Updated 9/21/23 – In 2018, a City bond worth over 200 million dollars was passed to improve the Tucson Parks and Rec department over the next 10 years. See what’s new including free swim for kids and a summer youth pass including the Sun Transit for only $35. Check out City of Tucson Parks and Rec here. Most pools open for the summer Memorial Weekend.
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As school gets out for the summer, we see more and more people searching for suitable things to do with their kids this summer in Tucson. Although you can find many ideas on our popular page Things to do with Kids, we have compiled a list of free or almost free things to do with kids in Tucson. The list is only as limitless as your imagination, but give these a try. We will be adding more free things to do with kids, so come back often.
First try our Calendar. Under Category choose KIDS and Families or Free events. You can also put in the dates you are interested in. Here are some of the things we found along the way.
Pima County Recreational Resources
• Brandi Fenton Memorial Park has a splash pad, dog park, and reservable picnic ramadas with grills. It is located at Alvernon and River Rds.
Try going out at sunset to the Campbell Street Bridge or the Pantano Wash Bridge and watch the Bats come out from under the bridge. Amazing. Take a picnic.
Bookmans, Tucson’s iconic used bookstore, always has several free events for going on. Many for kids. Storytimes, music venues, crafts, and more.
Every First Saturday at Valley of the MOon is Free. First Saturdays feature a different theme. Third Sundays are docent-led tours. Visit the website for Valley of the MOon here. This is for the very young and young at heart. Valley of the Moon has recently been added to the Registry of History places.
Swimming Pools and Splash Pads
Swim Season begins Memorial Weekend.
• Wade McLean Pool and Splash Pad – Marana. $1.00-3.00. See the Website for times and locations. Time to get the kids swimming lessons! Our daughter took her kids here one summer and said it was great and not as crowded as most.
• Pima County operates several pools in the area. They are all $1.00 general admission, $.50 for those that meet the low-income standard. See further information on the Pima County Recreation.
• Oro Valley Aquatics Center is open year-round.
If you are going to visit the various attractions in Tucson this summer, purchase a Passport to Fun from the Attractions Alliance. Most of the attractions are 2 for 1. For a list of attractions in the Passport see the website here.
This article has been KID APPROVED. For more interesting ideas of Things to do with kids, some of them not very expensive, please see our page, “Things to do in Tucson with KIDS”