Family Fun in Tempe

Whether you’re visiting from far away or nearby, Tempe has lots to offer families looking to have some fun. From the squirmiest little travelers to tough-to-please teens, kids, parents and grandparents will find plenty to enjoy in Tempe. Tempe’s wide range of family-oriented attractions and restaurants are up to the challenge of satisfying the pickiest of palates.

  • Create warm memories and Instagram-able moments with your family at these festive holiday events:
    •  Through December 23, 2018 – “A Christmas Carol” at the Tempe Center for the Arts. This  Broadway musical adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel follows Ebenezer Scrooge as he takes a ghost-guided, eye-opening journey through his past, present and future to learn the importance of family & friendship. Filled with lively song and dance, stunning sets and costumes, it will leave you and yours wrapped in the joy of the season.
    • Weekends through December 24, 2018 –  Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Arizona has lots of fun holiday activities planned. Join Master Model Builder Alec Posta and the rest of the team in an array of festive and seasonally themed activities.
    • Weekends through December 24, 2018 – Merry Fishmas at SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium has an array of sea-themed activities, from holiday scavenger hunts and ornament decorating to the creation of Wish for Fish Christmas lists. And you can see Santa doing some underwater scuba diving!
    • Through December 31, 2018  – Illumination: Symphony of Light at Tempe Diablo Stadium,  a 25-minute spectacular drive-thru attraction showcasing unforgettable holiday icons and breathtaking illuminated drive-thru tunnels, including “Santa’s Portal,” a 500-foot LED super tunnel, the largest drive-thru light tunnel in the country. Admission is $29.00 per car.
    • December 31, 2018 – Noon Year’s Eve at The Phoenix Zoo – rings in the New Year a the stroke of…NOON! This bash is fun for the whole family. Festivities Include 30 Tons of snow, bug-themed games & activities, bounce houses, snowball targets, DJ dance party and the countdown to a dung beetle ball drop at noon with a cider/juice toast.
    • Through January 13, 2019 – ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo, features millions of twinkling and dancing lights, a three-story-high holiday tree, a 200-foot long polar slide, photos with Santa, hundreds of glimmering light displays,  lakeside music-in-motion shows, live reindeer, Stingray Bay and 4-D Theater.
  • See beautiful fish and other creatures of the sea at SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, located in Arizona Mills. SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium is a unique excursion for the whole family. SEA LIFE creates an environment where little ones can have face-to-face encounters with seahorses, rays, sharks, tropical fish and more. Combine your visit with lunch or dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, Garcia’s or Joe’s Crab Shack.
  • Budding master builders will love the new LEGOLAND® Discovery Center at Arizona Mills mall. Families with children aged 3 to 10 will experience a world of creativity, color and building fun in the ultimate indoor LEGO playground. Your gang can spend hours enjoying the build and play areas with thousands of LEGO bricks, 2 LEGO rides, the 4D cinema and MINILAND with Arizona’s iconic buildings and attractions made from LEGO bricks. Visit the Dino Explorer experience, a JURASSIC-sized adventure featuring a ton of Dino activities and playful learning activities.  Kids can also learn LEGO building tips from the experts at the Model Builder Academy.
  • Tilt Studio, also located inside Arizona Mills, is a blast from the past where you can play some of the original video and  pin ball games. Pac-Man, anyone?
  • Tempe Marketplace is a shopping and entertainment destination home to H&M, Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, Dave & Buster’s, California Pizza Kitchen and a 16-screen Harkins Theatre. Relax with an iced tea while the kids enjoy the Splash Pad. And, on Friday and Saturday evenings, enjoy live music at the District Stage.
  • Pedal or paddle around Tempe Town Lake where you can rent a pedal boat, stand-up paddle board, kayak and other watercraft. Landlubbers can stretch their legs on the art-lined paths surrounding the lake.
  • You’ll be amazed at the collection of more than 90 fully restored pieces of fire-fighting apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1969 at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for ages 6-17 and $2 for ages 3-5. Children under 3 are free.
  • Have a roaring good time at the Phoenix Zoo, one of the nation’s top five zoos for kids with more than 1,000 animals and interactive exhibits. Isle of the Tiger includes two exhibit yards for the Zoo’s tigers, Jai and Suriya, and two viewing areas featuring Sumatran architecture.
  • For some creative family togetherness check out the fun  and free art programs at the ASU Art Museum.
  • Main Event Entertainment, located in south Tempe, is a 58,000 square foot fun zone, home to 26 high quality recreational bowling lanes, laser tag, a gravity high ropes course, billiards and shuffleboard tables and more than 125 interactive games.
  • Challenge your team at Escape Zone where you follow the trail of clues and crack the codes to escape the room in 60 minutes or less. There are four intriguing scenarios: The Island, The Inheritance, Rush Hour and Jail Break. Harry Houdini would love this place! Take a look at the FAQs on the Escape Zone website for age restrictions.
  • For good old fashioned board game fun check out Snakes & Lattes.  Choose from the whopping available-for-play library of more than 1000 games. When you get hungry, Snakes & Lattes works with local craft breweries, coffee roasters, and also has an amazing kitchen to satisfy any palate.
  • Learn all about that most miraculous organ–the heart–at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, the only hands-on, interactive cardiovascular learning facility in the nation. Exhibits and fun activities educates children and adults on a variety of health-related topics including the benefits of exercise, eating healthy and the importance of not using tobacco products.
  • Tempe offers plenty of family-friendly restaurants with kids’ menus to please the pickiest palate. Here are a few suggestions:
    • Dine in tropical surroundings at Arizona Mills’ Rainforest Café, where jungle creatures come to life.
    • Get a taste of the Wild West at Rustler’s Rooste. The kiddos will get a kick out of the live music and tin slide inside the restaurant.
    • Hang out at Culinary Dropout, a unique spot that serves gastropub food and has a huge patio with ping pong tables and other games.
    • What kid doesn’t love chicken fingers? In fact, chicken fingers constitute the primary food group for many kids who will eat only chicken fingers for most of their formative years. If your family has one of one or more kids on a chicken finger restricted diet, you are in luck because Tempe has the ultimate chicken finger place, Raising Cane’s.
    • For breakfast, the whole family will love NCounter in Downtown Tempe. They serve breakfast and lunch all day including pancakes, egg sandwiches, muffins, smoothies, salads and specialty coffee drinks.

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