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East Valley Summer Boredom Busters

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Don’t let the SOARING Arizona temps scare you from having fun with the kiddos!  The are out of school and their time off from school is short!  We’ve compiled a list of fun activities to help bust the boredom!

Bucket1

*The first Saturday of every month Home Depot hosts a kids workshop for free.

*The Avengers are coming to Lowe’s Build and Grow clinics (June 13th & 27th)! Build IronMan’s AvenJet or Captain America’s Motorcycle.

*Visit the Phoenix Art Museum for free the first weekend of each month when you show your Bank of America debit or credit card. (one free admission).

*Spend the day in Mesa at the Arizona Museum of Natural History, IDEA Museum and Mesa Museum for Contemporary Arts with Target 3 for Free! FREE Admission the first Sunday of each month from 12pm-5pm.

*Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Kids Night every Tuesday from 5-8pm.  Kiddos can enjoy free crafts and coloring; free shootin’ at the Laser Arcade; fish feeding frenzy at the Main Tank (6pm).

*Minecraft Monday at the Downtown Chandler Public Library. 2 sessions (3-4pm & 4:30-5:30pm).  No registration required. Space is limited.

*Celebrate Heroes at the Chandler Public Library’s Family Monday Movie Night (June 6-July 13th from 6-8pm.  Enjoy flicks like the Fantastic Four, X-Men plus FREE popcorn!

*The Great Arizona Puppet Theater is holding a special performance of Jeremy Jackrabbit Adds it All Up on June 11 from 2-3pm at the Downtown Chandler Public Library.  Check their event calendar for more free events & storytime schedules.

*Every Wednesday from 3:30-4pm, Wildflower at the Chandler Mall has an activity plus a free cookie and milk for the kiddos.

*Crafts for kids at Lakeshore Learning center in Ahwatukee from 11-3pm Saturdays.

*Join the Summer Reading Program at your local library. Read books and log your points for a trip to Chipotle, a new book and even a toy!

*Visit the brand new “My Favorite Fairytale” at the Herberger Art Center, Saturday, June 6 from 2-4pm.  Enjoy the art, fun craft activities and light refreshments. Artist AztecSmurf will paint a mural live during the event.

*Pick up a culture pass from your local library and enjoy FREE admission for TWO people to awesome places such as: Arizona Science Center, Challenger Space Center & Desert Caballeros Western Musuem.

*Mesa Friday Night Out!  The 2nd Friday of each month Mesa comes alive! Enjoy live bands, activities for kids, art gallery openings and on Friday, June 12th “Wreck it Ralph” will be playing!

*Visit a your local farmer’s market and support local business & farmers!  Nothing beats fresh from the farm food and the East Valley has many farmer’s markets!  Check out our complete guide to East Valley Farmer’s Market for more details.

farmers market

Bucket2

If your kiddos are up with the sun the go outside!  The East Valley has so many great parks to visit with great activities.

*The Orange Monster at Eastmark Great Park.  Climb, crawl and imagine on the Orange Monster!  The Orange Monster also includes fitness challenges for kids and adults, as well as swings, slides and play equipment. When you are done hit the Splash Pad to cool off!

*Got tweens or teens?  Head to Tempe Beach Park for some SUP or with the younger kiddos get a paddleboat or kayak! Rentals available through Tempe Town Lake Boat Rentals. You can also enjoy a walk, jog or bike ride around the lake and then cool off at the Tempe Beach Park Splash Playground.

*Keep cool at one of the East Valley’s 23 (yes 23 public pools) and 13 splash playgrounds!  Many have discounted days throughout the month.  Check our complete Guide to East Valley Pools & Splash Pads for full details and hours.

*Ride the train at Freestone Park in Gilbert.  The park is open weekends from 10am-6pm in June (closed July and August).

*Go play/learn about disc golf at the state’s first public disc golf course located Freestone Park. Something new, different and Free of charge! Yeay!

*Get muddy at Scottsdale’s 40th Mighty Mud Mania! Saturday, June 6th. Mighty Mud Activities are all FREE for children but we do ask that every family bring a non-perishable food item to benefit the Vista Del Camino Food Bank.  Food Drop Off’s will be at each registration site and information booths.

* Why not go camping by the lake or just fish for the day and enjoy a hike. Woods Canyon Lake is just 2 hrs away from the east valley and they have walk-up campgrounds that offers a lake view. Only have a day? Drive up early, rent a boat tour the lake in or hike the trails around the campground or lake. Pack your cooler full of snacks, lunch and lots of water. A day trip is very do-able for this lake. For more ideas check out my camping day at Woods Canyon Lake here.

Bucket3

*Hit awesome places like Golfland/Sunsplash, Arizona Diamondback games, Skateland and more with a Pogo Pass. For $39.95 you get 12 months of access to great venues and it lasts so much longer than the summer!

*Winter in July at the Phoenix Zoo. The Phoenix Zoo is bracing for an epic winter storm on Saturday, July 18. More than 40 tons of snow is forecast to fall in several animal exhibits and in areas for guests to enjoy! Watch as select animals enjoy tasty ice treats, such as fishsicles for the otters, bloodsicles for the tiger and 55 gallon drums full of flavored ice and frozen fruit for the elephants.

A must-see experience at Winter in July is Reba the Asian elephant’s fire hose shower, provided by the Phoenix Fire Department. She looks forward to it every year, so don’t miss out!

Bucket4

Our state has the most amazing National Parks and Monuments!  How lucky are we to have one of the 7 wonders of the world in our own backyard! Head North to Flagstaff to keep cool amongst the pine trees!

*Become a Junior Ranger at the Grand Canyon National Park. While every visit to the Grand Canyon is special, the National Park Service has designed a Junior Ranger Program to help make the experience extra special for children ages four to 14. By completing various requirements, your child can get sworn in as a Grand Canyon National Park Junior Ranger. He or she will also receive a certificate and a badge – just like regular park rangers wear.

*On your way back from Flagstaff detour through Sedona and cool off and slide down some slippery rocks at Slide Rock park.

*Take an Arizona road trip to the Four Corners. Stop along the way and enjoy the beautiful scenery with a picnic. Your kiddos will love being able to stand in 4 different states at one time!

*Visit Lake Mead! Lake Mead is a hub for some of Arizona’s best outdoor activities, catering to boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, skiers and anglers on its waters, as well as hiking, wildlife viewing and roadside sights just off its shores.

Home to thousands of desert plants and animals, the surrounding desert can also be a great location for wildlife photography. Or, break up days spent boating, fishing and swimming with a day or two of perfect Arizona golf at one of the courses near Lake Mead.

*Located just 60 miles South of the Grand Canyon is Bearizona. Bearizona invites guests to drive into the wilderness and witness heard and pack life from the safety and comfort of their own private vehicle.

The drive-thru portion of the park is approximately three miles long and takes travelers through 160 acres of pristine Ponderosa pine forest, where they will be able to view a wide variety of animals, including bison, black bears, mountain goats, arctic wolves and bobcats, among other animals.

*Looking to head south to Tucson?  They have slightly cooler temps in the summer and you can explore Kartchner Caverns! The 23,000-square-foot Discovery Center is another must-see at Kartchner Caverns. The center explains many aspects of the cave, including geology, the bat population and paleontology. Interactive exhibits help to explain the discovery of the cave and how formations develop, while a multi-screen video introduces you to Kartchner Caverns’ discoverers and their underground journey.

If you want to stay the weekend in Tucson be sure to check out the Westin La Paloma, Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain or Lowes Ventana Canyon for a great place for the whole family!

* Drive out to beautiful Prescott to watch the World’s oldest rodeo being held June 29-July 5th. Rodeos are fun, very Arizona and most importantly there are so mush more to see and do outside of the rodeo itself.

*Stay in town at one of our amazing resorts!  Many of the local resorts offer kids programs, family activities, child friendly pools, water slides and lazy rivers!  Feel like you are getting out of town without the extra cost in gas!  Check out our favorites in our Staycation Guide!

staycationedit

 

Bucket5

*Visit a local plant nursery. Not Lowe’s or Home Depot but places like Whitfill nursery, Treeland, Summer Winds and Desert Horizon. Some nurseries have water feature that kids love and the rest are just fun places to visit and see all the plants.

*Take the kiddos and enjoy visiting antique stores in Chandler and Mesa and also thrift stores such as Goodwill and Savers gives a chance to find treasures, some thrifty and some just cheap and fun! Make a scavenger hunt out of it!

*Make pinwheels to chase each other with or paper boats to race down the ponds or canals near you! Giant bubbles can occupy a child for minutes than can turn to hours. Have a water balloon fight and end it with a pillow fight before going to bed. Have Fun!!!

*Have you been to the Olive Mill in Queen Creek? Enjoy yummy food and take a olive oil mill tour if you have the time. The also offer live music from local bands that the kiddos can enjoy.

*Take the kiddos for another al fresco dining experience at the Farm Grill in Agritopia. Don’t forget to have the kids look for Guy Fieri’s spray painted signature somewhere in the restaurant from his visit for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives!! Walk a few steps for your dessert and coffee to The Coffee Shop next door.

* Does you or your kiddos love cotton candy? Well the Social Box in Chandler serves individual or tower size cotton candy for dessert, sugar rush for days!

*Dress up like a COW on July 14th for #CowAppreciationDay at Chick-fil-A for a FREE breakfast, lunch or dinner (or all three)!

*Everybody LOVES fondue right?  Head to Everybody Loves Fondue for their Monday night dessert special or from 2:30-4:30 M-F for healthy hour!  This place is fast and inexpensive-the kiddos will love it!

Need more ideas??

We also have a fun list of additional FREE things to do in the East Valley in June!

Stay cool this summer!

For more fun (and a little free time for Moms) check out our Guide to Summer Camps in the East Valley!

summer camp

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  1. {Weekly Roundup} East Valley Events for Kids June 1-7th | East Valley Moms Blog - May 31, 2015

    […] fun at Bass Pro Shops; 5-8p; crafts, free shooting gallery/archery, fish feeding […]

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