Families and Kids

Things To Do During Spring Training Season

Enjoy sunny skies and all the spring vibes at this year’s Cactus League Spring Training games, February 28 through March 30, 2021. Catch a fly ball, a tan and hopefully a few attractions while you’re in town as Arizona’s warmer temperatures are the perfect backdrop for patio dining, hiking and other outdoor activities.

Enjoy this list of our favorites this to do during spring training season.

Go to a Spring Training game, of course!

Angels Spring Training Safety Protocols: The City of Tempe is preparing for the return of the Los Angeles Angels as spring training kicks off on February 28, 2021. Enhanced health and safety precautions will be implemented to ensure patrons and players can enjoy a safe experience.

Cactus League Spring Training brings 15 MLB teams to 10 stadiums to play more than 200 games. So, that’s a lot of games to choose from! If you’re lucky enough to score tickets to a game, since stadiums have reduced fan capacity, Tempe is in the middle of all of the action.

I love Tempe Diablo Stadium because it’s centrally located and because the views of the mountains from here really remind you why Arizona is such a beautiful place. And, if you want to skip the traffic after the game, take a quick drive up the adjacent mountain to Top of the Rock at the Phoenix Marriott Resort Tempe at The Buttes. They have a terrific happy hour and they’re open Thurs.-Sun.

Hiking

Now is the perfect time to dust off those hiking boots. Spring brings lots of color to the desert making a perfect backdrop for exercise. I love the ease of the quick hike up “A” Mountain in Downtown Tempe. You’ll find a trail head located at Third St. and Mill Ave, just behind the light rail tracks.

And, I also love the variety of scenic trails at South Mountain Park and Preserve. There are hikes that last 20 minutes and hikes that will take you all day. And, you’ll love every minute, with the exception of a few tough uphill climbs. The views of the city from the top will be your well-deserved reward.

If you’re looking for an awesome place to catch a sunrise or sunset, you can’t go wrong with a hike to Hole in the Rock. The hike to the top will only take you about 5 or 10 minutes. You can get to the trail head by entering the Phoenix Zoo parking lot off of Galvin Parkway. Go left at the fork and then turn left into one of the open gates. 

Need ideas for family-friendly hiking? We put a handy list together of our favorite family-friendly hikes in and around Tempe.

Patio Dining

There’s a good reason why so many restaurants in town invest in patios. Eating tasty food and enjoying Arizona’s warm temps are two of my favorite things. Put them together and you’ve got a slice of heaven. My favorites are House of Tricks, Pedal Haus Brewery, Postino Annex and Culinary Dropout at the Yard Tempe. But, really it’s hard to go wrong in Tempe. Check out a full list of restaurants with great patios.

Shopping

Tempe Marketplace: Shop, dine and listen to live music every Friday and Saturday evening at Tempe Marketplace. This is a fun spot to walk around, browse the shops and grab a bite to eat. Some of my favorite restaurants include Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill, Bar Louie and Dave & Buster’s. There are lots of options for shopping including H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy and DSW – just to name a few!

Arizona Mills: Discover some amazing deals, grab a meal and have some fun at Arizona Mills, located just minutes away from Tempe Diablo Stadium. This outlet shopping destination offers more than 185 stores, a variety of dining options and lots of attractions including SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona, Harkins IMAX Theater and Tilt Studio.

Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden is always gorgeous, but spring is when it really comes to life. Wildflowers will be in bloom and there’s a great on-site restaurant to try called Gertrude’s where you can enjoy a delicious meal on their lovely patio. Another favorite spring activity is the Wind, Water, Earth exhibition by Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz of Waterlily Pond Studio, now through April 25, 2021.

The Phoenix Zoo

Springtime is one of the best times of year to visit The Phoenix Zoo. The weather is perfect for being outside, and the animals like it too! My visits always include a stop at Orang-Hutan, the Orangutan habitat, and the Sumatran tigers of the “Isle of the Tiger” habitat. And don’t miss a stop at the Camel Rides, a favorite of both the kiddos and adults.

Craft Beer

One way to experience the unique culture and relaxed vibe in Tempe, Arizona is to visit  some of the city’s beloved breweries. Tempe is home to multiple local breweries that are creating extremely popular and even award-winning beers. Check out our craft beer video for breweries you will want to sip and see in Tempe.

Downtown Tempe

Downtown Tempe is a natural gathering spot for baseball fans. Here, along tree-lined streets, you’ll find local shops, tempting restaurants and fun nightlife options. You can also hike up “A” Mountain, check out Tempe Town Lake and see public art.

Try Something New

Looking to do something out of the ordinary and try something extraordinary while you’re in town? Then Tempe is perfect for you! From wielding an axe at Lumberjaxes Axe Throwing to releasing your aggression at the Simply Smashing Rage Release Room, there is something for everyone. For a full list of unique things to do, visit our blog.

Paddleboarding on Tempe Town Lake

I am absolutely obsessed with paddleboarding and if you try it, you’ll be hooked too. It seems difficult, but really it isn’t. And, gently paddling around the lake without a care in the world is one of my moments of Zen. Check out Boat Rentals of America – Tempe Town Lake for pricing and details about their other watercraft options. They also offer swan pedal boats (so perfect for Instagram), electric boats and kayaks. You can also visit the Boat Rentals of America – Kiwanis Lake location for pedal boating and kayaks in another picturesque setting.

Amy Griglak
Written Amy Griglak

Originally from California, Amy loves to travel, go for runs, read all kinds of books, enjoy all things Disney, drink caramel macchiatos and explore new places and old favorites with her husband and two kiddos.