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 from March 2-May 12, 2019 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. Meet a Mermaid, Thursday through Sunday from February 28th until March 24th. You’ll be able to see and interact with your favorite mythical creature at Mermaid Lagoon and Mermaid Cove.
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. Through March 31, they’ll be celebrating the new THE LEGO® MOVIE™ 2! during THE LEGO® MOVIE™ DAYS. Join Emmet, Wyldstyle and the gang during event weekends with exclusive building activities, out-of-this-world character experiences, interactive photo opportunities and more!
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: Take the kids Singh Meadows (1490 E. Weber Dr.) in Tempe. This 72-acre organic community gathering place is open to the public Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. They have an on-site cafe and fresh juice bar, pastries, locally roasted coffee and tasty menu items. 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 Herberger Theater in Downtown Phoenx. Perfect for young audiences, even the parents will enjoy these wonderful performances. See the current show, “And in this Corner: Cassius Clay ” through March 3, 2019. Upcoming shows include:
” The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show,” April 28-May 26, 2019
“Schoolhouse Rock Live!,” March 17-April 21, 2019
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. The Zoo is open daily. Hours are seasonal: Hours: January 14 – May 31, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; June 1 – August 31, 7 a.m. – 2 p.m.; September 1 – October 31, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; November 1 – January 13, 9 a.m. – 4 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.
8. Cactus League Spring Training: Now through March 26, 2019, 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.