Last week I shared the details about my fun (and warm!) getaway to Chandler, Arizona. As part of the trip, I also had the chance to visit nearby Tempe, Arizona where we enjoyed delicious food, indoor attractions, and of course, gorgeous weather!
During our trip we stayed at the beautiful Tempe Mission Palms?, an upscale hotel with 303 newly renovated guest rooms and suites. Upon checking in we loved looking at the stunning courtyard - complete with orange trees. Our cozy room was also super comfortable and quiet and my daughter loved the fun roof-top pool that we took advantage of during breaks. In addition to the comfortable accommodations, the hotel is within walking distance to more than 100 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. The hotel also has a free shuttle service to the hotel and nearby to the METRO light rail so that you can explore even more of what Tempe has to offer.
One of our favorite breakfasts from the trip was at NCounter, a locally owned restaurant featuring breakfast and lunch served daily. The kids on the trip loved their Mickey Cakes (Mickey Mouse-shaped pancakes) while the adults enjoyed smoothies, pancakes, and omelets. They also have indoor and outdoor seating, a great kids menu and a fun coffee and smoothie bar.
We also enjoyed lunch at the Rainforest Café at Arizona Mills. An indoor rainforest, complete with lush vegetation, tropical rainstorms, trumpeting elephants and moving gorillas, we enjoyed an assortment of pastas, seafood, salads, signature entrées, sandwiches and delectable desserts.
Things to Do:
While in Tempe, we enjoyed checking out some indoor adventures during a trip to Arizona Mills, a mall with over 175 specialty stores, entertainment venues and restaurants. This includes GameWorks, Rainforest Café, Harkins IMAX Theatre and our fun trip to SEA LIFE Arizona aquarium. Since it gets so hot in Arizona, many locals enjoy a visit to SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium. The kids loved exploring this themed aquarium that is built at their level so they can see all of the oceanic wonders close up. This includes a sea adventure with over 5,000 creatures such as sharks, rays, jellyfish and two rescued sea turtles. My daughter also loved the cool 20-foot ocean tunnel and amazing 360 degree encounters where she could be at eye-level with so many amazing creatures. At the end of the experience, there was a fun playspace where the kids were able to run around and burn off even more energy.
Another fun activity was seeing Childsplays Cat in the Hat at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Adapted from the Book by Dr. Seuss, this production of "Cat in the Hat," was a very entertaining depiction of the mischievous cat in the home of Sally and her brother as their afternoon is transformed by his antics. Performed by actors from Childsplay, Arizona's professional theatre company for young audiences and families, with upcoming productions including Super Cowgirl and Mighty Miracle, Schoolhouse Live! as well as tours to local schools.
We also enjoyed pedal boating at Tempe Town Lake. Located adjacent to the Mill Avenue District, we loved pedal boating on this man-made lake as we soaked in the sun. You can also rent kayaks, pedal boats, hydrobikes, electric boats, stand-up paddleboards and more. Additionally, the area provides a two-mile recreational haven for kayaking, sailing, rowing, jogging, skating or picnicking.
For our last night we enjoyed an evening of gaming at Main Event Entertainment. A Dallas-based, Main Event Entertainment features a 58,000 square foot center that is home to 26 high quality recreational bowling lanes, laser tag, a gravity high ropes course, billiards and shuffleboard tables, a unique selection of over 125 interactive games and a tempting array of quality food and beverage. Personally I loved how their games were affordable (less than $1.50 for most) whose credits were stored in an electronic card that we could redeem after our gaming adventure. We also ate there where my daughter enjoyed pizza and I had a tasty salad with some flatbread.
Even More to Do:
There is even more to do in Tempe with fun museums like the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park where kids can enjoy engaging exhibits, hands-on and multimedia displays and childrens activities and the nearby Arizona Science Center where your family can enjoy five galleries, an IMAX theater, the Dorrance Planetarium and over 300 hands-on exhibits.
With outdoor and indoor activities, delicious food, and beautiful weather, Arizona is an excellent travel destination for families offering culture, fun and a great way for us East Coasters to beat the winter.
For even more ideas on what to do in Tempe, Arizona be sure to check out http://www.tempetourism.com
Momtrends was not paid for this post. Our accommodations, airfare, food and activities were provided by the Tempe and Chandler tourism offices.