While summertime might be considered the “off-season” for some who call the Phoenix Metro Area home, not all the area’s residents move with the seasons. And, as the temperatures rise, so do the opportunities for some cherished family time.


There are a myriad of program opportunities in Phoenix during the summer break, and this is by no means a comprehensive list, but we tried to pull ideas from across the spectrum and provide a vast selection of suggestions for some local engagement and enrichment over the summer. Below you’ll find programs, events, and local spots that offer up summer fun, cool play, and maybe even a little brain building for your kids and family to enjoy.

Programs & Enrichment

The Phoenix Public Library system is hosting their summer reading program again. The program runs from June 1 to August 1, but the website (maricopacountyreads.org) is currently available for preregistration, though reading points cannot be logged until the program begins. It is open to children, teens, and adults, so the whole family can experience a summer of reading together. From the Maricopa County Reads site, you can find links to view available badges, challenges, and summer reading events, as well.

This summer the library is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. At all the branches, between June 3 and July 17, there will be a myriad of themed events taking place, including a play at the Burton Barr branch. See the library calendar for all their summer events.

The Phoenix Public Library, like others in the state, offers Culture Passes, which provide free admission for two at participating locations around the state. These passes are good for 7 days from check out, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They cannot be renewed or placed on hold. Library patrons can only check out one pass at a time and can only check out two passes per month. These passes are usually admissions to museums and other cultural locations, but sometimes they are available for performances of local plays, the ballet, and so much more. You can look up Culture Passes in the catalog to check availability.

All summer long, Bookmans is holding Summer Kids Events, like puppet shows, musical petting zoos, and others, with a different event each week. These events are free, open to all children, and include materials (while supplies last). Each Arizona store is hosting their own events, all culminating in a Back-to-School Bash, featuring all sorts of carnival fun.

Barnes & Noble Booksellers is also hosting their Summer Reading Triathlon between May 17 and September 6, 2016. By reading over the summer and filling out the Reading Journal, children will be able to choose a free book the list in that journal. Or you can check out a great blog featuring some parent/child book club reading choices.