Families and Kids

Tempe Splash Pads & Water Fun

Where to have a splashing good time in Tempe this summer

Pack up your beach towels, your sunscreen and your water-loving friends and family, and head to Tempe for a splashing good time all summer long. This season, there’s nothing’s cooler than water recreation. From community and hotel rooftop pools to splash pads and lakes throughout the city, your next Tempe itinerary need not be spent indoors.

Whether you’re looking for thrilling water activities or a place to lounge the day away, here’s the scoop on where to find water fun all summer:

Rooftop Pools

There is nothing quite like relaxing at a sky-high pool. Daybeds, cabanas, lounge chairs and, in some cases, poolside bites and sips, invite locals and visitors to spend a day of fun in the sun perched above Tempe. Splash the day away and be sure to stick around for sunset — these rooftop pools offer exceptional views of the city and surrounding mountains and golden hour just hits differently from up here. Explore our guide to the best rooftop pools and experience them for yourself this season.

Kiwanis Wave Pool

Kiwanis Wave Pool is the Valley’s only indoor wave pool, and it does not disappoint when it comes to water fun. This climate-controlled pool features 3-foot waves in various patterns and features a 122-foot-long spiral water slide. Rafts and tube rentals are also available. The Wave Pool is open for the season — 1 to 5 p.m. — every Saturday in April, Saturdays and Sundays in May, and every day waves begin on Monday, May 27.
Location: 6111 S. All America Way, Tempe, AZ 85283

Additional community pools in Tempe:

  • Clark Outdoor Pool: 1730 S. Roosevelt St., Tempe, AZ 85281 (opens April 20)
  • McClintock Outdoor Pool: 1830 E. Del Rio Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282 (opens May 25)
  • Escalante Outdoor Pool: 2150 E. Orange St., Tempe, AZ 85281 (opens May 25)

Splash Pad at Tempe Marketplace

Located at Tempe’s most-popular outdoor shopping district, the splash pad at Tempe Marketplace (2000 E. Rio Salado Parkway, #1, Tempe, AZ 85288 — near Barnes & Noble) is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. This aqua playground is free for the kiddos and conveniently surrounded by shade, shops and restaurants. Parents can also enjoy live musicians who play within earshot of the splash pad on Friday and Saturday evenings. Plan your visit accordingly and you can catch one of the many events taking place here or even a summer blockbuster at the Harkins Theatre. 

The Cloud at Kiwanis Park

Keep cool at The Cloud at Kiwanis Park, the largest community splash pad in Tempe. Under its signature blue canopy, the 5,000-square-foot water attraction has various interactive features — from “swizzle sticks” and “jelly sticks” to loops and hoops. There’s also a storm sequence with thunderous sound effects. The Cloud is free to play and open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. (April to October).
Location: 5233 S. Ash Ave., Tempe, AZ 85283 Additional Splash Pads in Tempe:

  • Parque de Soza Splash Pad: 1430 S. Cedar St., Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Jaycee Park: 817 W. 5th St., Tempe, AZ 85281
  • Esquer Park: 2407 E. McArthur Drive, Tempe, AZ 85281

The Phoenix Zoo

Less than 5 miles from Downtown Tempe, the Phoenix Zoo, has several splash pads and water play areas available with the price of admission. Location: 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008.

Leapin’ Lagoon Splash Pad is perfect for babies and toddlers. Adults can take a break and watch from shaded benches or join in the fun if they don’t mind a good soaking (there is a changing area near by).

A visit to Yakulla Caverns is perfect for children ages 5 and up. Here, they are encouraged to splash, jump and play as you make your way through the cavern and explore stalactites and stalagmites. Yakulla Caverns is equipped with shaded benches and a changing area.

Located near the Endangered Species Carousel, the Virginia G. Piper Enchanted Forest is a space where kids can take a bridge over a trickling river to a treehouse, slide down the giant tree trunk and end with a splash through the river bottom.

Boating in Tempe

The unmistakable Tempe Town Lake is the epicenter of outdoor activities in the Valley of the Sun. Most-importantly, this includes a roster of outfitters that are ready to het you out on the water. Location: 72 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281.

Boat Rentals of America at Tempe Beach Park, located on the south shore of Tempe Beach Park, invites visitors to hit the lake via watercraft. With a wide variety of options. Some of the more popular rentals include electric boats (with surrey tops for shade), stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, pedal boats and the snazzy swan pedal boats.

Riverbound Sports schedules sunset paddle board meetups at the Tempe Town Lake Marina on Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The paddle boards can be picked up from their shop located at 1425 E. University Drive, Suite B-102, Tempe, Arizona 85281. Check the website for more information and a calendar of events.

Located at 555 N. College Ave., #1030, Tempe, AZ 85288, Northshore Watersport Rentals provides self-service rentals, including kayaks and stand-up paddle boards, 24/7. Visit the website for rates and pick-up and return instructions.

Have your own watercraft? The City of Tempe allows the public to use their own watercraft, such as kayaks and stand-up paddle boards on Tempe Town Lake. However, the City of Tempe requires a permit for each privately owned watercraft. So, plan ahead and apply for a permit online here.

Kiwanis Park

Another serene option for lake time is Kiwanis Park, a nearly hidden gem that’s perfect for a family outing — especially for those getting used to large bodies of water. And, once again, Boat Rentals of America at Kiwanis Lake has you covered with kayaks and pedal boats by the half hour or hour. You can also rent cruiser, tandem and surrey bikes here and hit the park’s paved paths that circle the lake. Location: 5203 S. Ash Ave., Tempe, AZ 85283.

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