Hey mamas! Ready to hunker down for a long, hot summer indoors? (The correct answer is: NO.)
We’re lucky to have a lot of indoor play opportunities in the Valley, but when your little ones are, well, little, the choices become a bit slimmer. Two-year-olds don’t have the attention span for most museums, and it can be scary for preschoolers to share the trampolines and bounce houses with bigger kids. And yet, last summer’s stroller-bound infant is this year’s busy toddler, and we all know how much those little stinkers need to burn off energy and use their growing minds and bodies (otherwise they’ll find a way to do it at home… *shudder*).
Here are 6 Scottsdale and Phoenix indoor play destinations for toddlers and preschoolers – it’s by no means a comprehensive list, but enough to keep your busy kiddos active and save a shred of your sanity this summer. Enjoy!
Indoor make-believe town (a store, a school, a house, a bakery, a dress-up shop, etc.). Toddlers and preschoolers LOVE this place, and they recently renovated and added a cafe. (602-765-3192 // 10614 N 32nd Street Phoenix, AZ 85028 // $9 admission)
The Phoenix Children’s Museum is a go-to summer spot for kids of all ages (there is plenty for little kids to enjoy, and a separate area for ages 3 and under as well). (602.253.0501 // 215 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034 // $11 admission)
Play Factory in the Desert Ridge Marketplace has some big-kid stuff (a climbing wall and big slide), but the smaller size of the place as a whole makes it less overwhelming for little ones (and easier for mom to keep an eye on kids of multiple ages). There is also a separate area for ages 4 and under. (480-473-PLAY (7529) // 21001 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix, Arizona 85050 // $9 admission – with special discounts for certain days/ages)
PV Mall has a free play area (with a maximum height requirement that keeps bigger kids out), a carousel, a train, and enough of those awful “put a quarter in and ride a plastic germ-mobile” things to keep you busy all day. ((602) 996-8840 // 4568 E Cactus Rd Phoenix, AZ 85032 // Carousel = $2, Train = $3, Play Area = Free)
Your Local Library
Arizona Sunrays is one of the larger gymnastics studios in the Valley and offers Tumble Time for ages 1-6 on Sunday mornings through the summer (they do occasionally cancel open gym for special events, so always call ahead). (602 992-5790 // 3110 E Thunderbird Road, Phoenix, AZ 85032 // $5 cash admission)