Families and Kids

Virtual Tours in the Tempe Area

One of the best things about visiting Tempe is the number of attractions in the area. During this time of social distancing, most museums and attractions are closed to the public, but there are still ways to experience them.  

Through technology, adults and kids alike can explore attractions virtually. You can view videos from the Phoenix Zoo and Hall of Flame Fire Museum, complete arts-related activities from the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts and take a virtual tour of the ASU Tempe Campus. The City of Tempe has also created a Tempe at Home YouTube playlist with videos about everything from sing-a-longs for kids, gardening tips, art projects and fitness classes.

Here are a few ways to take a virtual tour in and around Tempe.  

ASU Art Museum 

ASU Art Museum is taking this time to post daily #museumfromhome experiences on Facebook and Instagram. Recent posts have included a behind the scenes look at the process of borrowing art pieces from other museums and explanations of current exhibitions. Also check out the ASU Art Museum YouTube channel to see a performance at the museum, an interview with a curator, Masterpieces at Midday and more videos. And kids and families can have some fun with educational, art-making activities that can be done at home.

On the weekends, don’t miss Saturday Storytimes on Instagram and YouTube, featuring a book read by a museum ambassador. The first Saturday Storytime is a reading of “My Name is Georgia: a Portrait” by Jeanette Winter.

ASU Art Museum cactus art project

Arizona Heritage Center

The Arizona Heritage Center in Tempe is currently closed to the public, but as part of the Arizona Historical Society, you can experience some of the museum’s artifacts and Arizona history on their new digital hub. You can find Arizona state facts, coloring pages, activity sheets, lessons about Native American tribes in the state and even get a recipe for tortillas.

ASU Gammage Digital Connections

ASU Gammage knows we need the arts more than ever. This is why they have decided offer FREE digital experiences including masterclasses, fun demos and other experiences for you to engage with the arts. Virtual classes include Virtual Masterclasses and Lunch Time Talks. Be sure to visit their website to view upcoming classes and online performances.  

Tempe History Museum 

Take a walk through time virtually by checking on the museum’s online collections. You can look at historic photographs sorted into categories and photos of artifacts from furniture to clothing items, like Charles Hayden’s hat.  You can also learn about past exhibits, with descriptions, photos and videos, on the Tempe History Museum website.

Because learning about history really is fun, the museum team added a few entertaining games and activities on the museum’s Tempe at Home page. There are Tempe history puzzles, a memory match game with historic photos, coloring pages, a Tempe-themed Spotify playlist and eMuseum Bingo.

Tempe Public Library

Tempe Public Library has added a ton of links on their Tempe at Home page to keep kids and adults entertained. Here you’ll find arts and crafts projects, coloring pages, book recommendations, a digital library for library card holders, and links to museums and cultural venues from around the world that are offering online tours, such as the Louvre and the Guggenheim.

Tempe Plays at Home

The Tempe Parks and Recreation team wants to help people stay active while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Visit their Tempe Plays at Home webpage for links to workout and adaptive fitness videos. They also have a different activity theme for each day of the week. Each weekday morning, look for a themed #TempePlaysAtHome activity on Facebook at Tempe Parks & Rec and Instagram at Tempe Parks & Rec. Examples of daily themes are Make it Monday and Work out Wednesday.

Phoenix Zoo 

The Phoenix Zoo has an online Digital Safari where you’ll find videos, photos, fact sheets, games and animal pages where you can learn about your favorite zoo residents. Don’t miss the video of the sloth eating a rose or the anteater taking a bubble bath! 

TCA Gallery

Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) 

Just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean you (and your kids) can’t discover more about art. On the Gallery at TCA website, find links to educational resources and activities related to past exhibits such as Biomimcry, a look at the natural world, and STEAM, the intersection of art and science.  

Tempe Town Lake 

Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake are still open to the public, obviously using these rules for social distancing, but you can also visit virtually. Download the Tempe Town Lake Safari Guide for quizzes, pictures to color and fun facts about the wildlife that call the lake home.  

Tempe Town Lake Bridge

OdySea Aquarium 

The aquarium may be closed temporarily, but they are offering an opportunity for kids and adults to learn at home. Their website’s Oceanic Adventure from Home section features a virtual classroom (check out all of their info about sharks) and videos. Click on the “Explore” tab to view live webcams of sharks, sea lions and more creatures.   

Desert Botanical Garden 

If you can’t go to the Desert Botanical Garden, there are a few ways to make you miss it a little bit less. Their website homepage has a video showing what’s blooming this spring at the Garden. They have also added some activities including Desert Bingo, to help identify what types of animals you can spot along desert trails, and videos and more information about the amazing butterflies that inhabit the spring butterfly exhibit. Take some time to learn more about the plants at the Garden by reading the Your Garden at Home blogs. Also, check out Facebook and Instagram for videos and photos of this beautiful place.   

Hall of Flame Fire Museum 

The Hall of Flame is the world’s largest historical firefighting museum. This hidden gem houses more than 90 classic pieces of firefighting apparatus on display, dating from 1725 to 1960. Their team has started a new YouTube series that provides an in depth look at their collection.  

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium 

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium is home to thousands of sea creatures in a variety of habitats. Learn all about the amazing underwater creatures at SEA LIFE on their website

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium

Virtual Workshops with Changing Hands Bookstores

Changing Hands wants to help grow your writing skills and practice mindfulness with their expert instructors, all from the comfort of your home. For the list of May workshops, and more information about how to participate, visit their website or call our stores.

ASU For You 

We are always proud to be home to Arizona State University, but right now, we’re especially grateful for their community outreach. In order to assist public schools, parents who are now home with school age children and anyone who wants to continue their education, ASU has launched ASU For You.  

ASU For You is sharing regularly updated learning tools at no cost that learners here and from around the world can use. Tools include virtual field trips, library resources, video lessons, labs and simulations in K-12 subject areas and courses for college credit.  

You can also take a virtual tour of the ASU Tempe Campus. Locations on the virtual tour range from the legendary Palm Walk, the Memorial Union and ASU Gammage. 

ASU Old Main

Arizona Historical Society

The Arizona Historical Society has created some fun games and puzzles for users of all ages to discover.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

America’s Friendliest Airport wants to share their aviation themed activities for you to do at home. You can check out coloring pages, puzzles, word games and SO MUCH more on their website. Although we miss traveling as much as the next, we love these little pieces of comfort to help bring some travel-themed fun to our homes.


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Toni Smith
Written Toni Smith

An Arizona native, Toni Smith loves to dine out, conquer hiking trails, go to concerts and survive hot yoga classes. She has also never met a dog she didn’t love instantly. She lives in Tempe with her husband and daughter.