Temperatures are rising here in the east valley and many parents are starting to sweat as summer break closes in. When it’s 100+ degrees outside, how do you keep the kids (and adults) entertained? Fortunately, we’re well-equipped to handle the desert summers here in the valley. Here is a list of relatively inexpensive (and even free) boredom busters that will keep kids of all ages busy and cool.


Aquatic Centers, Pools & Water Parks


1500 N McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 994-2297


Opened in 1969, Big Surf Waterpark boasted the first wave pool in the United States. Today it still has a 2.5 million-gallon wave pool, along with several water slides and other amusements.


155 W Hampton Ave, Mesa, AZ 85210

(480) 834-8319


Amusement chain featuring a mini golf course and arcade, as well as water slides and laser tag.


5901 S Hillcrest Dr, Chandler, AZ 85249

(480) 782-2635


Chandler’s sixth and newest public Aquatics facility. Features competition/lap pool, two 1-meter diving boards, two water slides, lazy river, water vortex, family play pool with zero-depth entry, toddler slides, 752-gallon “big blue bucket”, artificial grass areas, shaded areas, pool furniture, family dressing room, and training classroom.


17010 S 48th St, Phoenix, AZ 85048

(602) 534-9255


Family-friendly outdoor pool with a slide, diving boards & water sprinklers, plus lessons.


1860 S Longmore, Mesa, AZ 85202

(480) 644-2550


Rhodes offers a beach entry, three diving boards and elaborate splash pads and tumble buckets for little ones. Shade structures and concession stands are also on site.


4243 W Pinnacle Peak Rd, Glendale, AZ 85310

(623) 201-2000


Situated on approximately 35 acres of land, Wet’n’Wild Phoenix is the Arizona’s largest family-friendly waterpark. It features a lazy river and more than 30 attractions including slides and play areas.


Indoor Entertainment


1830 E Baseline Rd, Mesa, AZ 85204

(480) 926-7499


The first facility of its kind in the Phoenix area, is over 90000 square feet of food and fun. Features an Amazing All-U-Can-Eat Buffet, indoor go-karts, laser tag, miniature golf, Interactive Redemption and video games.


1166 South Gilbert Road, Suite 110 Gilbert, AZ 85296

(480) 632-9663


Filled with amazing inflatables in a safe, indoor atmosphere, Bounce U is one of the best party locations in the valley. They book private birthday parties, team parties, mom’s clubs and more.


Tempe Marketplace, 2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281

(480) 281-8456


Family-friendly chain offering a sports-bar-style setting for American food & arcade games.

4874 S Val Vista Dr, Gilbert, AZ 85298 Gilbert, AZ

(480) 471-8444


Flipside is an entertainment venue for all ages with bowling, billiards, laser tag, video games & a casual eatery. Check out their website or Facebook page for deals and specials like $23 unlimited attractions and unlimited bowling and brunch on Sundays.


Chandler Location:

455 E Warner Rd, Chandler, AZ 85225

(480) 270-8008


Glendale Location:

5665 W Bell Rd, Glendale, AZ 85308

(602) 889-0081


Indoor trampoline park with over 20,000 square feet of wall to wall trampolines, trampoline dodgeball and other unique and fun activities.


6919 W Ray Rd, Chandler, AZ 85226

(480) 344-3740


One of the valley’s largest indoor playgrounds, anchored by a huge tree with tunnels and slides. Also has an arcade & pizzeria.


8545 S Emerald Dr, Tempe, AZ 85284

(480) 753-1200


The valley’s newest family entertainment destination for bowling, billiards, laser tag and more!


Chandler Location:

Andersen Fiesta Shopping Center, 1880 W Chandler Blvd Chandler, AZ

(480) 899-1050


Tempe Location:

1805 E Baseline Rd Tempe, AZ

(480) 345-9700


Mesa Location:

Mesa Shores, 2122 E Baseline Rd Mesa, AZ

(480) 892-6500


Each location is a 10,000-square-foot “eatertainment” restaurant with a contemporary design, state-of-the-art games, flat-screen televisions, free WiFi, plus beer and wine for adults.




Just because school is out doesn’t mean your kids have to put down the books. Most of the libraries in the valley offer summer reading programs that will encourage your kids to keep on reading!


Chandler Public Library


Maricopa County Library District


Mesa Public Library


Tempe Public Library


Museums & Aquariums


600 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

(602) 716-2000


Museum located in downtown Phoenix focused on inspiring, educating, and entertaining people about science.

Arizona Mills, 5000 S Arizona Mills Cir #145, Tempe, AZ 85282

(480) 478-7600


Located inside the Arizona Mills Mall, Arizona Sea Life Aquarium is a family orientated tourist attraction which includes seahorses, sharks, rays & much more.


150 W Pepper Pl, Mesa, AZ 85201

(480) 644-4332


Great for kids and adults, Mesa’s i.d.e.a. Museum lets you explore through imagination, design, experience and art.


215 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034

(602) 253-0501


Expansive museum with 300-plus interactive play areas for babies to kids up to age 10.


Skating Rinks


  • AZ Ice Gilbert

2305 E Knox Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85296

(480) 503-7080

Big ice rink for public skating, lessons, hockey & more, which caters to all ages & skill levels.


  • Skateland

7 E Southern Ave Mesa, AZ

(480) 833-7775


Arizona’s #1 roller rink and family fun center!


Splash Pads


Chandler Locations:


Details: 9 a.m.-7 p.m. through August, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. September and October; closed November-March. Park, 480-782-2752. chandleraz.gov/aquatics.


  • Chuparosa Park

2400 S. Dobson Road Chandler, AZ


Offers kids primary-colored spray rings, a ground fountain and a candy-cane-shaped fountain.

  • Desert Breeze Park

660 N. Desert Breeze Blvd. Chandler, AZ


Kids can sit atop three dolphins and an elephant, which spout water as three ground fountains add to the fun.


  • Espee Park

450 E. Knox Road Chandler, AZ


The giant primary-colored splash pad has a tower that pours water on kids below. Three candy-cane-shaped fountains, spray rings and ground sprays also keep children cool.


Gilbert Locations:


  • San Tan Village Mall

2218 E. Williams Field Road Gilbert, AZ


Soft, porous surface suitable for young children. Family restroom and children’s play area nearby.


  • Water Tower Plaza

45 W. Page Ave. Gilbert, AZ


Features four different water features, including water walls and a large floating granite ball.


Mesa Locations:


  • Riverview/Cub’s Park

2100 W. Rio Salado Pkwy Mesa, AZ


Fenced-in water play area and kids zone.


  • The Eastmark Great Park

10100 E. Ray Road Mesa, AZ


Several fountains and multi-colored lighting at night.


Phoenix Locations:


  • Cityscape

1 E. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ


Cityscape’s flat water-jet fountain is ringed with umbrella-shaded tables and chairs. A great stop after a trip to a ballgame or downtown museum.


Scottsdale Locations:


  • Scottsdale Quarter

15279 N. Scottsdale Road Scottsdale, AZ


Water shoots up from the ground at this palm tree- and chair- fringed fountain, which looks particularly pretty lit up after dark. I


Tempe Locations:


  • Esquer Park

2407 E. McArthur Drive Tempe, AZ


  • Hudson Park

1430 S. Cedar St. Tempe, AZ.


  • Jaycee Park

817 W. Fifth St. Tempe, AZ


The spray pad has a colorful climbing structure and water rings.


  • Kidsplash Fountain at Tempe Marketplace

2000 E. Rio Salado Pkwy Tempe, AZ


The splash zone features shaded seating and tables for parents. Shops and restaurants are steps away.


  • Tempe Splash Playground

80 W. Rio Salado Pkwy Tempe, AZ


The one-acre park teaches about the water cycle with misting “rain,” thunderclaps, lightning, streams and waterfalls. There are also spray cannons, toy whales and a sandy beach.


Summer Programs & Activities


Most of the cities in the east valley offer a plethora of summer classes and activities for kids at little or no cost. Click on the links below to find out what your city has going on this summer!














Other Activities


Multiple Locations


Stay cool and have a blast this summer at Harkins’ Summer Movie Fun. See 10 kids’ flicks for $7. Individual tickets are available the day of each movie for $2.

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