As some of you know, I am a motherhood/lifestyle blogger based out of Arizona. This post, although geared towards Arizona residents, may give you ideas of places to go or things to do in your very own town!
(I am not affiliated with any of the places listed below. I am just a mother of a toddler just trying to find the best and safest ways to spend our summer OUT of the heat!)
- Arizona Science Center– If you’re an Arizona native, chances are, you have been to the Science Center. This place is great for people of all ages, but I must admit I had NO IDEA how wonderful it was for toddlers. Right when you walk in they have doors that lead you to an outdoor water-play area. This area is full of waterfalls, balls, and all at the accessible level of your toddler. Our daughter loved it! Inside they have various rooms based on different themes. You can see the inside of an airplane, how houses are built (which allows children the chance to play with the assembly of pipes and blocks), how our bodies work (which led to numerous interactive exhibits which our daughter got a kick out of!) One area allowed you to throw balls into a giant nose, sounds silly enough, but got even cuter once the nose had to sneeze and the ball comes shooting out at you! They have a music room, a digital room, and on the highest level of the museum there was a recycling wing. Cleverly named, “The Recyclables,” with images of recycling superheroes strung about.
2. Giggles– This is a fairly new indoor play area in Chandler, AZ. Very similar to the set-up of a daycare/preschool. The giant room is full of soft mats to walk across, indoor jungle gyms, a musical stage, large trampolines, and various toys and ride-on cars everywhere. As a stay-at-home mom I ADORE this concept. It allowed my daughter to interact with other young children. She was able to get that socialization without being in daycare. Also, if you’re worried about germs, I totally get it, but this place seemed to have it covered. They had a separate room with tables for relaxing/snack time, a room for those breastfeeding, and everyone there seemed to just have a warm and comforting presence. Definitely a place for you to check out this summer!
3.Phoenix Children’s Museum– This is another great indoor facility, but don’t let the name “museum” fool you! This place is GEARED TOWARDS CHILDREN (of all ages!) We don’t get there as often as I would like, because it’s a bit of a drive for us, but it is so cute and fun when we do! They are full of various themed rooms which allows a little something different for each one of your kiddos! Our daughter’s favorite was the “grocery store.” She was able to grab her own shopping cart and load up on her own groceries. They had play rooms full of blocks, balls, and other gadgets. An art room, which to be honest, we never went into! The last time we went we felt she would try to eat more of the paint than actually paint with it. There is A LOT to this place and it’s a definite win in my book! See for yourself!
4. Free Library Classes- I am so in love with the library and beyond in love with all that they have to offer for kids. The library we currently goes to offers an app. I am able to pull up their calendar each day and see what classes they have available, if I see one I like then I simply add it to my calendar and my phone sends me a pop-up reminder. They offer toddlers music classes where children can play with instruments and dance, they have building block courses where children go from unit to unit, and story time.
Keep an eye out for any special events that the library may throw as well! Last year, we went to a Princess Storytime event where children came dressed up as their favorite fairytale person, met princesses, did arts and crafts, story time, and more! It can be scary sometimes to go to events or children’s classes without a mom friend, but you’ll find it is incredibly easy to meet other parents this way!
5. Early Morning Park Visits– Arizona can get unbearably hot! If you have a kiddo who absolutely loves the park, try to go early in the morning or find a location that is nicely covered with shade. We have a few great parks near our home. Ellie loves slides, over-sized swings, and simply running around on the jungle gym.
6. Mall Days- Mall time doesn’t have to be JUST for Mama! A girlfriend and I would bring our children to Barnes and Noble every Friday! We would grab Starbucks and do the storytime (another thing to keep in mind- Check your local Barnes and Noble and see if they offer Storytimes. These events usually involve a character meet and greet and/or a craft!)
The mall is great for people-watching, grabbing a bite to eat, letting your child roam free, explore the Disney Store (which also offers a table for coloring and crafts!), trying on clothes (which is weirdly fun for your child too), and letting your kiddo help pick out their own clothes and shoes. Ellie loves having a say in the stuff she gets.
Build-A-Bear is another fun location for the children! These stores are usually inside a mall. They let children pick out a stuffed animal of their own, watch them fill the animal with stuffing, add a little heart, add music/voice recording, clothing, birth certificate,and more. May be a fun outing for a special day!
7. Idea Museum– This is such a cute place for your little one’s. There is a separate area of the building intended for smaller children (which always makes me feel so much more comfortable with my toddler!) They have over-sized, soft building blocks for children to climb on and build. There is a small play kitchen, play garden, a play stage with puppets, a craft room and more! This was such a fun and interactive time for Ellie. Definitely recommend you check it out!
Other Things You May Want to Check out this Summer:
–Splash Pads– Many outdoor shopping centers/zoos offer splash pads
–Little Gym– We recently signed our daughter up for Little Gym! Such a great way to learn and interact with others
–Mom FB Pages- A lot of Facebook pages for your local cities will let you know of any events coming up. I like to keep tabs on that kind of stuff! Just this past week I found out there was a petting zoo 10 minutes away from my house for just that day! I also learned of places doing Storytime with Disney Princesses weekly! Get involved!
I LOVE this site! It allows for you to select your state and it will then inform you of any large book sales going on at the libraries near you! Some locations have HUGE sales like $5 buck bag sales and more. Definitely get your children involved in finding some great stories for the summer! This is an amazing resource!!