With the long hot days of summer in full swing, I've got bored kids who need fun stuff to do. We want places that are housed in cool buildings, so my 10-year-old daughter put a few family-friendly hot spots to the test to give our fellow summer break families some ideas on cool places to take the kids. Check out what we found...
*Like going to Disneyland without leaving the Valley because kids get to meet princesses -- get your tickets to see the Ahwatukee's Children's Theatre musical production of Rodgers & Hammerstein Cinderella playing at the Chandler Center for the Arts. The play features a cast of 75 young actors from ages 3 to 18. Plus kids can come dressed up as their favorite princess and meet several fairy princesses before and after the show. And 11 lucky girls will be randomly selected at each show for a chance to appear on stage at the close of the production to dance with cast mates and with Cinderella! Shows run on Saturday, June 30th at 2pm and 7pm and on Sunday, July 1st at 3pm at the Chandler Center for the Arts.
Tickets can be purchased at http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/204850?brand=chandlercenter.
*Fun and fitness for your kids at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center with locations in Ahwatukee and in Scottsdale. My daughter loves this place and she had a blast, while getting a workout at the same time. My Gym Children's Fitness Center provides award-winning class programs for kids as young as 6 weeks old to 13 years of age. For my tween, an interactive 1-hour fitness class for ages 7 to 13 years old was filled with fun activities like doing obstacle courses, creative relay races and more. And she loved meeting the other kids who take the class. I paid a special summer rate of only $40 for a month for two cardio classes a week and the first class was free! To learn more about the different levels of classes, different age groups and pricing, visit www.MyGym.com or call 480-940-4967.
*Art classes that kids love are offered at As You Wish Pottery Painting Place. As You Wish has locations in Ahwatukee, Deer Valley, Desert Ridge, Mesa and Tempe. A Chandler location is opening soon, too. My girl took a pottery class and left with a big and beautiful sunflower salad bowl. Glass classes are also offered and the cost is $25 for a pottery class and $35 for a glass class and that includes the piece that they create. And once your child takes a class, they receive a purple What Color Is Your Fun Bracelet that waives the studio fee whenever they come to paint through July 31st, so that is an added bonus. As You Wish summer classes will take a 2-week break over the 4th July holiday and classes will resume during Green week on July 8th. For more information, visit www.AsYouWishPottery.com.
*Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe has cool rides around the food court that my daughter called her favorite summer find. The Euro Bobbles ride is an assortment of giant air-filled contraptions that the kids climb inside to bounce in over a water surface. Kids stay dry and have fun bobbing around. See the segment to see pictures of what this looks like. Parents do have to pay $7 for a 3-minute ride and $10 for a 5-minute ride, so be warned, but my gal and her friends loved it!
Another kid favorite, also located in the food court, is the Euro Bungee Jumper that enables kids to strap on a harness and jump and flip to their heart’s delight. The pricing is the same as the Euro Bobbles.
The girls also enjoyed filming a music video at the MyStudio mobile recording studio located right next to the Bungee Jumper. For $20 (this is a 2-for-1 summer special), my daughter and her pal both got to select a song and then step into the booth for a recorded DVD of their individual songs. They had a blast recording and then watching it back. Performances can then be viewed online on Facebook and other social media sites, but we chose not to do that and instead we had the link emailed to us. Very fun! More details about the on-site recording studio can be found at www.mystudio.net. A fun merry-go-round that goes for $2 a ride is also housed in the active food court at Arizona Mills. For more information about the mall visit www.arizonamills.com where information about kids’ events called the Summer Playdate Series can also be found.
*For a fun lunch or dinner out that both kids and adults love, try Benihana restaurant with locations in Chandler and in Scottsdale. The eatery offers a children's menu and provides kids with a chef hat that they can wear while they watch a performing chef prepare the tasty meal. We recently took my daughter and her 8-year-old friend and they had a blast, while we adults enjoyed the experience, too. I also like to go to lunch here because the lunch menu will cost you less than going for dinner. Find out more at www.benihana.com.
*Last but not least, do you know about GroupOn Now? You probably know all about Groupon and GroupOn Now gives you instant same-day deals. You simply enter in the area that you are searching for deals in and all kinds of restaurants, spas, gyms and more pop up with one-day discounts. For example, I just entered Chandler into GroupOn Now and I selected the category called Activities & Nightlife, and a perfect kids activity came up….$12 for two admissions, skate rentals and slices of pizza and sodas at Skateland. My daughter loves to go skating, so if we had been looking for something to do today, this is a good option. We would have to use it between 1pm and 4pm, so there are restrictions attached, but still a great deal. My girl and I have plans to attend a play in downtown Phoenix today, so I entered downtown Phoenix restaurants and GroupOn Now showed me eatery discounts that we could use before or after our show. This is a very cool program that GroupOn recently added and it is perfect for families looking for daily discounts. More information at www.groupon.com/now.
There are so many fun Valley places to cover and we just scratched the surface here, so tell us where your favorite cool hot spots for kids are located in the Valley. Share here in the comments section and remember to check my website at www.managedmoms.com for more family fun articles, family travel reviews, recipes, pet pics and more. Enjoy the rest of your summer!