By Jana Tingom
Looking for summertime ideas in Phoenix?
We were talking to a family who had recently moved to Phoenix and one of their first questions was, “Where can I take my 6 month old? We get so cooped up at home with the heat!” It’s true that both parents and children can go stir crazy! But there are plenty of options all over the Phoenix area to make the summer days bearable and fun. Check out our list and feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
What is great about the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is there is a room specifically set aside for kids under 4, with a carpeted area for infants. It’s much quieter than the other museum rooms! Lots of soft toys, mirrors, and hidden objects for crawlers to enjoy. There are also sectioned off areas in various parts of the museum, so babies can safely play away from older siblings.
Library story time and books/toys
Check your local library for specific times/age groups for story time and other activities. Most also have a small play area as well with blocks, bead mazes, etc. Check out a couple books to read once home too. (Hint: if story time isn’t your thing, visiting for play time right after a class begins often makes it easier for crawlers to explore without bigger kids around.)
Baby Gym at AZ Sunrays
Baby Gym is a great option for babies on the move. Free playtime in tunnels and the like!
Play areas at malls
Most malls will have even a small play area set aside for kids, a few even appropriate for under one with tunnels and small slides. A favorite of ours is at the Paradise Valley Mall.
The Little Gym
The Little Gym is another option to meet new friends, for parent and child, and move!
Musicology, Music Together and Kindermusik all offer music classes for littles ones from birth to one, and beyond. We’ve sampled some from Musicology and Music Together and enjoyed both. Our daughter was 10 months at the former class and smiled and clapped almost non stop!
While the play time at Tot Town is limited to 1.5hr segments, this play area is perfect for those little ones that might need a little action before naptime.
EC Street Playtown
There are a couple play mats available for tummy babies at EC Street Playtown (a newly opened play area). No sectioned off areas (like at the IDEA or Children’s Museums) but we were happy to find safe areas for crawlers or early walkers to explore and be safe.
One whole side of the Idea Museum is dedicated to children under 5, and a nice sectioned off area for babies has plenty of fun toys and a mirror wall. Our 7 month old was completely entertained during our last visit!
Splash pads can be hard on babies in the extreme heat, but a shaded portion with small fountains, like at Tempe Marketplace,can be great fun for little ones who can sit up unassisted. Check out our comprehensive list of splash pads in Chandler, Queen Creek, and Mesa. We really like the splash pad in downtown Gilbert. We’ve also compiled a list of awesome splash pads in Scottsdale. The Scottsdale Quarter is one of our favorites.
We would call this play area more suited for walking toddlers, but it’s not completely out of range for under one. Lots of action to watch and areas to explore with your child. Check out Imagination Avenue.
What we love about the Playtime Oasis play area is the numerous “stations” that would fascinate crawlers. Bead mazes, mini slides, blocks and cars are all over. Just keep an eye out for smaller toys that might get mixed in.
Again, this is a place that would be more enjoyed by children over one, but the butterfly atrium and fish gallery are a great visual stimulation for little minds! We’re lifetime members of Butterfly Wonderland and think it’s a great deal!
Sea Life Aquarium
Aquariums can be loved at any age. Lots of tanks with fish, sea stars (touch them too!), octopus, turtles and the likes. Love the walk through tunnel with water above and beneath you. Check out Sea life Aquarium.
Playareas on the West Side
There’s some great indoor options for kids at PlayGrounds Fun Zone in Glendale, Juleelieve Indoor Playland in Avondale and Goldilocks Play Land in Litchfield Park! All have specific toys and areas set aside for little ones.
Nat Geo Kids free kids club
Local malls in Paradise Valley, Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert (maybe others! check the main website) all offer a 45 minutekids program with songs, stories and a craft. We started taking our daughter here at 6 months; very engaging and fun, and you can’t beat free.
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