Phoenix With Kids

Free Summer Things to do in Phoenix With Kids

Kim Gudykunst Ollerhead
Free Events in Phoenix

With the summers in Arizona seeming long, hot and endless, we are here to share free summer things to do in Phoenix with kids!

Our Top 10 Things To Do In The Summer

  1. Swim
  2. Summer Reading Program
  3. Story time at our local library
  4. Use an Act One Cultural Pass to explore a new location
  5. Check out a new indoor museum
  6. Take advantage of Bank of America’s Free Museum On Us deal for the first full weekend of the month
  7. Check out local businesses for free trial classes
  8. Lakeshore Learning Free Events
  9. Head to the lake or river
  10. Water at home, create your own splash pad, draw with chalk and spray it off with a spray bottle, fill any and everything you can find with water and have kids transfer it and stay cool


Free Events in Phoenix

You can find us in the pool just about every afternoon!

Local Libraries

Every summer I take advantage of libraries and explore the activities they have to offer. To read more about some of our favorite libraries throughout the city read the blogs here.

Lots of local libraries offer items you can check out and take home from games to explorer backpacks, to an educational set of items on a specific subject, great for keeping kids learning all summer long.

Summer Reading

There are multiple summer reading programs for kids of all ages. Some to look into are Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program, Half Price Books, Panda Express Read With Me, Pizza Hut Book It, along with your local library.

Food Assistance

Many cities offer lunches or meals for kids in need. Arizona Food Service program information can be found here to help parents in need this summer, offering meals to kids under 18.  This information can be found on city or library websites. Example, the city of Tempe list here, or the city of Phoenix here.

Act One

Check online for the list of over 150 libraries that carry the Act One Cultural Pass and get into places all over Arizona for free. Check here for the list of libraries and local passes available.

Arts & Crafts

Look through all your drawers in your house. Do you have projects you started? It’s time to finish them. I try to save a handful of things we accumulate throughout the year for summer days when we are stuck at home. These are hidden away so we don’t start them, I just have to remember to get them out!


Around town you will find story walks that are great for a stroll while reading with kids.

Getting Out

Some people are great at getting out early in the morning, before it is a million degrees. We are not that family. One thing I try to do is combine parts of town. If there is a free event at the Glendale Library, I will look to see what is around there. Splash pad, ice cream place, aquatics center, or an indoor play place that we haven’t been to, I make a day out of it.


Check out our Google Calendar of FREE things to do all over the valley!

I often print out a monthly calendar or write down all the cool activities on my calendar that I see coming up. Especially for summer.

Throughout the valley (and state) there are so many things going on, and there are many ways to save. Google searches can be your best friend. Along with Facebook groups for your area if you don’t want to go far. While it may not have EVERY event on it, here is a calendar to inspire you to get out.

Other Ways I attempt to save money

I also take screen shots of events or places that we can visit that are free or inexpensive. I have a habit of putting events in my calendar. Another great tip is when you see a free event, add it to your calendar and then check your passes (POGO, Get Out, Community Perks or Explorer Pass) for things to do in that area. When it’s not too hot I add a park or splash pad as well. Frequently check Groupon as well. It ma not be free, but they offer some great deals.

Free Summer Things to do in Phoenix With Kids

  • Kim Gudykunst Ollerhead

    Kim is a chef, dishwasher, dry cleaner, housekeeper, landscaper, snack fetcher, photographer and personal assistant to toddler twins. Curently homeschooling her three year olds and loving teaching preschool. She loves exploring everything with her kids and photographing every minute of it. Follow her on Instagram @phoenixwithtwins.

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