Want to Get the Kids Out of the House This Summer? Here Are Some Activities in Phoenix and Beyond.

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By Jessica Swarner

July 27, 2021

Enroll the kids in free swimming lessons this year, or watch them play in an esports league. 

Most Phoenix schools have let out for the summer—so, what to do with the kids now?  

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the city’s normal summer activities have been canceled or modified. But thanks to vaccines, there are more options for summer fun this year than last. 

Here are some ideas for getting the kids out of the house, as well as some activities for families who aren’t quite ready to be out and about again. 

Pools and Splash Pads

A number of the city’s public pools will be open six days a week (closed Fridays) from Memorial Day through the end of July. From August through Labor Day, they are open only on weekends. 

The pools that will be open this summer are:

  • Cortez
  • Deer Valley
  • El Prado
  • Encanto
  • Falcon
  • Maryvale
  • Paradise Valley
  • Pecos
  • Perry
  • Starlight
  • Sunnyslope
  • University

Splash pads will be open through Oct. 1. They are located in the following parks: 

  • Altadena
  • CityScape Park
  • Civic Space
  • Dust Devil
  • Edison
  • Fiesta Bowl PLAY at Hance Park
  • Francisco Highland
  • Mountain Vista
  • Nuestro
  • Pecos
  • Trailside Point 

Summer Camp 

The city of Phoenix is offering PHXPlays Summer Camps for children ages 6-12. 

The activities are available at these 11 community centers: 

  • Deer Valley Community Center, 2001 W. Wahalla Lane
  • Desert West Community Center, 6501 W. Virginia Ave.
  • Eastlake Community Center, 1549 E. Jefferson St.
  • Goelet A.C. Beuf Community Center, 3435 W. Pinnacle Peak Road
  • Longview Neighborhood Recreation Center, 4040 N. 14th St.
  • Maryvale Community Center, 4420 N. 51st Ave.
  • Paradise Valley Community Center, 17402 N. 40th St.
  • Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St.
  • South Mountain Community Center, 212 E. Alta Vista Road
  • Sunnyslope Community Center, 802 E. Vogel Ave.
  • Washington Activity Center, 2240 W. Citrus Way

The centers have a number of pandemic safety protocols in place, including operating at half capacity and requiring COVID-19 screenings upon arrival. 

Parents can register online or in-person by appointment at the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department’s division offices.

Swimming activities and field trips are not included in the programming this summer. 

The camps are offered through July 30 and run weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. They cost $45-$55 per week, or $260 per month. 

Swimming Lessons

The city of Phoenix is offering free swim lessons at city pools for kids ages 3-12. 

The number of classes available and class sizes have been reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The schedule for the classes is:

  • June 21 to July 1 – registration opened June 10
  • July 5-15 – registration opens June 24 at 4:30 p.m.
  • July 19- 29 – registration opens July 8 at 4:30 p.m.

Parents can register online or in-person from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.​ on the first day of registration for their preferred session at these locations:

  • Maryvale Community Center (4420​ N. 51st Ave.)
  • Paradise Valley Community Center (17402 N. 40th St.)
  • South Mountain Community Center (212 E. Alta Vista Road)

Water Activity Rentals

Many lakes and rivers in Arizona offer activity rentals, such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and tubing. 

Here are some areas where kids can be active outdoors. Check each website for schedules, pricing, and activities offered. 


For something a little livelier than just a pool, Arizona has multiple waterparks that can offer a whole weekend of fun. 

Check each website for hours of operation and ticket prices. 

Big Surf in Tempe will remain closed for the 2021 season due to the pandemic.

A Phoenix area resident finds some relief from the heat on a water slide at the Wet-N-Wild Water Park in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

Not Going Out Yet? 

For those who are planning to spend more of their summer at home, the city of Phoenix has some online classes available

Some activities, like bingo and trivia night, are free, while others like ballet, karate, and piano cost $18-$45. 

The city also offers free fitness classes online weekdays live from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. and are available on-demand on the city’s Parks and Recreation Department YouTube channel. There are also free online yoga classes every second Saturday of the month.  

There are also esports leagues available—one for children ages 12-17 and another for adults. The teams will compete against others around the country in the game “Fortnite.” 

Those interested in participating must register by June 30. It costs $10 to join. The league runs from July 14 through August 18. 

A full list of Phoenix summer activities is available here.


  • Jessica Swarner

    Jessica Swarner is the community editor for The Copper Courier. She is an ASU alumna and previously worked at KTAR News 92.3 FM in Phoenix.

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