One of the great things about living in the Phoenix-metro area is the multitude of family-friendly things to do. The Valley of the Sun is actually comprised of over 10 different cities, many of which offer some great attractions and fun things to do! Tempe (best known as home to Arizona State University) and Chandler are two of the East Valley Phoenix suburbs with a lot to offer visitors & local residents! Recently, there was a #AZFamilyFun press trip to these areas and my family was invited to join some of the activities. So, here are a few of our favorite family stops in Tempe & Chandler areas:
Rawhide Western Town and Steakhouse
Rawhide in Chandler is set as an an 1880s Western Town and has been a classic Arizona attraction since the early 1970s. The “town” features a steakhouse, shops, shows, and a number of activities for kids! Yum! Doesn’t that cowboy food look delicious?! The restaurant has the traditional steakhouse food that you would expect in a Western Town. We enjoyed steaks and were glad to see options for the kids. While we waited for our food, the boys loved listening (and dancing) to the house band. But, their favorite thing about Rawhide was the burro rides! We also enjoyed the petting zoo, riding a little carnival-style ride, and we ended our night with one of the fun, live-action stunt shows! We had a lot of fun with the show! There is no admission charge for Rawhide (though there is a $5 parking fee). For attractions (including unlimited shows, rides, etc), visitors can purchase a Town Pass for about $15 per person. Or, you can purchase tickets for some attractions separately. Hours can vary by season, so be sure to check out the Rawhide website for more details.
During the hot summer months (or rare rainy days), Chandler Fashion Center is a great place to go! It’s a large, upscale mall with a great variety of stores. The area around the mall also has a large selection of great stores and restaurants. It’s located right off the 101 freeway, so it’s convenient to get to and a great stop for some indoor fun.
Main Event in TempeMain Event is a Texas-based entertainment chain and Tempe is it’s first location outside of Texas. So glad they came! We attended the grand opening preview at Main Event and the boys were SO excited to go back! Between bowling, laser tag, a gravity ropes course, and LOTS of arcade games, it is such a fun place to go. Our family really enjoyed the 4-person air hockey table this time! So much fun! We also enjoyed dinner here this time in the restaurant section. I ordered a gluten-free bbq chicken pizza and it was SO good!
Sea Life AquariumThe SEA LIFE Aquarium (which operates a few other locations around the country) is another great indoor, family fun place in Tempe. It’s actually located at Arizona Mills Mall (a large outlet mall), that also is home to an IMAX theater, GameWorks Arcade, and a Rainforest Cafe restaurant. The aquarium is perfect for kids and a great way to spend a couple of hours!
Tempe Beach Park & Tempe Town Lake
Located right off the popular Mill Avenue in Tempe (right across from Arizona State University and just about 5 minutes away from the Phoenix Zoo), Tempe Town Lake is a great outdoor venue for families. There ‘s a fun park for kids (with a splash pad operating in the warmer months), large green spaces perfect for play & picnics, and a large walking/biking path along the water. You can even rent paddle boats for some lake fun. Tempe Town Lake has been the site of the Color Run the past couple of years, which was great. When Mr. Mom Endeavors worked in the area, our family did a number of picnics and walks at the park as well. Toward the west end of the the lake is Tempe Center for the Arts. There are often shows perfect for kids and families!
So, whether you’re a Phoenix-area resident or you’re planning a visit to the Valley of the Sun sometime soon, these places for family fun in Tempe and Chandler are all worth checking out. For more activities in the area, be sure to check out the Tempe Tourism and Visit Chandler websites!
Have you been to any of these family-fun places in Arizona?
Disclosure: As part of the #AZFamilyFun press event, visits to some of these places was complimentary. However, all opinions & experiences are entirely my own.
I really have to make a effort to get back to AZ after all I have a cousin and some NEW friends I could visit! My Aunt and Uncle raised four boys in Tempe. We spent many summer vacations there. I think we went to Rawhide once. After retirement they moved to Mesa. One of our best vacations was when the boys where about 7 and 10. We spent spring break camped at Usery (sp?) Park, Apache Junction. And we hiked up to Wind Cave.
How fun, Carol! Yes! You should definitely plan a trip out! 🙂
What a fun place! Looks like you all enjoyed yourselves. The food looks delicious, and I love that your boys got to ride donkeys.
Wow, there really is a lot to do! My son would have a blast!
Arizona has been on our travel wish list for so long – I loved all your recommendations. My girls would love that aquarium!
I went to Rawhide a few years ago when I was in Arizona; what a fun place that was! Great recommendations and I’ll definitely keep them in mind for future trips!
I love this list! We have been to Rawhide a few times and the boys LOVE it!
I just moved to Chandler April 3, and am so happy to find this site. I’d love to hear any other suggestions of sites to find family activities especially inexpensive activities to get out of the heat. I have girls that are 12 and 9 and a boy that’s 7.