Five Downtown Destinations to Enjoy with Your Kid
October 7, 2015
by Mariana Colín
With hours of entertainment available at their fingertips, it can be way too easy for kids to sit back and let technology occupy their free time. Summer vacation especially can go from a welcome respite from the stress of school to a stagnant three months of passive television-watching and couch-lounging in the blink of an eye. Who doesn’t remember the feeling of going back to school in the fall with a mind as rusty as that bike you left out in monsoon season? If you’re seeing that familiar glaze in the eyes of a kid in your life, then check out these awesome kid-friendly Downtown locations.
Located at 200 S. 6th Ave., this mansion of a building is full of interactive exhibits designed to make learning as fun as possible, which as it turns out, isn’t a very hard thing to do. Whether your kid is exploring life-sized fire trucks and ambulances, creating a unique work of art, or sticking his hand up an oversized nose, you’re bound to notice a curiosity and enthusiasm for the world that’s rarely replicated by homework.
The Museum is always adding and reimagining its exhibits. In 2014 they added two completely new ones, so you can now let your kid puzzle over gravity-defying objects in the Gravity Room or construct a tower in the Build It room. Their calendar is full of special events, hands-on classes and reduced admission days. With so many fun and fascinating activities to choose from, you might even learn something yourself! For more information about the Children’s Museum, visit http://www.childrensmuseumtucson.org/
Get Air Trampoline Park
Got a kid whose pent-up energy is starting to drive you crazy? Get Air is here to save the day. It is quite literally a warehouse full of trampolines, where your kid (and you!) can spring from place to place for as much time as you want to pay a modest hourly price for. This is a great place to get some serious exercise in, especially during those hot desert days where all you want to do is lie spread-eagle on your floor under the ceiling fan.
As well as trampolines, Get Air has games to play, such as dodgeball, and a foam pit to jump in and crawl through. Kids under 46 inches tall get their own kiddie court, complete with trampolines and a foam pit where littler kids can bounce in safety. Perfect for parties and other group events, Get Air offers all sorts of group and military discounts. For more information visit http://getairtucson.com/
Rocks and Ropes
Conveniently located right next door to Get Air, Rocks and Ropes is the climbing gym of choice both for serious rock-climbers and complete beginners. If you often catch your kid scrabbling up the mesquite tree in the yard, Rocks and Ropes might be the place for her. For blossoming climbing enthusiasts, Rocks and Ropes offers a summer camp that will teach your kid how to climb with her safety and the safety of others in mind, and every weekend they host a kid’s climb with Rocks and Ropes’ knowledgeable volunteers. Go to http://rocksandropes.com/downtown/kids/ for more information about their youth programs and party opportunities, including an all-night “lock-in” with climbing games, activities, and a movie to wind down.
In an age that seems so focused on making kids grow up as fast as possible, it’s sometimes easy to forget the need for kids to just play. Playformance, located at 119 E. Toole Ave., strives to help kids develop the social, emotional, and physical skills that can only be fostered through good old-fashioned play. Playformance has a variety of play-focused programs to choose from, including a summer camp, parkour classes, an all-purpose open play time, and a family play day, where you can join your kid for an hour of bonding time. For a schedule of events and information on camps, parties, and Playformances other opportunities for play, visit http://www.playformancetucson.com/
Hub Ice Cream Factory
Okay, so I might be cheating a little bit here, because who doesn’t love ice cream, but after a day of playing, climbing, jumping, and learning, a trip to Hub Ice Cream Factory sounds like the perfect end to a day of enjoying being a kid. Festooned with bright colors, decorative candies, and a cheerful arrangement of gears and pulleys, Hub looks exactly the way an “ice cream factory” should. Kids impatient to get their ice cream will love watching the mini train chug on its track, disappearing through one hole in the wall and reappearing out the other. The new ice cream shop sells the same delicious Hub ice cream that has been famous in Tucson for years, and offers an ice cream serving size just for kids.
Family friendly events are also common in Downtown, ranging from the monthly 2nd Saturdays to Tucson Meet Yourself, Disney on Ice, and Cyclovia. Check out all upcoming events to attend with your kid(s) here.