Families and Kids

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Tempe on Spring Break

A family friendly guide to spring adventures in Tempe

Spring break is the best — it’s that little taste of summer that carries you through the rest of the school year. This year, spend your weeklong vacation right here in Tempe, Arizona. It’s the perfect place for enjoying fun in the sun and relaxing without schoolwork. To make the most of your valuable downtime, we’ve compiled a list of things to make your spring break memorable.

10 fun things to do in the Tempe area during spring break:

1. Get out on the water at Tempe Town Lake

Rent a donut boat, pedal boat, kayak or stand-up paddleboard with Boat Rentals of America – Tempe Town Lake. Kick the fun up a notch by boarding the swan, duck or dragon-themed pedal boats. Or bring the entire crew for a donut boat ride (seats up to 10). If you’d rather experience the lake on dry land, rent a surrey bike to cruise the perimeter. They have both two-person and four-person bikes available for rent.

2. Visit the Phoenix Zoo

Previously voted one of the top five zoos in the U.S., and one of the largest nonprofit zoos as well, this is an awesome place to spend the day. Zoo staff cares for over 3,000 animals, with nearly 400 species represented, including many threatened/endangered species, such as the African Lion, Golden Eagle, Orangutan and the Jaguar. For a full list of activities, visit the zoo’s event website.

3. SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium

Go under the sea at Arizona Mills. This attraction is designed for kids of all ages and levels with tons of exhibits, creatures, hands-on experiences and photo ops. Discover the only 360-degree ocean tunnel in Arizona and come face to face with sharks, stingrays and more! Make it a day of exploration and purchase a combo ticket to visit SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona, located next door.

4. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona

Located inside Arizona Mills, this is the perfect place for families with children ages 3 to 10 to enjoy a world of creativity, color and building fun. Check out the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground, themed play areas, larger-than-life and miniature displays of architecture, natural wonders and plants and animals — all of which comprise thousands of LEGO® bricks. You can even watch the resident master builder at work.

5. Endless entertainment at Tempe Marketplace

A great place to visit all year round, Tempe Marketplace is a perfect family destination in the spring. Explore all activities at this outdoor shopping oasis:

  • Splash Pad – Cool off at the splash pad located near Barnes & Noble in The District. Kids can play in the water at the Splash Pad while parents sit and relax while enjoying the fresh spring air.
  • Live MusicEnjoy free live music from up-and-coming talent Friday and Saturday nights at The District Stage.
  • Movies – Visit Harkins Theaters to catch the latest blockbuster film.
  • Dining – There are so many kid-friendly dining options and shops inside Tempe Marketplace. From frozen yogurt to pizza and everything in between, Tempe Marketplace has just what you need to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Check out our Tempe Marketplace dining blog or family friendly restaurant blog for more options.

6. Try an exciting new hobby

Experience the vertical world of climbing In Tempe. Whether you choose Phoenix Rock Gym or Arizona Bouldering Project, you’ll find yourself surrounded by thousands of square feet of indoor climbing surfaces.

The country’s fastest-growing sport — pickleball — has landed in Tempe. The Arizona Mills Picklemall location was the brand’s first in the U.S. Here, the courts are indoors, all skill levels are welcome and all necessary equipment is provided. 

For something a little more on the wild side, try your axe-throwing skills at LumberJaxes Axe Throwing, Hotshots Axe Throwing or Class Axe Throwing.

7. Create your own souvenir

Tap into your creative side with pottery or canvas painting (just for starters) at As You Wish or Painting with a Twist — both of which offer everyone-friendly projects. New options are added daily at both locations, too!

For those with a little more experience, book a session at Hammer and Stain to create your own trendy wood signs using personalized stencils, paints and stains provided during the workshop. And, Tutugether is a new DIY crafting studio where you can try your hand at rug tufting, paint pouring, decoden art and more.

8. Take a hike

Warm weather, lots of sunshine and mountain trails, what more could you ask for? Maybe wildflowers, if you time it just right. The spring temperatures make this an excellent season for hitting the trail — with your kids or dogs in tow, too — for a hike. Check out some of our hiking recommendations in and around Tempe here.

9. Get into the game

Tilt StudioDave & BustersSnakes and Lattes and Main Event deliver fun for everyone in the family. From arcade games and bowling to delicious food and tasty drinks, each location has something unique to offer, so check them all out.

Suppose you’d rather watch a game than play one yourself. In that case, we recommend catching a Cactus League Spring Training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium or an Arizona State University hockey game at the new Mullett Arena Stadium.

10. Scope out the pool scene

To best enjoy the sunny spring weather, we recommend taking full advantage of some pool time at your hotel. Each property promises a different poolside experience, so decide what your top priorities are — a rooftop perch, cabana options, sunny decks for soaking up Vitamin D, waterfall features or maybe delicious food and beverage options right at your finger tips. Then check out our guide on where to stay in Tempe and you’re set.

For more ideas about family fun in Tempe, visit our Spring Activities page.

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