. With the permanent addition of Stingray Bay, families can get up close and personal with Cownose Stingrays, especially during three feeding times each day. Leapin’ Lagoon Sprayground and Yakulla Caverns are great places to cool off in between visiting creatures ranging from farm animals to orangutans. Kids will also enjoy touring the zoo on the safari train, riding a camel and feeding giraffes from the observation deck.

See the desert in a whole new light during the Flashlight Tours at Desert Botanical Garden, Thursday and Saturday nights from May 26-September 1. Bring a flashlight and see, feel and hear the desert, including nighthawks, tortoises, insects and night-blooming flowers. The Garden will open at 7 p.m. for this event.

Childsplay, Arizona’s professional theatre company for young audiences, will showcase “The Color of Stars,” a touching story about life in America during World War II, family, and the importance of telling the truth. Tickets are still available for the show which runs from April 28- May 20 at The Tempe Center for the Arts.

Big Surf Waterpark, home of America’s first wave pool, will open for the season on May 5. Zoom down slides like the White Serpentine and the Black Hole or soak up the sun on Waikiki Beach. Surfing and boogie boarding sessions are also available daily.

The City of Tempe provides a couple of options for watery fun this season: Splash Playground and the Kiwanis Wave Pool. Splash Playground at Tempe Beach Park opens in mid-May when the temperature reaches 100 degrees and stays open all summer long. This free park at Tempe Town Lake is a great place for kids to cool down and enjoy waterfalls, streams and pop-up fountains. After the last splash, treat the family to a popsicle, frozen yogurt or ice cream from one of the locally owned shops in the adjacent Mill Avenue District.

The Kiwanis Wave Pool is Tempe’s very own indoor water park. Comfortably heated to 84 degrees, the pool also features a lap pool, 15 ft. slide and waves. Children’s tickets start at just $5 and tube and raft rentals are available.

Golfland Sunsplash features more than 25 rides and attractions making it an ideal place to spend a sunny summer day. Ride the waves in the 450,000 square foot Thunder Bay Wave Pool, take an exhilarating trip down slides such as the Sidewinder Half Pipe or take the little ones to the children’s play area. Check the website,, for hours and dates of operation.

Tempe Marketplace has something for everyone to enjoy this summer. In addition to a wide variety of shops and restaurants, guests can enjoy live music on the district stage every Friday and Saturday night starting at 7 p.m. Kids will love running through the Splash Pad fountain on hot days, while parents enjoy a coffee or frozen yogurt from one of the nearby cafes. For those looking to stay indoors, enjoy a summer blockbuster at Harkins Tempe Marketplace 16 Theatres.

For indoor shopping, dining, movies and family fun, Arizona Mills is the perfect one stop destination. SEA LIFE Arizona aquarium provides visitors with close encounters to a vast array of creatures including seahorses, sharks, rays, tropical fish and more. The newest addition to SEA LIFE is Ziva, Arizona’s first rescued green sea turtle. GameWorks features interactive games, simulators, pool tables, darts and traditional arcade style games.Nothing beats the heat like a cool day at the movies. Harkins IMAX Theatre allows movie-goers to have an unforgettable viewing experience.

For more ideas about how to entertain the entire family this summer, visit the Tempe Tourism Office at or call 800-283-6734.

About Tempe Tourism Office
The Tempe Tourism Office is a non-profit organization devoted to marketing Tempe, Arizona as a desirable visitor and group destination site. The Tempe Tourism Office's mission is to provide visitors, media professionals and meeting planners with information on Tempe hotels, Tempe restaurants, Tempe entertainment and local points of interest. To learn more about Tempe, Arizona please call 480-894-8158 or 800-283-6734 or visit our website.

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Toni Smith

Amy Griglak