Parents often wonder how they can help their children stay occupied this summer.
Reading programs are standard for the summer, but there are kids’ classes, local entertainment facilities and ballpark events that parents may not know about.
Here are the programs and attractions to keep kids busy.
Glendale Library Classes & Summer Reading Program
A summer reading program not only helps children continue to build their reading skills, the books they read can expand their knowledge. They avoid the “summer slide.”
The reading program “A Universe of Stories,” the same one the Maricopa County Library District is hosting, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing. Glendale libraries, however, are not part of the Maricopa County Library District.
All Glendale libraries — Main, Foothills, Velma Teague and Heroes Regional Park — are participating.
Visit maricopacountyreads.org or head to any of those four library locations for details.
Kids can enter minutes read online, plus they can enter “secret codes” for more points (game boards are also available at the library). Those who earn 500 points win a food coupon and 1,000 points earns a free book.
Participants can earn a Peter Piper Pizza coupon (up to age 11), a Rubio’s Coastal Grill coupon (ages 12 and older), free tickets to a Phoenix Mercury game, or a free book.
Secret codes can be found out in the community at parks, businesses, community centers and other strategic places, as well as at library events.
Summer classes at Glendale library locations are also free and fun. The branches offer a variety of options. They include guitar classes for tweens, knitting a crocheting, Lego mania, and more. Visit glendaleaz.com/library and click on “calendar” for details.
In addition to the library’s reading program, be sure to check out the summer reading program at Barnes & Noble at 2501 W. Happy Valley Road. Print off the reading journal on the website for kids in grades 1 to 6. In August, they can turn in their journal for a free book. Visit barnesandnoble.com for information.
City parks and recreation activities
The city of Glendale and YMCA each have their own programs to keep kids active physically and mentally.
Glendale’s parks and recreation department has art, ballet, tennis, karate, judo, archery and more. Visit glendaleaz.com/parksandrecreation for details.
The Glendale/Peoria Family YMCA at 14711 N. 59th Avenue in Glendale has swim lessons, day camp, overnight camp, and sports teams like basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, soccer and more. Visit valleyymca.org/glendale-peoria for information.
Free movie nights
SummerFUN Movie on the Field will be held from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, at the Arizona Sports Complex, 3555 W. Pinnacle Peak Road.
The event is free and open to the public, and includes free viewing of “Moana” at dusk. Food will be available for purchase, plus there will be other family-friendly activities like face painting, balloon twister and music. Visit facebook.com/pg/westvalleypopup for details.
Local pools and splashpads
Pools, water parks and splashpads are great ways of staying cool. Many local pools have affordable swim passes so families can visit all summer. Be sure, as well, to check out swimming lessons and swim teams. If you’d rather cool off by running around in the water, visit a local splashpad. For something more extravagant, check out a larger water park.
Foothills Aquatics Center at 5600 W. Union Hills Drive has two giant slides, a kiddie slide, a zero-depth entry leisure pool with spray features, a water playground, a lazy river, a diving well with two diving boards and six lap lanes, and a snack bar. This aquatic center also has full locker rooms with day-use lockers, so be sure to bring a lock or purchase one at the service desk. For more details, visit glendaleaz.com/foothillscenter/foothillsaquatics.cfm.
Rose Lane Aquatics Center at 5003 W. Marlette Avenue has a large, zero-depth entry leisure pool with spray features, a splash pad, a giant slide, a kiddie slide, and a big pool with a diving well and diving board. This aquatics center also has outdoor day-use lockers, so be sure to bring a lock or purchase one at the cashier’s office. For more details, visit glendaleaz.com/parksandrecreation/roselanepark.cfm.
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor (formerly Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix) at 4243 W. Pinnacle Peak Road is an attraction for visitors and locals alike. This water park has a wide a variety of slides and play areas for kids of all ages to enjoy. Visit wetnwildphoenix.com for a park map, hours and pricing.
Heroes Park at 83rd Avenue and Berridge Lane has a free splash pad that is open to the public for the summer. For details visit glendaleaz.com/parksandrecreation/glendaleheroespark.cfm.
Area Fun Parks
PlayGrounds Fun Zone and Café and Playgrounds Dart Zone at 8190 W. Union Hills Drive are two play areas in one location. Fun Zone includes a play area with unique, multilevel navigation to slides, tube tunnels, an obstacle course and more. It was designed for children ages 10 and younger. Visit playgroundsfunzone.com for details. Dart Zone, on the other hand, is geared toward older kids who can participate in nerf wars, archery tag battles and dodgeball matches. Visit playgroundsdartzone.com for details.
Jumpstreet at 5665 W. Bell Road has trampolines, foam pits, bounce houses and plenty other fun activities for kids. Visit gotjump.com/arizona/glendale for more info.
Glenfair Lanes at 6110 N. 59th Avenue is a bowling alley that is appropriate for all ages. For more information on Kids Bowl Free, visit kidsbowlfree.com. For info about Glenfair Lanes, visit glenfairbowl.com.
Brunswick Zone at 17210 N. 59th Avenue has bowling, arcade games, food and more. For hours and pricing, including summer pass options, visit bowlbrunswick.com.
Great Skate at 10054 N. 43rd Avenue is a roller skating rink and fun center. Visit unitedskates.com/public/glendale for more info.
Planet Fitness at 5121 W. Glendale Avenue and 4907 W. Bell Road offer free use of the gym for teens ages 15 through 18 through September 1. Visit planetfitness.com for more information.
Gogh Paint at 20165 N. 67th Avenue is a painting studio where kids can learn in a group setting. Visit goghpaint.com to see a schedule of kids’ classes.
Home Depot locations at 5902 W. Peoria Avenue, 6880 W. Bell Road and 6160 W. Behrend Drive are hosting workshops for kids this summer. From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 6, kids will build a tow truck. Workshops are free. Visit sciencefaircentral.com for details.
Michaels at 7320 W. Bell Road has many craft classes geared toward families throughout the summer, including a butterfly puppet garden, painted rock bugs and a Father’s Day puzzle card. Check the event calendar for the Glendale location at michaels.com.