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School Is Out! Arizona Summer Survival Guide

The Amy Jones Group
May 29 7 minutes read

School is out and the kids are excited! Now what? Lucky for us, we live in Arizona where there is so much to do here in the East Valley & Phoenix. Even when it heats up, there are many options such as the ones below. This week, we have your summer survival guide to keep you cool all summer!

1. Splash Pads

An Arizona Staple! There are many splash and spray pads all over the valley, but when do they open and where are they all located?

Chandler

Spray pads operate at three city parks. Chuparosa Park Spray Pad features include ground spray, four spray rings and a candy cane-shaped shower. 2400 S. Dobson Road. 480-782-2750. Find a buttercup, misty mountain, ground spray, three ants, a corn poppy, flutter, cross and three surf stones at Desert Breeze Park Spray Pad, 660 N. Desert Breeze Blvd. 480-893-6652. And at Espee Park kids will enjoy a water tower, candy-cane-shaped showers, spray rings and ground sprays. 450 E. Knox Road. 480-782-272. chandleraz.gov.

Chandler Fashion Center operates a spray pad for children up to age 8 and/or under 42″ tall, weather permitting. Swim diapers or appropriate apparel required. Adult supervision is required at all times. 3111 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler. 480-526-9200 or shopchandlerfashioncenter.com.

Gilbert

Water Tower Park’s splash pad is located among other water features including a floating granite kugel ball and a water wall with a cantilever bench and illuminated blue-glass windows. 45 W. Page Ave. 480-503-6200 or gilbertaz.gov.

There is also a splash pad at:

San Tan Village
2218 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert

Click below for more information:

2. Crayola Experience

Just opened! Crayola Experience is a brand new family attraction that’s worth exploring! It offers 19 hands-on activities: Kids can customize and wrap their own crayons, star in their own coloring pages, bring art to 4-D life, create melted wax spin-art or melt crayons into car or ring shapes. 

There’s no playground here, but there are a couple of places for kids to jump and play, including the giant rainbow rain screen, where rainbow-hued liquid appears to fall on their heads, and an interactive floor projection, where kids can sweep away leaves to find crayons or run from crayons chasing them.

Crayola Experience is open 365 days a year and can host private events, group trips and birthday parties. Annual passes are $29.99 per person online right now (or $79.99 for a family of three; $99 for a family of four). One-day general admission is $14.99 at the door. 

Contact them here to get your tickets or annual passes:

3. Bowling

Bowling is a great indoor activity for everyone. Most bowling lanes have arcades, games and movie theaters as well. Check out these programs and discounts available all summer long:

Kids Bowl Free is a national program designed by bowling centers to give children a safe, fun summer. Each child who registers gets two free games of bowling daily. Let It Roll Bowl in Phoenix participates, as does Glenfair Lanesin Glendale. The offer is available daily to ages 15 and younger; others can participate at discounted rates, making it a great family outing. Bowlers still rent shoes for about $3.50.

Other bowling lanes offer family summer discounts, including AMF’s Summer Game Pass, which is as little as $45.95 for ages 16 and up; $29.95 for ages 15 and younger (prices vary by location). The pass gets you three free games of bowling that includes shoes, every day, all summer long.

Contact AMF lanes with questions:

4. Aquariums

Arizona actually has incredible aquariums to visit with the family. Here are two closest to the East Valley:

OdySea Aquarium. The largest aquarium in the Southwest, OdySea offers a mini version of the Great Barrier Reef, a Penguin Point attraction, The Otter Banks where otters frolic and play, plus the only restrooms we know of where you can make eye contact with sharks. The aquarium hosts shark-themed events in July in honor of Shark Week and a sea turtle “Shell-a-bration” in June. $37.95; $27.95 for ages for ages 2-12. The aquarium is part of the OdySea in the Desert entertainment district that includes Butterfly Wonderland, OdySea Mirror Maze and more, so discounted combo tickets are available. 

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park. This west-side zoo’s aquarium boasts hundreds of fish and amphibians, but three gregarious sea lions are the main attraction. Guests can feed and interact with them and watch daily sea-lion shows in Shipwreck Cove. Kids also can feed penguins and explore marine life from around the globe, including piranha and a rare albino alligator. The aquarium is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Admission to both the zoo and aquarium is $39.99; $19.99 for ages 3-12; free for ages 2 and younger. 

Get your tickets here:

5. Ice Skating

Just because it’s 100+ degrees out, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of winter fun. It really does feel like you're making a trip to the snow, so don't forget you warm clothes! Ice Den and AZ Ice offer “open skate” times throughout the week where you can rent skates and hit the ice. 

Here are more locations Valley Wide:

  • Ice Den Chandler , 7225 W. Harrison Street, Chandler AZ 85226
  • Ice Den Scottsdale , 9375 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale AZ 85260
  • AZ Ice Arcadia , 3853 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix AZ 85018
  • AZ Ice Gilbert , 2305 E. Knox Road, Gilbert AZ 85296
  • AZ Ice Peoria , 15829 N. 83rd Avenue, Peoria AZ 85382
  • The Shops at Norterra: Chill Studio SK8 , 2460 W. Happy Valley Road, Phoenix AZ 85085 

AZ Ice Gilbert: 

5. Free Concerts

Who doesn't love a concert in the summer once the sun goes down?! Many of the Valley’s outdoor malls and parks offer free summer concerts, including Desert Ridge Marketplace (21001 N. Tatum Blvd., Phoenix), Westgate Entertainment District (6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale) and Tempe Marketplace (2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe).

Another favorite is Glendale’s long-running Summer Band Concert that hosts community musicians performing marches, polkas, movie medleys and other classic favorites from 8-9:15 p.m. Thursdays at Murphy Park Amphitheatre, 59th Avenue and Glenn Drive. McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park hosts free concerts from 7:30-9 p.m. Sundays through July 1 at 7301 E. Indian Bend Road, Scottsdale.

More details and schedules here:

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