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.

Events & Seasonal Activities – Create memories and Instagram-able moments with your family at these upcoming events.

  • Enjoy the “pure imagination” of Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY onstage at Tempe’s ASU Gammage June 11-16, 2019.
  • Introduce your kids to a childhood classic, Schoolhouse Rock Live!, presented by Childsplay, through May 26, 2019 at the Herberger Theater Center in Downtown Phoenix.
  • America’s Original Waterpark, Big Surf, is open on weekends in May and then every day in the summer starting Memorial Day weekend. The whole family will love the endless array of waterslides and the Waikiki Beach wave pool.
  • Cool off at the The Cloud Splash Playground at Kiwanis Park, the newest splash pad in Tempe. The one-of-a-kind structure boasts 5,000 square feet of water play, including loops, jelly sticks, misting sprays and pillars. The splash playground is open daily: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. from April through October.
  • Visit the Phoenix Zoo’s Savanna Gallery inside the Savanna Grill through May 31, 2019 to see “Art on the Wild Side.” The exhibit features artists Tania Bolin, Lawrence Finkel and April Howland and showcases their unique vision of wildlife and conservation via photography, paint and mixed media.
  • Take a Desert Botanical Garden Flashlight Tour and see the desert in a totally different light— at night with your flashlight.  On Saturday nights, from June 1 – August 31, 2019, 7 – 9:30 p.m., you can visit multiple discovery stations along the Garden’s trails that feature a fascinating array of nocturnal furry, feathery or scaly nocturnal critters.

Attractions – Tempe’s attractions are a fine fit for kids and adults of all ages and stages.

  • 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. Don’t miss the Isle of the Tiger, which includes two exhibit yards for the Zoo’s tigers, Jai and Suriya, and two viewing areas featuring Sumatran architecture.
  • Experience the interactive displays and exhibits related to earth and science at the free Gallery of Scientific Exploration on the ASU Tempe Campus. See a model of a Mars Rover, see a planetarium show, view meteorites and much more.
  • 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.

Restaurants  – 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 at the Yard, a unique spot that serves gastropub food and has a huge patio with ping pong tables and other games.
  • Family-owned Someburros is a great place for delicious, reasonably priced Mexican food. And, as a bonus, kid’s meals come with a churro! There are two locations in Tempe.
  • 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 Daily Jam in Downtown Tempe. They serve breakfast and lunch all day including pancakes, egg sandwiches, muffins, smoothies, salads and specialty coffee drinks.
  • You’ll feel like part of the family at Rigatony’s Authentic Italian Restaurant. They serve generous portions of pasta, pizza and bread sticks — just be sure to leave room for dessert.

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