The weather has been absolutely perfect during my recent trips to the Greater Phoenix area, but there are those infrequent times when that may not be the case. Whether it’s that very rare rainstorm or an excessively hot day, there may be times during your Phoenix family vacation where you’ll want to head indoors.
During our first family vacation to Phoenix, when my daughter was just a baby, we unfortunately dealt with several days with pouring rain. Because so many of the fabulous Phoenix area resorts offer beautiful outdoor pools and watersports, we were left scrambling for indoor family activities. Here are five things to do in Greater Phoenix in the rain and excessive heat.
Disclosure: I’ve been on several complimentary press trips to the Greater Phoenix area over the past few years, as well as some trips at our own cost. All opinions are my own.
5 Things To Do in Greater Phoenix in the Rain and Excessive Heat
Musical Instrument Museum
During a trip to Phoenix a few years ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I visited the Musical Instrument Museum, but was pleasantly surprised. I was initially a bit worried that the museum would have too much history and not enough excitement for kids. But I shouldn’t have worried at all.
The kid-friendly museum showcases musical instruments and music as a part of culture, and the exhibits focus on different cultures. Wearing headphones, you’ll hear the music of a culture as you approach each gallery. There’s also a hands-on experience room, which is great for kids, as well as the Artist’s Gallery, featuring musical instruments from popular musicians.
There are some performances that are offered as well. You’ll want to check their schedule online to see what is offered during your trip. Overall, you can visit the museum in several hours, so it’s a good activity for an exceptionally hot afternoon.
For some afternoon entertainment, head to the Tempe Center for the Arts. Childsplay, a professional theater company, offers kid-friendly productions year round. Everyone has a great seat in the small theater, and the actors often interact with the audience after the show.
During our visit, we were able to see a Cat in the Hat themed play. The kids absolutely loved it, and it would be a great way to spend some time indoors in air conditioning during your family vacation. Check their schedule online to see if there are any shows playing during your visit.
Arizona Mills mall is a great place to spend the afternoon or evening. Located in Tempe, it’s an outlet mall that offers 175 retailers, as well as a huge, a theater, a LEGOLAND Discovery Center, a Rainforest Cafe, and a SEA LIFE Aquarium. You could easily spend a half-day or more.
If you do want to visit the LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SEA LIFE Aquarium, combination tickets are available. You will need to choose an arrival time. Because these spots may be very busy when it’s raining, you may consider buying tickets in advance when you see the forecast. Otherwise, you may be shut out or may not be able to visit at the time you’d prefer.
Main Event Entertainment is a Texas entertainment chain that just recently opened their first Arizona location in Tempe. With dozens of arcade games, laser tag, bowling, two restaurants, and a gravity ropes course, there are plenty of things to do. This is also a fun activity for an evening, even if the weather is cooperating with your family vacation.
For a more traditional mall, head to nearby Chandler to the Chandler Fashion Square. It offers 180 stores, including Nordstrom and Dillards and kid-friendly spots like Build-A-Bear and the LEGO store. If you’ve got older kids, they may want to do some shopping on their trip. There are also some great restaurants in the mall for a nice lunch or dinner.
Of course, all of these destinations are great even when the weather is perfect too, especially if you want to take a break from the sun in the afternoon. I’d recommend looking at the forecast once you arrive in Phoenix, and see when you may be looking for some indoor activities.