6 ways to keep kids busy this summer

6 ways to keep kids busy this summer

Parents often wonder how they can help their children stay occupied during the 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 six programs and attractions to keep kids busy.

Peoria Library classes a

summer reading program

Peoria libraries are running two summer reading programs. Main Library at 8463 W. Monroe Street and Sunrise Mountain at 21109 N. 98th Avenue are participating.

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”

“We really don’t want that summer slide,” said Dawn Marie Schmidt, youth librarian at Peoria’s Main Library. “It’s really something we have to be aware of.”

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. The library, however, is not part of the Maricopa County Library District.

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.

Secret codes can be found out in the community at parks, businesses, community centers and other strategic places, as well as at library events.

Another program is Peoria Reads!, through which participants must read 20 minutes a day from June 1 to August 1 to win prizes. The program must be completed by August 4. Visit library.peoriaaz.gov.

Summer classes at Peoria library locations are also free and fun. Different branches offer a variety of options. They include Lego Club, STEAM crafts, stargazing, the Dr. T-Rex Science Show and more. Visit library.peoriaaz.gov for details.

In addition to the library’s reading program, check out the summer reading program at Barnes & Noble at 7685 W. Bell Road and 5001 N. Big Hollow Road. Print the reading journal on the website for kids in first through sixth grades. 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 Peoria and YMCA each have their own programs to keep kids active physically as well as mentally.

The Peoria Parks and Recreation Department has youth sports programs like basketball, flag football, soccer and T-ball, and special interest classes such as writing, art, martial arts and babysitting safety. Visit peoriaaz.gov 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.

Performing arts

The Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, located at 10580 N. 83rd Drive, and has two shows this summer. From Friday, June 7, to Sunday, June 9, and Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23, youth theater students will perform “Beauty and the Beast” in the Gyder Theatre. Then, from Friday, July 12, to Sunday, July 28, youth theater students will perform “The Wizard of Oz” in the Gyder Theatre.

For kids interested in performing, the center is also hosting SummerWorks Camp. There are several options depending on age and skill level. These camps include “Broadway Bound 2: Musical Theatre Workshop” and “Super Hero Adventures” from Monday, June 24, through Friday, June 28; “Madagascar — A Musical Adventure Jr.” from Monday, July 8, through Friday, July 26; and “The Magical Land of Oz” from Monday, July 29, through Friday, August 2.

Visit theaterworks.org for more information.

Arizona Broadway Theatre, located at 7701 W. Paradise Lane, offers performance camp for kids to learn stage skills and to give them an opportunity to show their stuff.

“The Addams Family Young@Part” is 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, June 10, through Saturday, June 22, for kids ages 10 through 12. “Don’t Stop Me Now” is 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, June 24, through Tuesday, July 9, for kids ages 13 to 18. Finally, “Disney: The Movies the Music” is 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, July 15, to Friday, July 19, for kids ages 7 to 9.

Local pools

and splashpads

Pools 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.

The three public pools in Peoria are run by the city, so if you buy a season pass, it is good at all three locations. Open swim times are noon to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through August 1.

Visit peoriaaz.gov/aquatics for more info.

Centennial Pool is located at 8081 W. Acoma Drive. It features open swimming and lap swimming, a water slide and shaded canopy areas.

Peoria Pool is located at 8501 W. Cholla Street. It features open swimming and lap swimming, a diving board and shaded canopy areas.

Sunrise Pool is located at 21321 N. 86th Drive. It features open swimming and lap swimming, a water slide, and a diving board.

Peoria splashpads are located at Rio Vista Community Park at 8866 W. Thunderbird Road; Pioneer Community Park at 8755 N. 83rd Avenue; and Camino á Lago Park at 21111 N. 98th Avenue. Splashpads are open seasonally through October 15.

Also notable is the new splashpad at Park West. The water feature, in the shape of an agave flower, mimicking the redesigned logo of Park West, is at the center of the shopping and entertainment destination. It is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Park West — located just off the Loop 101 at Northern Avenue — is planning to add large format yard games and family-friendly events to the area, too.

Area fun parks

Hot summer temperatures drive many indoors, and in Peoria there are plenty of indoor play options for kids. Check out these fun park options.

Uptown Jungle at 7608 W. Cactus Road has a variety of activities, including a mini zip, an obstacle course, a ninja course and trampolines. Visit peoria.uptownjungle.com for details.

Sky Zone Peoria Trampoline Park at 9040 W. Larkspur Drive has trampolines, foam pits, a ninja course, a toddler area and more. Go to skyzone.com/peoria for more info.

Jumper’s Jungle at 9299 W. Olive Avenue has bouncers, obstacle courses, mega slides, basketball hoops and more. Visit jumpersjungle.com/peoria for information.

Ape Index at 9700 N. 91st Avenue is a newly reopened indoor climbing gym. Visit apeindex.net for more info.

Pump It Up at 14131 N. Rio Vista Boulevard has a huge collection of inflatables for kids to jump and play on. Check out open jump times at pumpitupparty.com/peoria-az.

AMF Lanes at 8475 W. Olive Avenue has bowling, arcade games, food and more. For hours and pricing, including summer pass options, visit bowlero.com.

Planet Fitness at 7565 W. Peoria Avenue and 20713 N. 83rd Avenue offer free use of the gym for teens ages 15 to 18 through September 1. Visit planetfitness.com for more information.

Kids’ classes

Home Depot at 9201 W. Peoria Avenue and 25650 N. Lake Pleasant Road are hosting monthly workshops. From 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 6, kids will create a tow truck. Workshops are free. Visit sciencefaircentral.com/workshops for details.

Classes at Michaels, 10106 W. Happy Valley Parkway, include A butterfly puppet garden, painted rock bugs and a Father’s Day puzzle card. Check the event calendar for the Peoria location at michaels.com.

Joann at 8195 W. Bell Road offers sewing camp, food crafting, crocheting and more. Visit joann.com for more information.