Walking outside in July, it feels like the sun is trying to smite you out of existence. You turn three shades redder if you haven’t already put on sunscreen. You want to leave the confines of your house, but you need an affordable option to stay cool.
Here are some water parks, splash pads and shaded areas to help satisfy your cabin fever:
3210 N. 66th St., Scottsdale
Spanning eight acres, Paiute Park offers it all: splash pad for the little ones, shaded picnic areas, shaded play area, basketball and tennis courts and soccer fields. Sitting just outside of downtown Scottsdale, this is the perfect place to picnic and stay cool. The park is open seven days a week, sunrise to 10:30 p.m.
Vista Del Camino Park
7700 E. Roosevelt St., Scottsdale
Stretching a mile along the Indian Bend Wash, Vista Del Camino Park contains grassy areas, disc golf, large trees with plenty of shade, barbecues and a splash pad. Cool off by the water and walk along the scenic trail. Kids can play on the splash pad while you stay cool in the shade. The park is open seven days a week, sunrise to 10:30 p.m.
3711 E. Altadena Ave., Phoenix
With grassy lawns and large trees, Altadena Park is perfect for a family barbecue. Little ones can play on the play structure and run through the splash pad. The only thing the park is lacking is a restroom. The park is open from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. The splash pad is turned off on Sundays.
1 E. Washington St., Phoenix
This one isn’t a park; however, Cityscape offers a large splash pad with umbrella covered seating in the heart of downtown Phoenix. Accessible from the light rail, you can come shop, dine and let the kids cool off in the water. Cityscape’s hours for the splash pad are every day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road, Glendale
Hurricane Harbor boasts water rides for all ages and thrill seekers. The more adventurous can ride the Anaconda, Bahama Blaster and the Tornado. Families can enjoy attractions like the Adventure River or the Hurricane Bay. For the truly competitive, the Wahoo Racers tests one’s aerodynamics. Younger kids can enjoy Splashwater Beach or Splash Island. Regular tickets start at $40 a ticket if you buy in advance. At the gate, general admission is $45.99, kids under 48” are $35.99 and children 2 and under are free.
155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa
If you’re looking for more than just water, there is Golfland Sunsplash. Miniature golf, arcade games and laser tag are a few examples. Inside the waterpark, there are thrill rides like Thunder Falls and Stormrider, each standing about seven stories tall. For something more relaxed, there is Thunder Bay wave pool or Lazy River. Little ones can enjoy the Toddler Tadpole Pool or the Caribbean Water Works. Golfland is open every day from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunsplash opens at 11 a.m.; general admission for Sunsplash is $34.
1500 N. McClintock Dr., Tempe
Luckily for Arcadia, this waterpark is just a hop, skip and a wave away in Tempe. Attractions include the Waikiki Beach wave pool, Hurricane slides and the Black Hole, where you won’t be able to see anything until the light at the end of the tunnel. Kid-friendly rides include Bora Bora Bay, the Otter slides and Captain Cook’s Landing. In the 50 years since Big Surf opened in 1969, the waterpark has appeared in three Hollywood movies (most recently, Another Day in Paradise (2016), and they have hosted concerts from musicians like Pink Floyd, Elton John and the Beach Boys. General admission is $34 and $21 for kids 4 and under.
Big Surf opens at 10 a.m.; 11 a.m. on Sunday and closes at 6 p.m.; 9 p.m. on Friday.