Things to Do in Gilbert AZ Pogo Pass Kristen Carter PhotographySchool is out, now what?? Besides swimming til you prune up and going crazy re-watching endless amounts of “Liv & Maddie”….  I’ve compiled a few of the things my family likes to do. Because my kids are up at the crack of dawn, we don’t mind doing outdoor activities in the AZ summer, but we are usually back to air conditioning before lunchtime. So, if you’re like us, there are some outdoor activities; but if you’re the type to enjoy the great indoors and the wonders of air conditioning, I got ya covered there too!

1. Riparian Preserve, Gilbert AZ. (Whole family, all ages) This is a hidden gem in the middle of town! We visit it as a family almost weekly now, and because it’s naturally landscaped, it’s always different. Plenty of trails to walk (plus paved paths for a stroller), a big urban fishing lake, plus wild rabbits, ducks and birds all over. The little guy (3 years old) enjoys walking the paths and pointing out animals, while the girls (9 & 10 years old) prefer to follow the map, and find new pathways to explore. It’s an easy morning walk, not a strenuous hike, with plenty of shady spots, and benches placed throughout the park to sit and rest. TIP- The foliage changes seasonally, bring your camera (or camera-phone) to capture some amazing landscape photos. (Photos courtesy of my awesome husband RCarterGuy)

Things to Do in Gilbert AZ Riparian Preserve RCarterGuy

2. Phoenix Zoo, Tempe AZ. (Whole family, all ages) The best membership deal in town is the one that you’ll actually use. For our family, it’s the zoo. We treat it as our neighborhood park, and frequently visit. Because we are members, we don’t feel like we have to do EVERYTHING in one trip and can spread it out. Some visits are just for the awesome splash pad (especially on the hot summer days), other days we will make a loop around the main lake or head to the kids farm area to visit the goats. TIP- Go early in the day. The animals are awake and active during the cooler hours of the morning. Plus, if you join as members, you can enter the zoo an hour earlier than the general public.

Things to Do in Gilbert AZ Zoo Pogo Pass Kristen Carter Photography

3. I.D.E.A. Museum, formerly AZ Museum of Youth, Mesa AZ. (Toddlers & younger school kids) A indoor space for kids to create, play, and use the power of their imaginations. The exhibitions change often and there’s plenty of places to play for kids of all ages. The toddler areas (called Artville) are specifically tailored for those under 5 years old. The HUB is for older kids and has interactive activities including art, music, occupational play and technology.

4. Skateland, Chandler or Mesa AZ. (School-aged kids and grown-ups) Air conditioned, indoors, perfect for summer days when you’re tired of being cooped up in the house. Signing up for their email list keeps you up to date on all special events and deals, but we prefer to go on Saturday mornings for the skate lesson and then stick around for the Radio Disney skate session immediately following. It gets their energy out with fun upbeat kid-appropriate songs (and has wi-fi so mom can write blog posts). Some days, I dust off the skate skills and show my kids how it’s done. TIP- Not recommended for toddlers or pre-schoolers, unless they already know how to skate. The arcade is small, and not entertaining enough to keep a 2 year old busy for 3 hours (learn from my mistake on that one).

Things to Do in Gilbert AZ Skateland Pogo Pass Kristen Carter Photography

5. Arizona Science Center, Phoenix AZ. (Whole family, all ages) Indoors, 3 stories of interactive & educational exhibits. Rotating special features, with long standing activities. Educational presentations daily (schedule is posted at entrance); my kids’ favorites involve dry ice and bubbles. The SkyCycle is a test of your bravery & scientific sense of dare, and the forces of nature area is a fun way to experience the best & worse of Mother Nature. Plus, the Heritage Square area surrounding it has great food choices and some pretty historical buildings.

This will be our first summer with it, but we’ve also purchased POGO Passes for our family to get out and DO more in Phoenix. Its a ticket that offers admission to a bunch of different things all over the valley, including entrance to the IDEA Museum, Skateland, and sporting events! I was asked to be an affiliate and one of the perks is that I can offer a 60% off code to clients, family & friends! So, if you want to get in on this sweet deal, go to and use the code PHOTO60 to get a pass for only $39.98. (All of the admission info is on the site too!)

POGO Pass Promo Code

PLUS— I’m giving away a Pogo Pass to one lucky person! All you have to do is use the rafflecopter widget to visit my Facebook page for one entry, and leave a blog comment telling me what your favorite thing to do with your family in the Phoenix area is over Summer. That’s it! I’d love it if you shared the giveaway on Facebook or IG too! The winner will be announced on June 7th and receive one free Pogo Pass!
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