Families and Kids

Indoor activities in Tempe to stay cool this summer

What is the best way to stay cool in Tempe during the heat of the summer, you ask?

Enjoy one of Tempe’s many stellar indoor activities and attractions! Tempe has lots of indoor activities, from museums to arcades to bookstores, that offer tons of fun for the whole family, with a bonus of amazing air conditioning.

Plenty of times, I will suggest to my friends that we go somewhere, and when I tell them the name of a place, I am shocked when they reply, “What’s that?” So, I feel it is my duty to shed some light on best places in Tempe – the best spots to eat and places to enjoy fun activities during the hot summer months.

Aloha Yogurt 
219 E. Baseline Rd #5, Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 289-5238
It seems Aloha Yogurt is less known around Tempe. It’s a small frozen yogurt store that sells a variety of flavors and toppings that you assemble yourself to your liking! Not only that, but the service is also the nicest around. The employees talk to you like you’re their friend and it makes for a great Aloha Yogurt experience! 

Majestic Tempe 7
1140 E. Baseline Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283 
Of course, I couldn’t NOT bring up a movie theater. When things started opening from the pandemic, I was anxious to see a movie in a real theater again, and Majestic Tempe opened around the same time. Enjoying a thrilling movie and eating popcorn couldn’t get any better than at Majestic Tempe. Be sure to bring some friends with you! My summers wouldn’t be what they are without this theater! 

Kiwanis Wave Pool
6111 S. All America Way, Tempe, AZ 85283 
One of my favorite places to go in Tempe is Kiwanis Wave Pool. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve come here, especially in summer, and take a swim. Intermittently throughout the day, the waves will begin so you can ride waves that soar! You can rent an inner tube to use not only in Kiwanis’ calm waters but for the waves as well. There are also swim lessons available to children. 

LEGOLAND Sculpture at Arizona Mills

Shop at Arizona Mills
5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 491-7300
You can easily spend the whole day at Arizona Mills. This indoor mall is home to a mile of retail stores, outlets and entertainment venues including an IMAX Theatre, LEGOLAND Arizona Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium.

While visiting Arizona Mills, check out the LEGO® sculpture located near the food court. Built by hand using more than 300,000 LEGO® bricks, this massive desert sculpture includes a large and small barrel cactus, a desert tortoise and a prickly pear cactus; it is something you will have to see to believe!

Tilt Studio
Located inside Arizona Mills | 5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Ste. 669, Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 648-1222 
While you’re in Arizona Mills you can visit Tilt Studio. I find not as many people know about Tilt Studio. It is the place for you if you love arcade games. And that’s not all, you can play virtual reality games, play laser tag, and it’s fun for all age groups. It’s a great place to host a birthday party or any other celebration with a ton of people, or just by yourself! 

BoxLunch 
Located inside Arizona Mills | 5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Ste. 593, Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 378-2864
Whenever I want a new T-shirt or merch from my favorite show, Boxlunch has always come through for me. It is one of my favorite shops in Arizona Mills! They have the latest merchandise for several different pop culture trends. Ranging as far as from SpongeBob SquarePants to your favorite anime, they have all sorts of clothing, pins, action figures, and more that will no doubt meet all your merchandise needs.  

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona
5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Ste. 135, Tempe, AZ 85282
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, located inside Arizona Mills, is where families with children aged 3 to 10 can enjoy a world of creativity, color and building fun in the ultimate indoor LEGO playground. Get hands-on with the thousands of LEGO bricks in themed build and play areas where kids’ imaginations can run wild with the endless possibilities that LEGO offers.

LEGOLAND Discover Center Arizona
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium
5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Ste. 145, Tempe, AZ 85282
Located inside Arizona Mills, come and see Arizona’s only 360 degree tunnel! 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.

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium
SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium

Alcatraz Escape Room Games
1290 N. Scottsdale Rd., #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.

As You Wish at Tempe Marketplace
2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy, 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. And, because seating is limited, reservations are highly recommended.

Changing Hands Bookstore
Changing Hands Bookstore

Changing Hands Bookstore
6428 S. McClintock Dr., 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 their event calendar for online events.

Dave & Busters
2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 281-8456
There’s always something new and exciting waiting for you at Dave & Buster’s. Don’t miss their Eat & Play Combo, drink specials and large variety of games. Located at Tempe Marketplace.

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

Hall of Flame Tempe
Hall of Flame Fire Museum

Hall of Flame Fire Museum
6101 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85008 | (602) 275-3473
If your child dreams of being a firefighter, the Hall of Flame Fire Museum is the perfect stop. See fire trucks and equipment dating back to the 18th century.

Inferno Escape Room
2155 E University Dr. #210, Tempe AZ 85281 | (480) 567-0190
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 Tempe
LumberJaxes Ax Throwing

LumberJaxes Axe Throwing
3105 S. Fair Ln., #100, Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 773-6551
This summer, try your luck at wielding an axe! 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 insure all participants are safe and learn proper axe throwing techniques.

Main Event Entertainment
8545 S. Emerald Dr., Tempe, AZ 85284 | (480) 753-1200
Main Event is home to 26 high quality recreational bowling lanes, laser tag, a gravity high ropes course, billiards and shuffleboard tables, more than 125 interactive games and a tempting array of food and beverage.

Main Event Tempe
Main Event Entertainment
Phoenix Rock Gym
Phoenix Rock Gym

Phoenix Rock Gym
1353 E. University Dr., 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.

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, they feature 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!

Even if you live in Tempe, you may not have done one of these things yet! Make it a plan to visit and try out these places. You won’t regret it! 

Written Alicia Griffith

Alicia is an ASU Alumna and Tucson native who is unapologetically herself. When she is not sharing her passion for Tempe, she is a devoted dog mom and reality TV enthusiast who has a weakness for charcuterie boards and wine!

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