Where to have a splashing good time in Tempe this summer
Pack up your swimsuits, beach towels, sunscreen, floaties and your water-loving friends and family, and head to Tempe for a splashing good time all summer long. This season, nothing’s cooler than checking out Tempe’s hidden gems and, in this case, that means splash pads, water parks, pools and boat rentals throughout the city.
Here’s the scoop on where to find water fun at
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 every Saturday & Sunday in May from 1 to 5 p.m. Every day waves begin on Monday, May 29.
Splash Pad at Tempe Marketplace
Located at Tempe’s most-popular outdoor shopping district, the splash pad at Tempe Marketplace is free for the kiddos to play at and is conveniently surrounded by shade, shops and restaurants. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Parents can also enjoy live musicians who play within earshot of the splash pad on Friday and Saturday evenings. And, if you plan it correctly, you can even schedule your visit around a blockbuster movie at the Harkins Theatre at Tempe Marketplace.
Tempe neighborhood splash pads
The Cloud at Kiwanis Park
5233 S. Ash Ave. Tempe, AZ 85283
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 water features, from “swizzle sticks” and “jelly sticks,” to loops and hoops. There’s also a storm sequence with thunderous sound effects. Free to play. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., April to October.
Additional neighborhood splash pads:
- Hudson Park – 1430 S. Cedar St., Tempe, AZ 85281
Temporarily CLOSED. Under Construction.
- Jaycee Park – 817 W. 5th St., Tempe, AZ 85281
OPEN: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
- Esquer Park – 2407 E. McArthur Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281
OPEN: Friday, Noon – 10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; CLOSED: Monday – Thursday
The Phoenix Zoo
The Phoenix Zoo, located in beautiful Papago Park, has several splash pads and water play areas available with the price of admission.
- 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’s also a changing area.
- Yakulla Caverns is perfect for children five and over and is equipped with shaded benches and a changing area. Splash, jump and play as you make your way through the cavern and explore stalactites and stalagmites.
- At the Virginia G. Piper Enchanted Forest, located near the Endangered Species Carousel, kids can take the bridge over a trickling river to the treehouse, slide down the giant tree trunk and end with a splash through the river bottom.
There is nothing quite like relaxing at a pool on the rooftop level. Luckily, Tempe has several to offer visitors for a day of fun in the sun. Rooftop pools offer exceptional views that are untouchable and unobstructed by anything else, and frankly, they just hit differently. Explore our list of rooftop pools and experience them for yourself.
Boating in Tempe
There are two places in Tempe where you can get out on the water: Tempe Town Lake and Kiwanis Lake.
Boat Rentals of America at Tempe Beach Park, located on the south shore of Tempe Beach Park, offers visitors the opportunity to rent several varieties of watercraft. 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.
Have your own watercraft? The City of Tempe allows the public to use their own watercraft, such as a kayak or stand-up paddleboard on Tempe Town Lake. However, the City of Tempe requires a permit for each privately owned watercraft. Apply for a permit online to enjoy the lake with your own equipment. Happy boating!
Kiwanis Park is another great option for lake time. Offering a more intimate lake experience, Kiwanis Park is perfect for a family outing, especially for those getting used to large bodies of water. 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 for half hour or an hour.
Additional Tempe Boating Options:
- Riverbound Sports schedules sunset paddle board meetups at the Tempe Town Lake Marina on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The paddle boards can be picked up from their shop located at 1425 E. University Dr., Ste. B-102, Tempe, Arizona 85281. Check their website for more information and a calendar of events.
- Northshore Watersport Rentals provides kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, large party boards (that accommodate more than one person) and e-bikes for rent. Visit their website for rates and directions to their location on the north side of the lake.