Posted on: March 16, 2017
Looking for something fun to do with your kiddos while in Tempe this spring? From a day at the zoo to a relaxing farmer’s market and outdoor festival, there are plenty of fun options for all ages. Here’s a short list of some of my favorite things to do in Tempe for a fun-filled day out with the family. The little ones will have a blast and you will too!
1) Desert Botanical Garden: The desert is beautiful year-round, but it really comes alive in the spring. Cacti and wildflowers bloom in every color of the rainbow. Temperatures are perfect for hiking and leisurely strolls through Desert Botanical Garden. This year, the Garden opened a brand new Butterfly Pavilion. Their Spring Butterfly Exhibit is open every day through May 14, 2017 and entry is included with paid Garden admission or membership. Kids and adults alike will love mingling with these amazing creatures and learning all about their life cycles and conservation efforts.
2) Arizona Mills: You can easily spend a whole day at Arizona Mills in Tempe. In addition to more than 100 name brand outlets and value retailers, Arizona Mills is a family entertainment destination.
Discover over 5,000 sea creatures at SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium. Built specifically for kids, this attraction transports visitors into the amazing ocean world. Kids will love the interactive and hands-on experiences like touching a starfish, going on a scavenger hunt and walking through the 360-degree ocean tunnel. My favorite part is looking for the sea turtles and getting a bird’s eye view of the stingray exhibit.
Next to SEA LIFE, you’ll find LEGOLAND® Discovery Center. This incredible indoor attraction is perfect for families with children from 3-10 years old. Enjoy two exciting rides, get creative with thousands of LEGO® bricks in themed play areas and see iconic Arizona landmarks at Miniland. Weekends through March 26, families can enjoy LEGO Batman Movie Days with LEGO Batman Meet and Greets, a Mystery Mosaic LEGO Build, a Miniland Scavenger Hunt and more fun.
Tip: you can buy a combo ticket for both SEA LIFE and LEGOLAND Discovery Center and save money on the admission cost.
And, that’s not all. You’ll also want to visit Tilt Studio, Tempe’s newest destination for all kids of games, from classics like Pac Man and pinball machines to the latest in virtual reality adventures. They also have two places for food and drinks, BYO Craft Kitchen & Bar and the Taproom at Tilt Studio Bar.
3) Singh Meadows: The owners of the popular Singh Farms recently opened an all-new organic oasis called Singh Meadows (1490 E. Weber Dr.) in Tempe. This 72-acre organic community gathering place is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. They have an on-site cafe and fresh juice bar, grab-and-go salads, pastries, locally roasted coffee and pizzas. Located on a former golf course, families can grab a blanket and have a picnic on the lush grassy lawn, play outdoor games and just relax.
4) Childsplay: See a Childsplay production Saturday and Sunday afternoons at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Perfect for young audiences, even the parents will enjoy these wonderful performances. Upcoming shows include:
Interrupting Vanessa – March 25-April 2, 2017
In a world where imaginary friends seem real, and real friends are scarce, Vanessa discovers both.
The Grumpiest Boy in the World – April 8-16, 2017
This hilarious and imaginative adventure is for anyone who has ever struggled to discover and embrace all that makes them unique and special.
Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure – April 23-May 21, 2017
It’s Alice like you’ve never seen her before! Stumble down the rabbit hole into a rock ‘n roll adventure. Don’t be late to this new musical version of a classic story!
5) The Phoenix Zoo: The Phoenix Zoo has been voted one of the nation’s top 5 zoos for kids, and for good reason! Kids will especially love interactive exhibits such as Monkey Village, Stingray Bay and Harmony Farm. There are daily activities to make your zoo visit extra special, such as Giraffe Encounters, Camel Rides and short movies at the 4-D Theater. And, in March, the zoo is offering extended hours so you can continue the fun for a bit longer. Monday-Thursday, the zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday, the zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
6) Go for a boat ride: There are two places in Tempe where families can enjoy getting out on the water: Tempe Town Lake and Kiwanis Lake. Tempe Boat Rentals at Tempe Town Lake offers electric boats, kayaks, pedal boats and stand up paddleboards. Boat Rentals of America at Kiwanis Lake offers kayaks, pedal boats and the most adorable Surrey Bicycles that fit 3 adults and 2 children (a single) or up to 6 adults and 2 children (a double).
7) Events, events and more events: The spring is festival season in Arizona. There are so many fun events on the calendar — you’ll want to make time for all of them. Here are some of the most popular spring events in Tempe and Phoenix. You’ll find even more spring events on the Tempe Tourism website.
Cactus League Spring Training
Now through April 1, 2017
Arizona is home to 15 Major League Baseball teams that call the Sonoran Desert home as they prepare for the upcoming 2017 regular season.
Tempe is the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels play at Tempe Diablo Stadium, where they will take on rivals from other Cactus League teams, including the Mariners, Cubs, Giants, Rockies and the Rangers. At Tempe Marketplace, an outdoor shopping center, baseball fans will be able to park for free and take a free trolley to Sloan Park, home of the Cubs.
Arizona Dragon Boat Festival
Tempe Town Lake
March 25-26, 2017
Join the Arizona Dragon Boat Association on March 25 & 26 for two days of exciting dragon boat competition with teams from all over the United States and beyond.
Festivities start at 8 a.m. each day on the north shore of Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Arizona.
Tempe Festival of the Arts
March 31-April 2, 2017
The 40th annual spring Tempe Festival of the Arts is March 31-April 2, 2017. From 10 a.m-5:30 p.m. each day, the entertaining Downtown Tempe will be filled with over 300 artist booths displaying unique, hand-made artwork ranging from photography, to sculpture to jewelry and everything in between. The festival also includes live entertainment stages, a variety of street performers, local artists in the Sixth + Mill Makers section and Kids Block, where kids can see works by their peers and do some projects of their own.
Final Four Fan Fest presented by Capital One
March 31-April 3, 2017
Phoenix Convention Center
Come Ready to Play, the Final Four Fan Fest is for fans of all ages! Presented by Capital One, Fan Fest is a festival within a festival jam packed with youth clinics, giveaways, concerts, interactive games, special appearances, autograph signings and much more.
Fan fest is the best way to celebrate Final Four weekend in Phoenix. With kids 12 and under FREE to enter with a ticketed adult, be sure to grab the neighbors and hustle down to the Phoenix Convention Center.
There is so much to see and do; we’ve decided to keep Fan Fest open Friday, March 31 through Monday, April 3. Try your skills and compete for bragging rights at many hands-on championship experiences. Snap photos with the championship trophy, grab official Final Four merchandise and pick up a sample or two from NCAA sponsors. That’s just the beginning.
March Madness Music Festival
March 31-April 2, 2017
Margaret T. Hance Park, Phoenix
March Madness Music Festival is a FREE three-day concert series that takes place over the NCAA Final Four Weekend and will feature Aerosmith, Keith Urban, The Chainsmokers and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, just to name a few. The concerts typically start in the late afternoon and feature team pep rallies, as well as interactive games, activities and refreshments provided by the tournament’s sponsors. This event is open to the public and is perfect for the entire family! Check out their website for a schedule and more information.
Plan your next vacation with the Tempe Visitor's Guide.