Best Places to cool off in Tempe

By Lexi Carr

For most of the year, Tempe boasts gorgeous weather that is perfect for outdoor activities. But when the heat starts to climb to the 100s, it’s a good idea to have a few backup plans. Be prepared to beat the heat with these top ways to cool off in the East Valley.

Tempe Beach Park

One of the defining features of Downtown Tempe, Tempe Beach Park is the perfect spot to spend time with the family this summer. The park offers paths to bike on, grassy areas to picnic, and a marina where you can rent paddle boards, kayaks, and pedal boats.

This site also hosts a number of music events and festivals in the summer. The most popular summer event is the 4th of July Festival, home to food vendors, live performances, and a spectacular fireworks show.

Big Surf

Open since 1969 and famed as Arizona’s Original Waterpark, Big Surf is home to the third-largest wave pool in North America. Famously known as Waikiki Beach, this 2.5 million gallon wave pool can be enjoyed on a raft, boogie, or even surfboard.

Big Surf also features a range of exciting water slides, including the Hurricane Slides and the Black Hole. Visitors can also ride a 300-foot zip-line that goes over the entire wave pool.

The Lakes

From swimming clubs to entertaining events, The Lakes of Tempe, located between McClintock Drive and Rural Road, has a community center that offers members a little oasis in this desert metropolis. This community center has something for everyone, no matter what age.

Kids can sign up for swimming classes and compete with the Lakes Snakes Swim Team. And for the more health conscious, instructors offer water aerobics classes twice a week for a small fee. Looking for a way to pass the day away? Rent a boat and launch off from one of the many marinas. No matter your preference, there’s something for everyone at this community center.

Kiwanis Recreation Center

This rec center boasts the Valley’s only indoor wave pool to keep you cool in the water and safe from sunburns. The pool is located just north of the Guadalupe Road entrance.

In addition the 8 varying patterns of waves, the pool also features lap lanes and even a 122-foot long double-spiral water slide.

Splash Pad at Tempe Market Place

Looking for a place to tire the kids out that also offers shopping, dining, and people watching? Head to the Splash Pad at the Tempe Marketplace to get your errands done and let them have fun. The fountains are surrounded by shaded seating and misters to keep you cool, no matter the temperature.

Splash pads have been increasing in popularity as the go-to water-activity for families on-the-go. They provide ample opportunities for good times and can help keep children safe from dangerous summer temperatures. Just remember to always carry a towel, sunscreen, and change of clothes next time you spend a day out with the family.

McClintock Pool

From the budding Olympian or sunbathing extraordinaire, McClintock Pool has space for everyone. This seasonal outdoor pool offers a lap pool, kiddie pool, diving boards, and water slides.

The pool is located next to McClintock High School, just off of McClintock Drive and Southern Avenue. Admission is under $2 dollars, and visitors can also purchase season passes for a nominal fee. Visitors can also sign up for swimming lessons or join the swim team.

Saguaro Lake

Need to get out of town for a little while? Head over to Saguaro Lake in the nearby Tonto National Forest. Walled off by the Sonoran Desert’s canyons, the lake is the perfect getaway that’s only a half-hour away.

Visitors can camp, swim, fish, or take a scenic boat tour on the Desert Belle. Make sure to buy a parking pass online or at one of the multiple pass vendors before you head out into the park.

Golfland Sunsplash

Big Surf isn’t the only waterpark in the East Valley. Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa has over 30 rides and attractions, including slides, a wave pools, cabanas, and a playground.

In addition to an unending amount of aqua fun, visitors can also hang out at the Golfland Fun Center. This section of the park has mini gold, laser tag, and full arcade, go karts, and more. Admission starts at $33, with discounted prices for their Night Splash events.

This summer, don’t become attached to your air conditioning comfort you – spend some time outdoors and have an unbeatable adventure in town.

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