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Cool Things to Do in Arizona

“Welcome to Arizona, where summer spends the winter – and hell spends the summer.” ~Popular saying from the 1930’s

The summer brings hot temperatures to Arizona, but there are plenty of ways in which you can stay cool.

  • Spend a day at the science center, taking time to do all of the hands-on exhibits; or visit an art gallery or other museum. For hundreds of examples, click here:
  • Set up an exercise program that you can do in hot weather. Perhaps you have an indoor exercise bike or even better, a swimming pool!
  • If you don’t have your own backyard pool, grab a swimsuit and go to the public pool in your community.
  • Commercial waterparks such as Big Surf, SunSplash and Waterworld offer huge waterslides and wave pools.
  • If you have younger kids, get two plastic wading pools. Fill one with water and the other with sand for a miniature backyard beach.
  • Set up a sprinkler in your garden or yard, or a mister on your deck or patio.
  • Arizona’s scenic lakes and rivers provide an opportunity for fishing, boating, and other water sports.
  • You may not think of Arizona as a place to ice skate, but public ice skating is available year round! Chill out at the Alltel Ice Den, Arcadia Ice, Polar Ice, or Oceanside Ice Arena.
  • Go for a walk while window shopping at an indoor mall.
  • Stay indoors and play quiet games such as chess, checkers, board games, role-playing games, computer games, or charades.
  • Make your own ice cream. Click here for recipes:
  • Spend a leisurely afternoon in the air-conditioned public library and check out a variety of books. See:
  • Sit in a comfy chair and read a long novel or series of books. Click here for a summer reading list:
  • Watch an afternoon matinee movie.
  • Select AMC Theatres invite families, schools, and organizations to see great kids’ movies for FREE during AMC Summer MovieCamp from June 27 – August 15. Shows start at 10:00 a.m. every Wednesday.
  • Rent one or more DVDs, pull down the shades, make some popcorn or ice cream, and watch a movie. Click here for summer movie ideas:
  • Have a marathon movie day; for example, you can spend 12 hours watching all episodes of Lord of the Rings or your favorite series.
  • Put together a jigsaw puzzle – preferably of a nice mountain meadow, cool water scene, or snowy landscape.
  • Work on a hobby or craft such as sewing, quilting, painting, scrapbooking, stamp collecting, coin collecting, or whatever interests you.
  • No matter how hot it is down in the Valley, we’re never more than a couple of hours away from a cool pine forest. Escape the heat by either heading north or to the “sky islands” of southern Arizona, and go hiking or camping in the woods.
  • Want to get out of the hot summer sun for a while? Arizona has several cool caves for you to explore. See:
  • Spend a weekend at a hotel or resort that offers low summer rates (savings can be as much as 50 percent from June through August) while enjoying the beautiful shimmering pools and other luxuries. 

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