Looking for something fun and different to do with the kids this summer? Does your Military Family need to find a place for your kids to romp that they’ll actually think is cool? Whether you live in the Phoenix Valley area or if you’re curious about taking a vacation there, former-Military mom blogger Vicki DeLuzio has seen it all (mostly) and has a lot of great ideas for you to try. Here are some of the play options she suggests you check off your indoor summer bucket list!
The Young Child Crowd:
In Scottsdale, AZ, Playtime Oasis, which is inside of a toy store (support small business!). AZ Dollhouse (which is where Playtime Oasis is located) is for almost 40 years old. Not only is this a cute place for birthday parties, but they also have story time.
A Little Bit Older:
If your children are no longer in the five and under group, or have some older children with younger siblings, this is the list for you!
The Children’s Museum of Phoenix is a huge museum where you can easily not see everything in one visit. There is a cafe on the second floor, so you can spend all day there. A baby area on the third floor is available along with “safe baby areas” in most of the big kids’ room. A three story climbing apparatus is sure to tire the kiddos out.
Target also supports free first Friday’s (first Friday of the month) from 5-9pm. Programs and camps are also offered for additional fees. You can find discounts on Living Social and Groupon, and there is always a military discount. You can also get a discount if you are a group, and the museum posts if they are having groups at the museum so you can plan your visit around them.
The I.D.E.A. Museum in Mesa is also a great place to go, and they offer free first Sunday’s (12pm-5pm) on the First Sunday of each month. Discounts can often be found on Living Social and Groupon as well.
We Rock the Spectrum is a great full body place for all kids to play, especially those who may be on the Autism Spectrum. We Rock the Spectrum was great fun for our kids with lots of areas for full body movement. There is also a place for parties and classes, and they host camps! Check out Groupon for deals for We Rock The Spectrum.
Peter Piper Pizza, right in Surprise and in other Locations around the valley, is great for Birthday parties or the special treat. This location offers lots of video games and other entertainment.
The Play Factory has a great range of things to play with, from a fun climber and slide, to a bounce slide to a bounce house for kids and video games. There is also a separate toddler area. You can find deals for The Play Factory through Living Social, Groupon and even signing up for The Play Factory’s text alerts. Desert Ridge also has a lot of shopping available and a splashpad not too far away.
Playgrounds Fun Zone — Located in Glendale, Playgrounds Fun Zone has a full coffee shop and cafe. There are lots of places to climb, slide and explore. A bonus is the comfy seating for mom and dad. Some deals can be found on their website as well.
Pump it Up Peoria — Located in Peoria, Pump it Up has lots of different areas for kids to play in, climb and just bounce. Deals can be found on their website, for groups and occasionally on Groupon or Living Social.
Makutu’s Island — Located in Chandler, Makutu’s Island is perfect for your older child-I would recommend 8 years plus. There are lots of things to climb, swing off of, run and explore. There is a toddler area, but Makutu’s Island is best for those who are able to climb independently and explore, as the toddler area is not separated. There is also cafe on site. They occasionally have Groupons.
For Kids of All Ages (and Adults!)
Halle Heart Museum in Tempe is great for a kid’s educational activity. Halle Heart Museum is connected to the American Heart Association building and is a great place to learn about the heart, eating healthy and exercising. They also have events, classes (such as cooking classes) and tours.
Arizona Science Center in Phoenix is great for the whole family (and adult date nights and events!) We love how big the Science Center is, and there are often discounts on Groupon and Living Social for a membership, which often is less than the cost of one visit for our whole family. There are permanent and temporary exhibits. A new section was added in an adjoining building to do woodworking, computer graphics and other classes. There is also an outdoor water area that is pretty shaded. (Make sure you bring a change of clothes). There is also a cafe available on site so you can stay all day.
Sky Zone is a trampoline place for the whole family. They offer group team building events, homeschool days and a toddler jump area. The staff is fantastic and the area is very clean and well kept. There are dodgeball tournaments, teen nights and more. They often have deals on their site as well as on Groupon and Living Social.
Lego Discovery Center in the Arizona Mills Mall is going to be the newest “cool place” this summer. The new center just opened in April 2016. It is Right next to Sea Life Aquarium, and you can buy tickets to see both places the same day. We were even invited for a sneak peek.
The Kroc Center in Phoenix is a great place to cool down and get wet. With an outdoor splash pad, indoor basketball courts, track, workout center, climbing area, and the pool with slides and a small lazy river, you can’t get much cooler than this place. You can get memberships, have parties here or even have one day passes as well!
Summer Movie Series!
Harkins Movie Theater is offering the 1 per film movie line up. The Movies Harkins is presenting is Shaun the Sheep, The Peanuts Movie, Home, Minions, Kungfu Panda 2, The Spongebob Movie, Hotel Transylvania 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Walking with Dinosaurs, and Madagascar 3. Metro Phoenix theaters participating are Arizona Mills, Arrowhead Fountains, Chandler Crossroads, Chandler Fashion, Christown, Gateway Pavilions, Metrocenter, Norterra, North Valley, Park West, Queen Creek, SanTan Village, Scottsdale, Shea, Superstition Springs, Tempe Marketplace. Starts in May.
We Love Our Libraries!
Looking for a cool place to go that has an educational component, has programs and is free? The Libraries have it all!
Here are links to the libraries Vicki’s family has visited:
- Northwest Regional Library (Surprise)
- White Tank Library
- Peoria Public Library
- Sunrise Mountain Library (Peoria)
- Phoenix Public Library
- Scottsdale Library
Click below for the addresses of other great libraries in the area:
- Maricopa County Library District
- Glendale Public Library
- Peoria Library
- Buckeye Library
- Avondale Library
- Phoenix Library
- Scottsdale Public Library