Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do with Kids in Tempe, AZ

  • Published 2022/11/19

Tempe is a booming city in the Maricopa Valley of Arizona.

Just east of Phoenix, it’s a great place to bring the family for fun in the sun.

There is something for everyone in Tempe, with plenty of outdoor activities and indoor attractions.

It’s also a great place to bring kids because of all the family-friendly activities available.

If you’re going to bring your tots to Tempe, check out our list of the best things to do with kids in Tempe, Arizona:

Visit the Tempe Center for the Arts

Exterior of Tempe Center for the Arts

BondRocketImages /

Tempe is well-known for its support of the arts, and the Tempe Center for the Arts is a great place to take the kids to experience this.

Tempe Center for the Arts is one of the city’s finest and most unique examples of architecture.

It’s located in the Southwest end of the city town lake and is within a 17-acre lakeside art park.

This state-of-the-art center is home to a 3,500-square-foot art gallery, a 600-seat proscenium theater, and a 200-seat studio theater.

Footbridge leading to Tempe Center for the Arts

James Ahmed /

The Tempe Center for the Arts also hosts art-inspired programs, workshops, and public events—some specifically designed for kids.

Some of the events they’ve hosted in the past include concerts, dance performances, and art exhibits.

If you’re looking for a place to take the kids to experience the arts, check out the Tempe Center for the Arts.

Building sign of Tempe Center for the Arts

Thomas Trompeter /

Learn about the Tempe Community at Papago Park

Not to be mistaken with the one in Phoenix, this Papago Park is located in Tempe and is one of the best places to take your kids out for a stroll.

Kids can explore and have a great time on its hiking trails and playground.

There’s also a nearby basketball court and baseball field where you and the kids can watch a game or play one.

Meanwhile, you can learn more about the Tempe community by walking through the Tempe Arizona Heritage Center.

Located in the same park, this history museum is free to enter and features exhibits on the city’s history.

Papago Park is the perfect place to start your Tempe adventure with its great outdoor and indoor activities.

Observe Marine Life at Sea Life Arizona Aquarium

At 26,000 square feet, Sea Life Arizona Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the entire state.

Kids will have a blast at this massive indoor aquarium at South Arizona Mills.

With over 30 tanks containing thousands of sea creatures, your kids will be amazed at the variety of marine life on display.

Some tanks even have interactive exhibits where kids can touch stingrays and starfish.

There are also plenty of opportunities to take pictures of some friendly sea creatures.

In addition to the marine life, Sea Life Arizona Aquarium also has a 360-degree ocean tunnel where you can watch sharks and other fish swim overhead.

It offers a unique experience you and the kids won’t want to miss!

Explore Kiwanis Park

Colorful pedal boats on Kiwanis Park's lake

GoodFocused /

Tempe is well-known for its parks and outdoor recreation, and Kiwanis Park is one of the best places to take the kids.

This massive park is 125 acres and has plenty of amenities to keep the kids entertained.

Some of the highlights include playgrounds, a batting range, a 12-acre lake, a variety of sports fields, an indoor recreation center, and an indoor wave pool.

Baseball field of Kiwanis Park

Tim Roberts Photography /

The wave pool features water slides and man-made waves.

You can also rent a kayak, surrey bike, or pedal boat to explore the lake and its surrounding areas.

Check out the Cloud, a splash playground, and the park’s newest attraction.

Your kids will enjoy playing in the water and sliding down the slides.

Kiwanis Park is the perfect place to take the kids for outdoor fun; every corner of the park is sure to keep them entertained.

Aerial view of Kiwanis Park

davidpinter, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn about the History of Tempe at the Tempe History Museum

You can’t visit Tempe without learning about its rich history, and the Tempe History Museum is the perfect place to do that.

This museum is located three miles south of downtown Tempe and is dedicated to preserving and sharing the city’s history.

The museum houses various exhibits that tell the story of Tempe’s past.

The city has a long and rich history dating back to the early days of the Wild West.

There are more than 70,000 artifacts in the museum’s collection.

The exhibits range from early pioneer life to the city’s days as a thriving community.

There are also various permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as pictures of the early days of the city and accounts of the inhabitants that lived there.

The Tempe History Museum is the perfect place to learn about the city’s past.

It’s a great place to take the kids to get a taste of Tempe’s rich history.

Unleash Your Kids’ Creativity at As You Wish Pottery Painting Place

Let your kids try a new activity where they can unleash their inner creativity by taking them to As You Wish Pottery Painting Place.

This pottery painting studio is perfect for kids to express their artistic side.

They offer various pottery pieces that can be painted and customized however you wish.

Once you’re finished painting, the staff will glaze and fire your piece, and you can then take it home as a souvenir.

You can also browse the studio’s gallery to see some of the amazing pieces other artists have created.

The studio also offers a variety of painting classes for kids of all ages.

If your child is looking for a fun and creative activity, check out As You Wish Pottery Painting Place at East Rio Salado Parkway.

Watch a Baseball Game at Tempe Diablo Stadium

Exterior of Tempe Diablo Stadium

John Dvorak /

If your child is a baseball fan, there’s no reason not to stop by Tempe Diablo Stadium to watch a game.

This 9,558-seat stadium is the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels.

It also serves as the home field for night games of the Arizona League Angels, a minor league team and rookie affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels.

Whether you’re catching a spring training game or a minor league game, your child will have a blast at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

The field of Tempe Diablo Stadium

Thomas Trompeter /

Concession areas and fun zones are set up around the stadium so your kids can have a great time, even if they’re not big baseball fans.

A pro shop is also available during games selling various Angels gear.

If you’re looking for a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy, check out Tempe Diablo Stadium at West Alameda Drive.

Baseball pitcher at Tempe Diablo Stadium

Keeton Gale /

Find a Way Out of Alcatraz Escape Games

Sometimes, getting lost is a good thing, and that’s certainly the case at Alcatraz Escape Games!

Alcatraz Escape Games on North Scottsdale Road is an immersive escape room experience that will challenge your problem-solving skills.

You and your team will have to work together to solve various puzzles to escape from the “prison.”

There are four escape rooms, each with a unique theme.

The Alcatraz room is inspired by the famous prison, while the Wild West room will transport you back to the days of cowboys and outlaws.

No matter what escape room you choose, Alcatraz Escape Games is a fun and exciting way to bond and spend quality time with your kids.

Explore Tempe Town Lake with Riverbound Sports Paddle Company

The pristine and tempting waters of Tempe Town Lake are one of the best places to visit during those hot Arizona summers.

You can take a paddleboat with you and explore the wonders of this great lake.

If you don’t have a paddleboat, you can rent one at the Riverbound Sports Paddle Company.

This water sports equipment rental service at East University Drive offers a wide variety of paddle boats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards for you to choose from.

They also offer guides and lessons on how to use the equipment properly.

Once you’re out on the water, you’ll be able to see some of the best views of Tempe.

If you want to explore Tempe Town Lake with the kids, check out Riverbound Sports Paddle Company.

Watch a Football Game at Sun Devil Football Stadium

Exterior of Sun Devil Football Stadium

Ken Wolter /

Located inside the Arizona State University campus, Sun Devil Football Stadium is the premier destination to watch college football.

If your kids love football, this is a must during your stay in Tempe.

This stadium is home to the ASU Sun Devils football team.

They compete in the Pac-12 conference and are one of the most popular teams in the country.

When football season kicks in, you can expect the stadium to be packed with passionate fans.

The stadium has a capacity of over 50,000 people and features a variety of concessions and shops.

A football game at Sun Devil Football Stadium

Keeton Gale /

Watching a college football game is a different experience and will surely be memorable for the kids.

So if they haven’t had a chance to see a game live, then this is a great opportunity.

You can also find a wide selection of ASU apparel at the pro shop.

If you want your child to get the ultimate football experience, catch a game at Sun Devil Football Stadium!

Quarterback player at Sun Devil Football Stadium

Keeton Gale /

Give the Kids the Ultimate Lego Experience at LEGOLAND Discovery Center

No trip to Tempe is complete without a visit to LEGOLAND Discovery Center!

This indoor attraction is perfect for kids who love Legos.

At LEGOLAND Discovery Center, the kids can explore a variety of rides and other attractions.

They can also build their own Lego creations at the Creative Workshop.

The most interesting attraction is the 4D cinema.

This cinema uses 3D technology and special effects to give the viewer a truly immersive experience.

Another unique attraction is the interactive exhibits made entirely of Lego bricks.

Just like the actual blocks game we grew up to love, your kids will have a blast at this attraction.

If you’re looking for a fun and educational attraction for the kids, check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center.

Watch a Movie at Pollack Cinemas

Sometimes, the best bonding between parent and child is done over a good movie, and what better place to watch in Tempe than at Pollack Cinemas?

Located on East Elliot Road, south of the city, Pollack Cinemas is a great place to watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters.

It’s a massive complex with several screens, so you’re sure to find a movie that everyone will enjoy.

The seats are also very comfortable, and the sound system is top-notch—you can immerse yourself in the film while you’re here.

But that’s not all; Pollack Cinemas also has a great selection of snacks and drinks.

If you want to enjoy a good movie with the kids, check out Pollack Cinemas.

Have Fun with the Family at Main Event Tempe

Main Event Tempe is an all-in-one entertainment center for the whole family.

It has all the facilities for a perfect day or night out with the kids.

This entertainment center has a wide variety of attractions, including bowling, laser tag, an arcade, billiards, and gravity ropes.

There’s also karaoke, story rooms, mini golf, multi-ball, mini escape room, and more.

You and the kids won’t run out of things to do here—there are so many things you can do everywhere you look.

But that’s not all; Main Event Tempe also has a great selection of food and drinks.

The onsite bar and restaurant serve some of the best American fare in town.

If you’re looking for a great place to have the best fun with the kids, check out Main Event Tempe.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Tempe is beside Phoenix, Arizona, one of the state’s biggest and most popular cities.

Since Tempe is like a suburb of Phoenix, you can easily access the following attractions while you’re in the area:

See Animals at Phoenix Zoo

Entrance to the Phoenix Zoo

Gregory E. Clifford /

No place can make your kids feel closer to nature than Phoenix Zoo.

As one of the biggest zoos in the country at 125 acres, Phoenix Zoo will take you and your kid on a journey through the world of animals.

It’s home to over 3,000 animals from all over the world.

Your kids will have a blast seeing lions, tigers, elephants, and many other animals up close.

Since the zoo is located in the middle of the desert, you’ll also get to see a variety of cacti and other plants native to the area.

Rhinoceros at Phoenix Zoo

GoodFocused /

The best part about the Phoenix Zoo is that it’s a non-profit organization, so you’re also contributing to a good cause by visiting it.

Check out Phoenix Zoo the next time you’re in Phoenix—your kids will thank you for it.

American bald eagle at Phoenix Zoo

kenelamb photographics /

Enjoy an Adrenaline Rush at Castles N’ Coasters

One of the best amusement parks for kids in Phoenix is Castles N’ Coasters.

This amusement park has everything your kids could want—a fun house, go-karts, bumper boats, a free fall ride, a carousel, a Ferris wheel, and more.

However, the park’s main attraction is its roller coaster.

Nicknamed “Desert Storm,” it’s a massive multi-looped coaster that will give your kids the thrill of their lives.

Make sure to accompany your kids on this roller coaster, but note that this ride is not for the faint of heart.

If you’re looking for a great amusement park to take your kids, check out Castles N’ Coasters in Phoenix.

Final Thoughts

Tempe is a great city to visit with kids—there’s no shortage of fun and adventure at every corner.

With so many things to do, your kids will have the time of their lives.

From Main Event Tempe to the Phoenix Zoo, there’s much to see and do in the city.

The city’s child-friendly attractions and activities ensure that the kids will have a memorable trip.

So what are you waiting for?

Plan your trip today with these best things to do in Tempe, Arizona, with kids.

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