Where To Find Tempe’s Top Indoor Activities This Summer

Your guide to exploring the coolest indoor adventures in Tempe this season.

Each summer, Tempe’s wide variety indoor activities and attractions beckon all ages in search of the coolest things to do. Whether you’re exploring with the family, planning a date night, looking for the perfect spot for a group meet-up or an adventure-seeking traveler looking for an immersive experience during your stay, this guide to Tempe’s coolest indoor activities is loaded with summer itinerary inspiration.

From museums and concerts to DIY art studios and heart-pumping hobbies, here are Tempe’s top spots to check out during the summer months.

Catch a wave at Kiwanis Wave Pool

6111 S. All America Way, Tempe, AZ 85283 | 480-350-5201

Enjoy all the fun without the dreaded sun at Tempe’s only indoor wave pool located at Kiwanis Park! Intermittently throughout the day, swimmers will ride waves that soar. Rent an inner tube to use not only in Kiwanis’ calm waters but for the waves as well. Swim lessons and water fitness sessions are also available throughout the week. For additional details and pool hours, visit the Kiwanis Pool website. 

Visit Arizona Mills

5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Tempe, AZ 85282 | 480-491-7300

You can easily spend the entire day at this indoor mall. Home to a mile of retail stores and outlets, Arizona Mills is also a hotspot for entertainment, including such experiences as LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Arizona and SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium.

Tilt Studio
5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Suite 669, Tempe, AZ 85282 | 480-648-1222 
This entertainment oasis invites the entire family to experience more than 150 arcade and video games, as well as laser tag and virtual reality experiences. When it’s time to refuel, head upstairs for a mouthwatering menu of American cuisine, including salads, pizza, wings and other snacks. Be sure to ask about current specials that combine dining and gaming for a package deal.

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Arizona
5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Suite 135, Tempe, AZ 85282 | 480-565-7072
This ultimate indoor playground invites families with children aged 3 to 10 to explore a world of creativity and color by getting hands-on with the thousands of LEGO bricks in themed build-and-play areas with the endless possibilities. Check out replicas of landmarks from throughout the Grand Canyon State built with 1 million LEGO BRICKS, take interactive adventures, watch movies at the LEGO 4-D cinema and build LEGO creations with master builders. A LEGO store and café are also onsite.

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium
5000 S. Arizona Mills Circle, Suite 145, Tempe, AZ 85282 | 480-565-7072
Get up close and personal with thousands of aquatic creatures at this 26,000-square-foot aquarium. Interactive touch pools and Arizona’s only 360-degree tunnel allow visitors to come face-to-face with the animal underworld, including sharks and rescued sea turtles. Encounter a vast array of creatures, including seahorses, sharks, rays, tropical fish and more. There are more than 30 display tanks with 5,000 sea creatures.

5000 S Arizona Mills Circle, Suite 313, Tempe, AZ | 480-418-8228
In 2023, Picklemall made its U.S. debut in Tempe. To meet the demands of the country’s fastest-growing sport, this startup is transforming former big-box retail spaces into dozens of new air-conditioned courts. All skill levels are welcome, all necessary equipment is provided.

Explore Tempe Marketplace

2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-966-9338

While Tempe Marketplace is an outdoor mall, you’ll find dozens of of ways for the entire family to keep cool and entertained in and around this shopping oasis. In addition to the retail stores, restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and more, you’ll also find:

As You Wish at Tempe Marketplace
2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-557-9100
Located within the District at Tempe Marketplace, As You Wish is a place where you can discover imaginative possibilities. At As You Wish, you pick out a piece of pottery and decorate it as you please with store-provided paints. Classes are available for special projects for adults and kids.

Dave & Busters
2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-281-8456
This gaming haven always has something new and exciting to offer, including more than 150 arcade and tabletop games and virtual reality experiences. Find a perch at one of the sports bar’s many TVs on game day or sip your way through happy hour and late-night happy hour — both of which pair perfectly with seasonal menus and specials. The Eat & Play Combo includes drink specials and a wide variety of games.

Splash Pad at Tempe Marketplace
2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ, 85281 | 480-966-9338
Open year-round and daily until 11 p.m., the Splash Pad at Tempe Marketplace is the ideal family-friendly spot for children to splash, play and cool off outdoors. Check the events calendar for special themed events.

Try out a new hobby

Arizona Bouldering Project
2626 S. Hardy Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282 | 480-716-9014
Tempe’s new indoor rock-climbing gym is a multi-use facility that offers both open gym and programming centered around 19,000 square feet of indoor climbing walls and boulders — as well as a fitness center, yoga studio and more — and all skill levels are welcome.

Grass Clippings at Rolling Hills
1415 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85288 | 480-530-9880
While not an indoor activity, this golf course has the designation of being Arizona’s only fully lighted 18-hole, day/night golf course and practice facility — so golfing after sunset is now a reality in Tempe. Bonus: A live music venue and new restaurant are slated by late 2024.

Main Event Entertainment
8545 S. Emerald Drive, Tempe, AZ 85284 | 480-753-1200
For anyone undecided on what kind of adventure to embark on, Main Event says, “No problem.” Here, you can choose from 26 high-quality recreational bowling lanes, laser tag, mini golf, a gravity high ropes course, billiards and shuffl eboard tables and more than 125 interactive games. As for the tempting array of food and beverage off erings, the larger-thanlife family feasts, pizzas and appetizers are perfect for sharing. There are also elevated greens, sandwiches, burgers and a craft cocktail program for the perfect date night.

Phoenix Rock Gym
1353 E. University Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-921-8322
Experience the vertical world of climbing as never before – indoors at the Phoenix Rock Gym. Explore the thirty-foot high walls with over 15,000 sq. ft. of climbing surface.

Snakes & Lattes Tempe
20 W. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-361-6644
Analog enthusiasts will delight in Snakes & Latte’s library of more than 900 board games, ranging from classics to newcomers, for all ages. This cozy, open concept invites you to bring your friends and family to tuck into a booth or table and relive the magic that only a shared board game experience can offer. Kick things up a notch with selections from the espresso or cocktail bars. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, the classic sides, fresh salads, tasty burgers and elevated entrees are sure to tempt your taste buds. Loser buys?

Take a walk on the cool, calm and creative side

Brite Candle Co.
2016 E. Wildermuth Ave., Unit 1118, Tempe, AZ 85281
Whether you’re a clean linen enthusiast or more of a worn leather scent connoisseur, here you’re invited to embrace the therapeutic power of creating and take home a one-of-a-kind new candle. This new custom candle pouring bar offers a selection of more than 20 fragrances, up to three to blend in your choice of vessel. Just be sure to book a one-hour candle-making session in advance, and then let your inner mixologist take the wheel.

Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe, AZ 85283 | 480-730-0205
Changing Hands Bookstore is one of the best independent bookstores around. It has a wonderful selection of children’s toys and books. Check out their event calendar for online events.

Hammer and Stain
7420 S. Rural Road, Suite B4, Tempe, AZ 85283 | 602-726-9794
Have you ever wanted to transform unfinished wood into a wall worthy piece of art? Just a session here and get crafty by creating your own trendy wood signs using personalized stencils, paints and stains — all provided during the workshop. Additional workshops range from resin pouring and quilting to apparel creations and more.

Painting with a Twist
219 E. Baseline Road, Suite H3, Tempe, AZ 85283 | 480-758-7928
Beyond the average pottery painting spot, Painting with a Twist offers a wide variety of activities for all creative levels and abilities. Sign up for an in-studio class, order an at-home paint kit or book a group for a virtual class. We recommend the in-person experience, in which case, BYO snacks, beer or wine to add to the fun. Advance registration is required.

740 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-699-4849
This super-trendy new DIY crafting studio — located on Mill Avenue in Downtown Tempe — invites you to try your hand at rug tufting, paint pouring, decoden art and more. Unleash your imagination, experiment with colors, and craft unique masterpieces that reflect your unique style.

Immerse yourself in arts & culture

ASU Art Museum
51 E. 10th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-965-2787
Plan a visit to the ASU Art Museum this summer. Located on the ASU Tempe Campus, ASU Art Museum features rotating exhibits with national and international contemporary artists. The Museum houses the largest collection of Cuban art in the U.S. and an award-winning print collection. Museum admission is always free.

ASU Gammage
1200 S. Forest Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-965-3434
Treat yourself to a Broadway show at ASU Gammage. Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, ASU Gammage is a beautiful landmark in Tempe and a terrific place to see a performance. The 2023-2024 season wraps with Peter Pan from June 11 to 16 and Hamilton from June 25 to July 28. The 2024-2025 season kicks off with Girl From The North Country, from Aug. 20 to 25 — followed by a lineup of equally impressive combination of acclaimed favorites and the best comedies to cross a Broadway stage.

Hall of Flame Fire Museum
6101 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85008 | 602-275-3473
Explore the history of firefighting through exhibits that include restored fi re trucks, fi re gear and more. The collection, which dates back as far as 1725, includes items from around the world. The museum is also home to the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes, a gallery dedicated to honoring firefighters who’ve died in the line of duty. The children’s play area and a real fi re truck for hands-on learning are big hits with the little ones.

Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-350-2822
Plan a visit to The Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA), located on the south bank of Tempe Town Lake. Home to Stray Cat Theatre and Arizona Theatre Company (presenting True West from May 24 to June 9), this stunning arts center features a 600-seat theater, a 200-seat studio theater and a beautiful gallery space with rotating, themed exhibits. Check out TCA’s calendar of events for the latest programming.

Tempe History Museum
809 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282 | 480-350-5100
The past, present and future converge at the Tempe History Museum, which offers a glimpse into the evolution of the city through collections, exhibits and programs and curated gallery space. Featured exhibits rotate and the museum also hosts a variety of events and programming by season. Visitors will be pleased to find new and exciting experiences around every turn, including a changing gallery space and live musical performances throughout the summer.

Grab the hottest tickets in town

Marquee Theatre
 730 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85288 | 480-829-0607
As one of Tempe’s top live performance venues, more 150 musical acts take the stage at Marquee Theatre With each year. And you can expect some of the biggest names in the music industry to descend on Tempe throughout the summer months too. Tickets are available in person, online, or by phone.

Mullett Arena
411 S. Packard Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-564-3497
One bucket list item that may seem peculiar to find in the desert, is Tempe’s new ASU multipurpose ice arena, Mullett Arena. Home to ASU men’s hockey from fall to spring, this venue also hosts concerts, conferences, youth competitions and more throughout the summer. Also located here, the Mountain America Community Iceplex hosts a variety of skating opportunities that are open to the public all summer long.

Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre
930 E. University Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-921-9877
Tickle your funny bone all summer long by heading over to the legendary Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre. Tempe Improv brings some of the hottest talents from around the country and puts them center stage right here in Tempe.

Catch a summer blockbuster
Need a place to keep cool during higher temps? Seeing a summer flick will do the trick! Catch the latest blockbuster, independent and classic films at Majestic PhoenixHarkins Tempe Marketplace or Harkins Theatres Arizona Mills. Enjoy state-of-the-art amenities, power recliners, endless amounts of popcorn and the best summer movies on the big screen.

Bring the crew for a group activity

This summer, sharpen your skills and your wits with and axe-throwing or escape room challenge. Tempe is home to several options for each, and the more participants you bring with you, the more fun these indoor adventures are.

Alcatraz Escape Games
1290 N. Scottsdale Road, #103, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-719-1234
At Alcatraz Escape Games, you and your teammates are locked in a themed room filled with puzzles and riddles that will guide your escape. With only 60 minutes on the clock, it is up to you and your teammates to work together to decipher clues and free yourself from the room.

United Escapes of America
414 S. Mill Ave., Suite 112, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-744-6469
The time is now to test your skills at United Escapes of America in Downtown Tempe. You will have the choice to stop a compromised train from crashing, break out from a jail cell or try to uncover a hidden inheritance that your grandparents left behind. Each theme has its own storyline, puzzles and a series of problems to solve.

Inferno Escape Room
2155 E. University Drive, #210, Tempe AZ 85281 | 480-567-0190
What can you expect at this escape room? It’s a live-action game and you are the hero! You’ll have to use teamwork and communication to solve clues and puzzles before 60 minutes is up. Each room has its own theme and objective. Reservations are private and are only for you and your friends and family — you won’t be matched up with anyone else.

LumberJaxes Axe Throwing
2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 2105, Tempe, AZ 85288 | 480-773-6551
Lumberjaxes is an indoor axe-throwing facility very similar to a shooting range, except your weapon of choice is an axe! Each bay has a Lumberjaxes axe-throwing specialist to ensure all participants are safe and learn proper axe-throwing techniques.

Class Axe Throwing
1625 W. University Drive, 122 B, Tempe, AZ 85281 | 480-676-3386
Spend an hour whirling wood and metal as you learn, practice and then finally square off toe to toe in a group tournament that will result in the crowning of an Axe Throwing Champion. Beginners are welcome, and staff will have you hitting the bullseye in no time!

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