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A Summer with Heart: An East Valley Water Guide

This year we will be posting our updated “A Summer with Heart: A guide to loving and living in AZ when the temperatures rise” as individual posts instead of an e-book. We want to make this more interactive this summer and hope that if you have an idea you want added, or you want to link to a post you have personally done on a particular venue or event, just leave us a comment or send an e-mail to iheartmesa@gmail.com. I will then update each section as needed and make a notation at the top of each post as to when the last update was. We know that this summer guide can be an even greater asset to our community with your input.

For our Food guide go here.

Last updated: 5-29-12 


There is an online deal (maybe a limited time only) for a Sunsplash season pass for $64.99. Regular admission is $26.99, so it won’t take long to make a season pass worth it. This would be great for teenagers to give them something fun to do this summer. Golfland also offers FREE birthday parties for up to eight people. See website here for details. 

Salt River/Saguaro Lake 
Mesa residents get to enjoy that the Salt river and Saguaro lake just minutes away. If you would like to enjoy some time at these bodies of water, make sure you stop by a gas station on your way out to the river to buy a Tonto Pass. The cost is $6 for the day. The Tonto Pass replaces the pay stations at the parks on the Salt River. The Chevron on Ellsworth and Brown sells them. Or you may purchase passes online here

How do you get to the Salt River? Go north on Power or Ellsworth. When you get about 5 miles out of town, you’ll start seeing faded brown signs with names like Coons Bluff or Phon De Sutton etc. Turn onto the paved road, park in the parking lot and enjoy some time on the Salt River. It’s really just minutes away. The river isn’t just for tubing down.

Read about other Arizona lake visits: 

Fish Hatcheries
Arizona is home to 6 fish hatcheries. They are fun to explore, learn and feed the fish (only at the Page, Canyon Creek and Tonto Creek hatcheries). My personal favorite is the Canyon Creek hatchery down the Young Road. Feed the fish and then take some time to play in the nearby Canyon creek. TIP: take quarters for the fish feed. Read about our personal visit here,

Pools and Splash Pads 
Pay $4 for adults and $2 for kids for the aquatic centers and $2.50 for adults, $1.25 for kids at the pools (Fremont and Taylor.) You can also get punch cards or season passes to reduce the price per visit. Most pools include splash pad, slides, diving boards and zero entry pools. Monday nights from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM is ½ price family night at the aquatic centers Tip: all Mesa pools have special event days throughout the summer. Make sure to call your local pool or go pick up a calendar of scheduled special events. 

FlowRider is a place to get your surf on without leaving the city. Located at the Rhodes Aquatic Complex: 1860 S. Longmore in Mesa (Baseline and Longmore). Rhodes pool is complete with a zero depth (beach like) entry pool, diving boards, normal pool (8 lane lines), splash pad and of course, the FlowRider. Those over 42” can try their skills at boogie boarding and those over 52” can try surfing. Tips: don’t wear jewelry and make sure your clothing will stay in place to account for the very fast moving water. Also, make sure to have your liability waiver signed and ready to go (especially for minors leaving their parents at home.) Read our detailed post here.  

Admission of $1 for kids and $2.25 for adults with amazing facilities: waterslides, lazy rivers, and more.  Check out dates and times for free swim or $1 family swim at the various Chandler pools on page 18 of this brochure

Located on Southern between San Marcos and Ironwood Dr. Daily Fees are $1 for those 17 and under and $2 for adults. Slides, play area, lazy river and more.  

Indoor double spiral slide and wave pool.  Admission is $5 for age 2-12 and $7 for those 13+.

Enjoy free baby splash classes at Hubbard Family Swim School for babies ages 4 weeks to 5 months. You can get your child used to the water early on and enjoy the benefits that water has on your baby’s development.  Hubbard is located in the Riverview shopping center. Call to check on availabilities: 602-971-4044.  

Splash Pads (Free Admission) 
TIP: We like to bring disposable plastic cups to splash pads to dump and throw water with.

Fountain Hills has a splash pad at Fountain Hill Park, 12925 N. Saguaro Blvd. It is open 9:00 AM til sunset. We love this one because the kiddos can watch the fountain erupt every hour from 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM.  

Tempe Beach Splash playground located at Tempe Beach Park at Rio Salado and Mill Avenue. Open every day from 10:00 AM-7:00 PM. Lots of fun, but very busy. 

These other three in Tempe are smaller splash pads that are open daily from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM: 
Jaycee park (5th St and Hardy), Esquer park (101 and Apache) and Hudson park (Apache between Rural and McClintock.) 

Chandler has three spray parks open from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily-  
Chuparosa park Spray pad at 2400 S. Dobson Rd., between Queen Creek & Germann. 
Desert Breeze park Spray animals at 660 N. Desert Breeze Blvd. between Rural Rd. & McClintock Dr. and Ray Rd. & Chandler Blvd. 
Espee park Spray pad at 450 E. Knox, between Arizona Ave. & McQueen Road. The splash park is right next to the playground, so kids can go back and forth between the two. 

Gilbert Water Tower Park: In downtown Gilbert there is a splash pad by the water tower at 45 W. Page Avenue. You could even go on Saturday and check out the farmers market 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM, bring the kids and let them play in the water after you shop. 

Shopping Centers That Have Splash Pads

Riverview shopping center at Dobson and the 202 has a fountain to play in right in front of the Cinemark theater. We’ve gone on a Friday afternoon and no one was there. Great for water without worrying about other people.  We've gotten yogurt from Yodipity and then chips and salsa to go from Matta's and enjoyed watching the kids play. 

Tempe marketplace also has fountains in the District, on the north side of the marketplace. 

Or, check out the children's water play area at San Tan mall at Williamsfield Rd and the San Tan Freeway. Located near Dillards and open during mall hours. Covered splash pad and soft play area. We like to visit the next door Dairy Queen after a fun playtime. 

Enjoy your water time and make sure to ALWAYS keep your eyes on those kiddos.  


Coralee... said...

This list is great! We're always looking for ways to cool down during the summer and this will help us find new fun spots to enjoy. Thank you very very much!

Bum Luxury said...

Thanks for the great ideas!