50 Local Summer Break Activity Ideas (including FREE!)


Summer break may be staring us down, and for some of us, that anxious feeling of dread: how will we keep the kids entertained (and indoors) all summer long?!

Here’s 50+  ideas on summer break activities to keep your kids busy, your budget on track and hopefully a little cool.


East Valley Moms

Free activities 

  1. Kid’s Club at Superstition Springs Mall (second and fourth Thursdays)
  2. Kids Bowl Free: Sign up here for two free bowling games at Main Event Gilbert every day this summer!
  3. Library storytimes and classes 
  4. Cornerstone story time (4th Friday every month)
  5. Story time with Bear (2nd Fridays)
  6. Lawn Games Indoors for Kids at Chandler Libraries
  7. LEGO Club (3rd Saturday monthly) at Mesa Libraries 
  8. CinePark May Movie Series
  9. Look at the Stars at the Observatory, Friday and Saturday evenings from sunset to 9:30 PM
  10. Home Depot Kids Club (1st Saturday of the month; pre-registration recommended)

Budget-friendly drop-in Indoor activities  

  1. Harkins Summer Movie Club (fun if you plan these with a group of friends!) 
  2. Rock wall climbing and game room at Red Mountain Center 
  3. VBS
  4. Our Favorite East Valley Open Gyms
  5. Wiggle worms in Gilbert, every Friday (nearly free)
  6. Play place play date at Chikfila or McDonalds (old school, but overlooked!)

Our Favorite Memberships/Classes for summer

  1. Pogo Pass: One annual pass that provides FREE admission to attractions from Sunsplash to KTR to Fat Cats. Use code “eastvalleymoms” for the best price on the pass.
  2. Kidstrong Gilbert: Burns energy while providing kids with character development (ages 1-11).
  3. Kindermusik at the Musik Box
  4. Idea Museum 
  5. Odysea Aquarium (if your kids love the zoo, this is an ideal alternative for summer!)
  6. Edna Vihel Arts Center classes in Tempe 
  7. 5 Indoor Activities to Help You Survive the Summer with with 5-10 Year Olds
  8. Indoor Memberships to Help You Survive Summer with Kids Ages 0-4

Home activities 

  1. Disney Family Date Night: Moana
  2. Disney Family Date Night: Lilo and Stitch
  3. Disney Family Date Night: Coco
  4. Disney Family Date Night: Up!
  5. March Disney Family Date Night: Inside Out
  6. Spa day at home EVM’s Guide to the Ultimate Spring Break Staycation at Home 

Water play

  1. Swim lessons (Swimhaus is our favorite local swim school)
  2. Dive in movies at local city pools
  3. FlowRider Surfing at Rhodes Pool
  4. Dive in movie at home Birthday Bash: Dive in Movie Party (Almost!) 
  5. 5 Practical Pool Safety Tips from a local Gilbert swim school
  6. Local Arizona Splash Pads: Tips for Fun in the Sun
  7. Backyard Water Play Ideas if You Don’t Have a Pool
  8. Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center This is like a water park, but on a city pool price!
  9. Splash Pad at Mansel Carter Oasis Park Splash Pad Party July 14 

Day trips

  1. Daytripping to Strawberry: Kid Edition
  2. Daytrips we love: Prescott
  3. Day Trips We Love: Tucson
  4. Day trip: Tonto Fish Hatchery & Christopher Creek with Kids
  5. Day Trips We Love: Tonto Natural Bridge
  6. 6 Family Friendly Hikes in Cooler Weather to beat the AZ Heat
  7. Exploring Arizona: Winslow, Ariz. and the Petrified Forest with Kids

Weekend trips

  1. Staycation Escape Local: Staycation Options in Your Own Backyard 
  2. Explore Arizona: A Southern AZ, All-Inclusive, Dude Ranch for the Family
  3. Top-camping-spots-families-arizona 
  4. Best Family-Friendly Phoenix Resort Staycations for Summer 
  5. Explore Arizona: Where to stay in Payson with kids
  6. Things to do in Greer, Arizona with kids this summer
  7. Is Great Wolf Lodge Worth it for Toddlers?
  8. Explore Arizona: a 24 Hour Northern Ariz. Turnaround Trip with Kids
  9. Exploring Arizona: Late Summer in Show Low, a Family Weekend Guide
  10. Explore Arizona: Page With Toddlers
  11. Let Them Be Big: Why I Let My Teenager Go on a Trip with Friends (and no parents!)
  12. Tombstone, Arizona – on our list for this summer! 
  13. Jerome, Arizona – on our list for this summer!  



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