Beat the Heat: Top 7 Indoor Family Activities for An AZ Summer

That famous Phoenix sun — an average of 299 sunny days per year, to be exact — makes it easy to have an active lifestyle, from hiking to golf to simply playing in the park. But at the height of summer, when daily high temperatures average 106 degrees, many Arizona families seek out indoors (a.k.a. air-conditioned) activities. Of course, you can always sit in the pool, but when that unpredictable monsoon weather hits (we're talking to you, dust storms!) finding fun things to do indoors becomes goal number one.

Here are our favorite 7 indoor family activities in Phoenix to help you beat the heat this summer.

1. Children's Museum of Phoenix

Indoor Activities in AZ

Nestled in a renovated historic school building in the heart of downtown, the Children's Museum of Phoenix offers more than  48,000 square feet of fun. With three floors and more than 300 activities, the Museum is designed for kids up to age 10. Here, your little ones can wander through a noodle forest, climb on a three-story-high play structure, create their own art in a well-stocked studio, ride trikes, practice their culinary skills and much, much more.  A full schedule of special programs and summer camps round out the experience.

Children's Museum of Phoenix

215 N. 7th Street, Phoenix


2. Arizona Science Center

Family Activity in Arizona Summer

Hundreds of interactive exhibits... a planetarium... a five-story-tall theater... all focused on science? If you think this sounds like a great place to spend a hot July day in Phoenix, you're right! Located in downtown's Heritage and Science Park, the Arizona Science Center offers hands-on exhibits that actually make learning fun. Your kids can explore the inner workings of the human body, build towering structures, learn why scorpions glow under black lights (shudder), explore space, ride a SkyCycle, and much more, all under one roof. The Center offers camps and daily demonstrations, too.

Arizona Science Center

600 E. Washington Street, Phoenix


3. Hall of Flame Fire Museum

Arizona Summer Indoor Activity Hall of Flame

Kids love fire trucks, and at the Hall of Flame Fire Museum, they can explore how these big, red, life-saving vehicles have evolved through time, with some equipment dating back to the early 1700s. Along with six galleries, a theater, and a child-centered fire safety exhibit, the Museum houses the National Firefighting Hall of Heroes that honors American firefighters who've been decorated for acts of valor and those that have fallen in the line of duty since 1981.

Hall of Flame Fire Museum

6101 E. Van Buren Street, Phoenix


4. Arcadia Ice Arena

Ice Skating in Arizona Summer

It may be 115 degrees outside, but inside the Arcadia Ice Arena, you'll need a jacket, gloves and a hat! Stepping from the summer Phoenix heat into the cool, frosty air of the rink is a surreal experience, as well as a great way to spend a few hours on a lazy summer day. The rink offers group and private skating classes for all levels, free hockey lessons for kids ages 4 to 8, and weekly skating camps during the summer. You can also drop by for one of the twice- (Sunday through Thursday) or thrice- (Friday and Saturday) daily public skating sessions to take your turn on the ice. You can rent skates here, and there's a small concession area if you're craving a hot cocoa. For the grown-ups, the Ice House Tavern serves adult beverages while you're watching the kids skate.

Arcadia Ice Arena

3853 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix


5. The Play Factory

Family Event Arizona Summer

If your kids need to burn off some energy, head north to Desert Ridge Marketplace and stop by The Play Factory. Here, you'll find a climbing wall, inflatable slides, climbing and bouncing toys, video games, and more. The small in-house café serves pizza, drinks and snacks, and a candy shop at the entrance provides the requisite sugar high. Be sure to bring socks from home, as they're required in the play areas. During the summer months, you can drop in for open play sessions Monday through Friday and Sunday.  Kids age 10 and under will likely enjoy The Play Factory most.

The Play Factory

21001 N. Tatum Boulevard #38-1335, Phoenix


6. Phoenix Public Library

Arizona Summer Activity Indoor Library

With 17 branches around the city, it's easy to find a convenient story time or kids' activity. The Phoenix Public Library offers an array of programming at its branches for kids of all ages, from infants to teens.  Children can join the summer reading program, practice their reading in the "Sit, Stay, Read!" read to dogs program, enjoy story times, join a yoga session, and attend kindergarten boot camp to prepare for school in the fall. Events for older kids and teens include gaming sessions, coding camps, language classes, and more. The Library's Culture Pass program offers free admission into Valley of the Sun attractions for all ages. Check your local branch to discover which programs work best with your schedule and your kids' interests.

Phoenix Public Library

Multiple locations


7. Phoenix Art Museum

Phoenix Indoor Activity for Summer

It's never too early to expose your kids to art, and the Phoenix Art Museum offers a beautiful setting that sparks creativity. Featuring artworks from around the world, the Museum offers a Scavenger Hunt activity that'll keep younger visitors occupied as you tour the galleries and exhibits. The Make It program allows the whole family to work on art projects; this drop-in activity is offered on selected Wednesdays; check the Museum's calendar to find the next session. On the second Sunday of the month, families enjoy free admission to themed presentations, activities, and projects.

Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix


How does your family beat the summer heat in Phoenix? Share your favorite indoor activities with us on Facebook!