Do you like surprises? You may like this unique one: Surprise, Arizona. Approximately 45 minutes from downtown Phoenix, the town blends a well-balanced mix of family-friendly activities with great opportunities for work and recreation amidst park lands, a lake and the Sonoran Desert. Vicki DeLuzio, a Surprise blogger and wife of an Army Vet, shared some of her favorite things about the town with us. Here are her picks for the best activities for families.
10 Fun Things to Do in Surprise:
- Catch a ball game: The Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals both call Surprise their spring training haven. Catch a cheap ballgame and sometimes even catch a movie at the stadium or fireworks!
- Take in signature city events. The “Surprise” Party in December, the Easter Egg Hunt near Easter and Fourth of July Fireworks.
- See The Luke Air Force Base Air Show. You don’t have to go onto the base in Glendale to be able to see the airplanes do maneuvers. Cars line up On Reems Road and Litchfield Road to see the airplanes twirl, twist and do other exciting feats.
- Go for a hike in the White Tank Mountains. See the Saguaro cactus in all their natural glory, take a big hike or a kid friendly hike on the waterfall trail. Admission is $6 per vehicle for the day and includes access to bathrooms and two different playgrounds. http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/white_tank/
- Check out the White Tank Library and nature center. If it’s too hot outside, go the library at the base of the mountain and see the small nature center with live animals and view the beautiful surroundings of the White Tank Mountain from inside the library. Beautiful 180-degree-plus views are available from the inside as well as great family programs!
- Splash at the Splash pads! Surprise has three splash pads (two are new in 2015). Enjoy free summer fun while cooling off at the city’s splash pads in the Marley Park, Surprise Farms and Veramonte communities.
- Learn how to play Pickleball or watch the championships. Surprise is known for their huge championships and brings people from around the nation to compete!
- Go to the Zoo! There are two great zoos close to Surprise — Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park, Arizona and Phoenix Zoo on the border of Tempe and Phoenix. Wildlife World Zoo also features an aquarium for those hot summer days and Dillon’s BBQ where you can sit back and watch the animals in the tanks. Phoenix Zoo has many different exhibits and has splash pads!
- Enjoy the great weather in Surprise and check out the parks. Surprise Community Park has a small lake, located near the library, and also has basketball, tennis courts, a pool with zero entry features and walking trails.
- Go Citrus Picking at Justice Brothers Ranch in Waddell. Learn about all types of different oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes and so much more. This farm was once part of the ASU agriculture program and is now a private operations farm that is open on weekends.
About Vicki DeLuzio:
Vicki is a mom of three kids five and under. After graduating college in Connecticut with a major in Psychology and minors in Early Childhood Education and Communication, she tried her hand at retail management at Target. Then, while working at the Juvenile Court, she met her web designing (and Army Vet) husband through mutual friends. Wanting a change of pace, cheaper taxes and warmer temperatures, they sold their home and relocated across the country in Surprise, Arizona. Vicki now blogs about all the places they go with reviews about the amenities in Surprise. She is also a licensed Real Estate Agent and loves helping people find homes in the area. You can find her at www.surpriseazmom.com.