Vacations, road trips, exciting new sights – what’s not to love about summer vacation? We all need breaks from time to time, and summer is the perfect time to break from our usual habits and experience something new!
For those who live in Arizona, summer also means soaring temperatures and blistering hot sun. Most of our summer days easily pass 100 degrees, and the extreme heat can make it hard to get out and enjoy summer to the fullest. We spend a lot of time cooped up in the air conditioning instead.
We’re familiar with it here at Fairytale Brownies! We’ve been headquartered in Arizona since the start. As we’ve grown, we’ve moved our main headquarters around Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Chandler, but we’ve always been based in the valley. Our founders, David and Eileen, grew up in AZ, too!
As experts in the area, we know how hot it can get outside. We also know there’s plenty to enjoy in Phoenix that doesn’t require you to endure the sweltering heat.
We’ve put together a list of exciting sightseeing ideas that are fun for tourists and locals alike – and perfect for hot summer days!
1. Musical Instrument Museum
Music lovers will be fascinated by the extraordinary collection of instruments on display at the Musical Instrument Museum, also known as the MIM. With over 7000 objects from 200 countries and territories, it’s easy to lose track of time while exploring the fascinating variety of music from around the world!
The museum provides headphones to all visitors, so you can even listen to recordings of the instruments. While visitors cannot touch the instruments on display, there’s an interactive playroom for children and adults to try their hand at making music.
2. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix
Summer heat and cool, refreshing water – is there a more perfect pairing?
You could visit a standard pool to escape the blistering temperatures, or you could spend a day at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. This kid-friendly waterpark boasts over 30 attractions, including slides, a lazy river, and play areas.
3. Arizona Museum of Natural History
Travel through time with a visit to the Arizona Museum of Natural History! With over 60,000 objects on display, the museum is full of wonder and excitement that’s sure to appeal to the curious mind.
Gape at the bones of dinosaurs and mammoths, explore the origins of life, touch a meteorite, and learn more about the ancient cultures of central Arizona. The 3-story museum includes exhibitions on natural history, anthropology, geology, history, art, and more. There’s so much to see!
4. Heard Museum
Founded in 1929, the Heard Museum is internationally recognized for its exhibitions and high-quality collections that showcase American Indian stories and voices. Explore ancestral artifacts, contemporary paintings and jewelry, and art in all forms on display at the museum.
Don’t forget to check the Heard’s schedule of events! The museum hosts hands-on learning activities such as weaving, printmaking, and creating wearable art, along with festivals and events to celebrate American Indian artists.
5. ASU Gammage
Fancy a night at the theatre? If you’re a lover of the arts and looking for something to do in Phoenix, then sit back, relax, and enjoy the show at Gammage! The theatre hosts a variety of musicals and performances year-round, so check out their upcoming shows and reserve a ticket for a show this summer.
Gammage is located on Mill Avenue, a hotspot for restaurants, bars, and nightlife–and the perfect place to enjoy a meal after your show!
6. Tovrea Castle
Many locals recognize this unique, iconic building, but until recently, Tovrea Castle has been shrouded in mystery. It was built from 1929 to 1931, and only opened up to the public in 2012.
Since the castle started offering tours, locals and tourists alike have scrambled to get a peek inside. There’s such a high demand for tours that the castle sells tickets via a lottery system.
Tickets for 2022 are already sold out, so you won’t get a chance to see it this summer. But bookmark Tovrea Castle’s website and enter the upcoming lottery for 2023 tickets – you might get lucky!
7. Desert Botanical Garden
Generally speaking, it’s hard to be outside for too long during a hot Arizona day. But since the Desert Botanical Garden is open in the evenings, you can explore the gardens without the sun bearing down on you.
In fact, dusk is the best time to visit! Desert Botanical Garden is always well-lit with gorgeous, artistic light displays and sculptures that are best enjoyed with a beautiful backdrop of the Arizona sunset. They throw special events at the gardens too, such as classes, dog days, and storytime. If you want to enjoy the peace and beauty of nature, this is the activity for you!
8. Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Many locals know Lake Pleasant as one of the best places to go in Arizona during the hot summer months. Located about an hour north of Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is a massive artificial lake where you and your family can cool off and enjoy the water. The park is open year-round and only costs a few dollars a day.
Inside the park, you can swim, go fishing, and play water sports. It’s also a popular spot for hiking, biking, and camping. Locals often bring boats or RVs into the park to escape the city for a few days!
9. Visit the Fairytale Bakery
We’re located in Phoenix and always love seeing friendly faces! You can watch the brownie magic happen at the Fairytale Bakery through a huge window peeking into the bakery. We have treat samples available every day, too.
Visitors can also enjoy exclusive in-store discounts and coupons, such as buy one get one free on all treats. Come on by – we’re excited to see you!