City Department News

Cool off with Tempe’s Affordable Family Fun

Top free or affordable things to do this summer

Post Date:05/28/2014 5:45 PM

Contact: Denise Rentschler

Escalante_Pool Medium

Tempe, Ariz.
As temperatures begin to rise well above 100 degrees, it often becomes difficult to find something fun, affordable and not too hot for the whole family to enjoy. Here in Tempe, there are plenty of activities, perfect for keeping your family members cool and entertained – and best of all, they won’t break the bank. We’ve lined up the top affordable or free summer activities in Tempe. 

Splash into summer at Tempe Beach Park’s Splash Playground 480-350-5200    
Take the kids to Tempe Beach Park for a fun time splashing around! Children can enjoy running through the 1-acre splash playground featuring water dump buckets, frog spray rings, a waterfall and slide, water cannons and more. For even more ways to cool off, families can visit one of Tempe’s three neighborhood spray pads, conveniently located at Esquer, Hudson and Jaycee parks. 

Go “Wild” at the Tempe History Museum 480-350-5100
From 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Wednesdays in June and July, parents and children can drop-in to the Tempe History Museum, located at 809 E. Southern Ave., to experience Wild Wednesdays. Participants will learn how to Eat, Play & Grow Healthy through crafts, stories, food, games and more.   

Fizz Boom Read at the Tempe Public Library 480-350-5500
Sign-up for the Tempe Public Library’s Summer Reading Program: Fizz Boom Read and spend your summer reading and earning prizes! Beginning May 29, children of all ages can register at the Tempe Youth Library for the program, which runs through July 26. Enjoy a Summer Reading Kick-Off Party from 2-4 p.m. on May 31 and get the summer started with a “boom!” Special events will be held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on select Thursdays in June and July.

Cool-off at a community center with a Summer Special Event series 480-350-5802
On select Wednesday mornings and afternoons in June and July, the Tempe Public Library will bring fun and educational presentations for all ages to Tempe’s Escalante and Westside Multi-Generational Centers! Participants will have the chance to learn about science, experience a musical, practice a few magic tricks and more at these hour-long presentations, perfect for children of all ages.

Make time for play time at a Tempe dog park 480-350-5200
Keep your four-legged family member happy and socialized this summer with a trip to one of Tempe’s five dog parks. Conveniently located within Papago, Jaycee, Creamery and Mitchell Parks, as well as the Tempe Sports Complex, each dog park is free and offers guests a chance to exercise their pet(s) in a secure environment. Avoid a walk on the hot summer concrete and visit one of our parks in the cooler morning or evening hours.   

Grip it and rip it at Tempe’s golf courses 480-350-5200
Having a great time is “par” for the course when golfing in Tempe. The city offers golf instruction for junior, beginning and intermediate players, as well as open play at two exceptional municipal golf courses - Rolling Hills located on Mill Ave. north of Curry Rd., and Ken McDonald, located on Divot Dr. and Rural Rd. (between Elliot Rd. and Guadalupe Rd.). Whether you’re aiming to practice and have fun with the whole family or trying to earn bragging rights with friends, Tempe’s golf courses offer a wide array of amenities including: 7-day advance tee times, affordable daily fees with resident fees available, full-service restaurants, group and private lessons, family tees and more! Be sure to check the Tempe Golf page for current discounts and promotions. Each course is open sunrise to sunset year-round.

Dive in at Tempe’s pools 480-350-5200
Get out of the heat and into the water at one of Tempe’s two pools! Escalante Pool is a summer-season pool and features six lanes for lap swim, a zero-depth entry play pool with play equipment and two water slides. Kiwanis Wave Pool is a year-round indoor pool featuring three-foot waves, a water slide and splashdown pool.

The Kiwanis Recreation Center is rolling out Wave Pool Theme Days on various weekends throughout June and July. Each Theme Day offers discounted admission for guests depending on that weekend’s theme. From donating school supplies to wearing your Tempe sports camp shirt, swimmers can receive anywhere from half-off admission up to one free admission to ride the waves. Visit for a list of dates and themes.

Explore Tempe's scenes for teens              480 350-5500
Teens ages 13-18 can hang out with friends and make the most of their summer at the Tempe Public Library’s Teen Tuesdays. From 2-5 p.m. on June 10 & 24, and July 8 & 22, participants can watch a movie and complete a craft activity. From 4-5 p.m. on Wednesdays starting June 4 and running throughout July, teens can battle for bragging rights on wall-sized video games with Game On. Teen Time is free and registration is not required. Find the Tempe Public Library on Facebook at  480-350-5800
The popular Teen Adventure Series returns to the Escalante Multi-Generational Center this summer. This exciting series offers teens ages 13-18 the chance to take-part in fun activities and events for free or for a nominal fee. Rock-out at the “Summer Jam Pool Party,” challenge yourself at the “Flagstaff Adventure Course” or flip-out with friends on “Indoor Trampolines.” Registration is required for these one-day activities. Visit to register or call the Escalante Center at 480-350-5800.

Celebrate the 4th as a family  480-350-5200

Celebrate Independence Day with the entire family at the Fox 10 July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival, produced by the Kiwanis Club of Tempe, on Friday, July 4 at Tempe Beach Park. Gates open at 5 p.m. This year’s festivities include a food court, live local entertainment, a Family Fun Fest zone with activities, inflatables and rides that are sure to thrill partygoers of all ages. The annual fireworks spectacular will be launched off of the Mill Ave. Bridge and choreographed to patriotic and classical music.

Tickets go on sale June 2 at Fry’s and Fry’s Marketplace stores throughout the valley for $5 (plus service charges) and at several City of Tempe facilities for $5. Tickets may be purchased at the gate for $8 each or two for $15. Children 12 and under are free. All active military with ID will also be allowed in for free. The event benefits The Tempe Kiwanis Club Children’s Charities.

Explore the city with Tempe transportation 480-858-2350
Tempe has started issuing new transit passes to current and new participants of the Tempe Youth Free Transit Pass program. The new passes are valid July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015. The Tempe Youth Free Transit Pass program allows youth ages six to 18 who live in Tempe to ride all Valley Metro bus routes and the METRO light rail for free.

Pedal the day away in Tempe 480-858-2350
One of the best ways to experience Tempe is by cruising on a bicycle. Tempe has many multi-use paths and bike/pedestrian bridges that are perfect for a short ride to work, or a long relaxing ride with the family or a group of friends. In 2011, Tempe was recognized for providing safe bike facilities like the Western Canal Multi-use path. Additional Multi-use paths and bridges include: Crosscut Canal, Rio Salado, Tempe Canal and Kyrene Canal, as well as the College Avenue Bridge, Country Club Way Bridge and Tempe Town Lake Bridge.

Enjoy a cool evening with a family picnic in the park                      480-350-5200
Once the sun goes down, Arizona summer temperatures cool off into the 80s and that’s the perfect weather for a picnic! Tempe has 48 parks strategically placed throughout the city so most residents are within half a mile of one. Tempe’s parks serve as the community’s backyard and provide the perfect venue for a picnic with the family or some neighbors. So grab a blanket, a picnic dinner and have fun together enjoying a cool summer evening.

Commit to staying healthy with a free Fitness Center pass at Kiwanis 480-350-5201
The Kiwanis Recreation Center is offering patrons a fantastic opportunity to stay healthy this summer with a free, one-week pass to the Kiwanis Fitness Center. Guests can obtain a pass by visiting the Kiwanis Center’s front desk starting June 1. The pass will be valid for one consecutive week of unlimited visits to the Fitness Center between June 1 and June 30. The Fitness Center is open Mon.-Thurs. from 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri. from 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sat from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Sun from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. No additional purchase or fitness commitment is required.

Discover your summer opportunities 480-350-5200
Summer is the perfect time to try a new activity, learn a new skill or spend time with your family and the Summer Tempe Opportunities Brochure is the perfect place to find these great opportunities. All ages and stages will enjoy the variety of classes, programs and camps available this summer, from cooking and dance to fitness, boating, and arts and crafts. Most programs begin the week of June 2 and registration is going on now.


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