While summer may be coming to an end – there is still plenty of time to hit up some fun, cheap places with the family before heading back to school this fall! Check out our quick list for families in Arizona! If you’ve got an idea or suggestion – make sure to share! We’d love to hear from you!
1. Christopher Creek – Christopher Creek is just outside Payson and a great place to take a day trip with the family. The day-use parking is just $5 and you can picnic with your own food, catch crawdads and play in the creek, which has lots of shade.
2. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park – Also just outside of Payson, this state park is tucked away and features lots of grassy areas and nice ramadas for picnics, as well as a relatively easy hike for kids down to the water. The park also hosts many family programs and has bathrooms and other facilities for use.
3. Grasshopper Point – Less crowded than Slide Rock, Grasshopper point features many areas where kids can jump in and enjoy the cool water of Oak Creek. Day parking is $12 and during the weekends, parking can fill up quickly. It’s worth it to head out early to ensure a spot!
4. Phoenix Art Museum Free Fridays – In addition to their pay-what-you-wish Wednesday program from 3pm-9pm, Phoenix Art Museum is free admission all day on select Fridays (May 28th, July 30th, and October 29th), and from 5pm-9pm on September 1 and December 1. Parking does fill up around 5pm, so if possible, arrive early and enjoy the cool atmosphere of the museum. Strollers are allowed and there is a kids “seek and find” option that is entertaining for kids ages 4+.
5. Riverview Park and Splash Pad – One of the largest splash pads in the valley (Mesa), this park is free and has plenty of shaded ramadas for rent. The splash pad is enclosed with a gate and lots of seating, making it easier to keep track of your little ones. There are also three large playgrounds set up by age, so there is something for the entire family. There are full restrooms nearby and large grassy hills for running and playing!
5. Scottsdale Civic Center Library – This library has covered parking, an excellent kids area, and is part of the civic center which is full of trees, grass and fountains, making it a great place to visit – and totally free! Make sure to check out the discounted “for sale” books for kids and grab a book or two to enjoy outside on the grass. There are several restaurants within walking distance of the Civic center, as well as Old Town Scottsdale.