What to Do Here?

Updated on August 16, 2010
L.M. asks from North Salt Lake, UT
11 answers

Hello everyone, I once again am turning to this website! I just barely moved to Tucson a week ago. My 16 month old son is incredibly active and wants to be outside doing something ALL DAY! I can't get over the heat! I take him swimming a lot, but what else do moms do here during the hot months? I wonder if there are any indoor playgrounds of some sort. I live in the north near Marana. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!

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answers from Tucson on

There's a great Meetup Moms group here in Tucson with activities everyday for Moms and kiddos. See http://moms.meetup.com/239/ Go to one event to meet the organizers and get access to the calendar. Lots of events at Pump It Up, My Gym, pools, parks etc.

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answers from Tucson on

Hi! The heat is sure hard to beat, but one activity we do is going to the library for what they call Stay and Play. It is put on my the Parent Connection, and they do an hour of free play with a bunch of toys and kids have the opportunity to socialize. I don't know if they are offered up in your neck of the woods, but I know they are offered at libraries all over town on selected days. I am also a part of meetup moms of tucson. It is an online group that meets up for different activities and I really like it. Just email me if you want more info! Good luck!



answers from Tucson on

I'm with you. I've been here for 38 years and still can't get over the heat!

Don't know of any indoor play places here in NW Tucson, except for the playroom at McDonald's.

Try to come up with as many interesting indoor activities and games as you possibly can. A good website to check out is: www.familyfun.go.com, from the magazine of the same name. You'll find lots of crafts/ideas/recipes to do, many requiring items you already have on hand.

If your little one insists on outdoor play, here are some suggestions that may help:

Avoid swimming during the peak hours regarded as most harmful to skin and eyes. I think it's 10AM to 2PM, but not absolutely sure. Visors, floppy hats, or sunglasses are a must - as the sun's rays are responsible for premature occurance of cataracts and other vision problems. Studies have proven that just one "bad" sunburn during childhood can cause skin cancer decades later in life.

Keep plenty of hydrating drinks on hand and offer them often. My Pediatrician recommends Propel, made by Gatorade, which comes in lots of fun flavors, and contains a mere fraction of the sugar content found in fruit juice and other drinks.

Create an outdoor play area with as much shade as possible - if no covered porch, try rigging up some inexpensive shade cloth material available at Home Depot type stores.

A shallow pool in the shade is an alternative to swimming out in the sun. The smaller the better, as it's best to empty and wipe clean daily.

Misting systems are also good. I found a very cool little portable one at Ace two years ago. I think it was like $9.99. It attaches to a garden hose, and stands on it's own, shaped sort of like a snake, with misters along the vertical length.

Make sure you have mosquito repellent, as the little buggers will be out (especially at dusk), in full force during this next month or so of monsoon season. It takes just three days of standing water to hatch mosquitos. If bites and itches do occur, the best treatment I've found is Solarcaine - a bottle of green gel containing pain and itch relievers in an aloe base.

By the way, not sure where you moved from, but if you're unfamiliar with our yearly monsoon weather, please be aware that lightning can and does strike often, usually along the furthest edges (and beyond) of the visible storm/rain cloud area. If you can hear the thunder, it's time to get inside.

Even in the shade, the harmful rays of the sun can reflect off clouds, walls and other surfaces and cause damage. Find a sunscreen with high SPF - 40 to 50, and water resistant properties and slather it on as recommended. A quick soapy rinse off once indoors will easily remove bug repellent and sunscreen products.

Oh, and one more thing - I work outdoors every day in this heat, driving a vehicle with no air conditioning, and wearing a required uniform consisting of 100% polyester shorts and 65% poly shirt. I can't tell you how disgustingly uncomfortable this is, but I will tell you that the rest of my wardrobe consists entirely of items that are 100% cotton with no exceptions! I've found that even those "cotton" shirts or jeans with 3% lycra or poly for "stretch" are absolutely intolerable in temperatures above 80 degrees. So... stay as cool as possible with lighweight all-cotton garments.

I apologize for my lengthy response, but I can't help it. It's just my way of offering as much help and info as I can! Good luck to you and your little one. I'll be praying, as always, for November's arrival!

L. B.



answers from Tucson on

Hi L.-
I live in Tucson, too. Know what you mean.

Most of the MacDonalds in Tucson have an air-conditioned indoor playground. The Tucson Mall has an indoor playground that the kids love.

I think there are some playgroups around. You might check with the local hospitals (sometimes, they seem to be set up at birth!) and any other appropriate volunteer agencies you can think of.

Hope this helps! S.



answers from Tucson on

Hi L.,

I too cannot take the heat outdoors once it's past 8am. I suppose you could take him to a Gym World here on the N.W. side of Tucson - where they have classes/activities for toddlers. Or the YMCA on Shannon & Magee... other than that, I can only think of going window shopping at the mall or some other store where lots of other moms and kids go to beat the heat & socialize.



answers from Tucson on

Pump it up is great. It's on the frontage road off of miracle mile. It's really fun for the kids and it's out of the heat. It's big blowup slides and bouncy castles. It's only around $6 and parents don't have to pay. Just google it (Pump it Up). They also have a great play area in the Tucson mall. Good luck.



answers from Tucson on

I believe there is an indoor playground at Oracle and Magee in the Trader Joes plaza there. The Foothills Mall At Ina and La Cholla has an indoor play area, not very big. There is an early morning moms movie at both Tower and Foothills where the little ones are kind of allowed to run around and play with each other. There is also a nice indoor play facility at the Tucson Mall. The other thing is that i think that the Y at Shannon and Cortaro has a nice program for little ones and you could get your workout in too. I am trying to remember all this from when my kids were younger. I hope it's all accurate.... Best of luck!



answers from Phoenix on

Hi! I know that this question was asked quite a while ago. But, I thought I'd respond anyway just in case someone looks it up in the archives or in case some of you are still looking for moms groups. I just started a chapter of International MOMS Club in Marana. MOMS Club is a wonderful non-profit organization that has so much to offer. MOMS stands for Moms Offering Moms support. You can check out International MOMS Club at www.momsclub.org or you can visit our groups page at www.maranamomsclub.webs.com. You can also email us for more information at [email protected]____.com offer play dates, park days, community events/outings, a monthly MOMS night out and much more! Children are always welcome at all MOMS Club activities with the exception of MOMS night out. This group is for moms in with children of all ages living in Marana!



answers from Tucson on

Th pima naninni library has summer programs for all ages. it is located just north of Ina rd off of Shannon rd behind the Department of Motor vehicles.
Also the McDonalds at Ina and Thorneydale has an indoor playground.
Youcould also contact the ymca and find out about indoor playgrounds and the dept. of parks and recreation for summer programs. :)K



answers from Tucson on

Hi L.,
I have a 16 month old also, and a 1 month old, so we aren't getting out of the house much these days. A couple of places you could go are the Tucson Children's Museum (downtown-they have a website with info) or the t-rex museum on Oracle (they also have a website). Sorry I don't have the links handy, but both places are inside and entertaining. Many of the activities are a little advanced for this age but my son enjoyed being someplace new and there are a few age appropriate things for them to do. Also, if you are a member of the Tucson Zoo (about $45 for the year for a family membership?) they have early morning hours for members only on the weekends so it's not too hot yet. I know that's not near Marana but maybe a good way to fill up half of a day. Hope this helps!



answers from Tucson on

There are indoor playgrounds at Tucson Mall and Park Mall. There might be one at Foothills Mall, I am not sure, so you may want to check. Early morning is the best time to be out and about. There is also the Children's Museum in downtown Tucson. The library is also a great place to be and I know they have plenty of activities right now for summer.

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