Keep the kiddos cultured – and cool – at Valley museums this month.
In the Valley of the Sun, May marks the beginning of summer break for a legion of restless schoolchildren. But when “fun in the sun” starts to feel more like “being cooked alive,” opt for inside activities with the kids. Museums around town are hosting fun indoor (read: air-conditioned) activities this month that get the kids – and you – out of the house.
Musical Instrument Museum
Boy Scout Badge Day – Experience China
Is there a Boy Scout missing a music merit badge in your midst? Take him to the Musical Instrument Museum on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and give him a hand. In this China-themed weekend, Boy Scouts will satisfy badge requirements by crafting a musical instrument, experiencing a performance, attending a music-making workshop and more. Troop registration is encouraged, and a ratio of one chaperone to five scouts is required. Merit badge counselors will be on-site to assist. Cost is $15 per person.
4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix
Summer Ice Cream Social
By the beginning of the month, temperatures will be well into the 100s. Cool off with interactive art and science exhibits and sweet treats at the i.d.e.a. Museum’s annual ice cream social on Friday, May 25, from 10:30-11 a.m. Parents and kids ages 4 to 12 can make their own ice cream, smash ice blocks and paint with icicles at this frosty event. Cost for members is $6, non-members pay $14 (same price for adults and children). Stick around afterward for story time, open art studio time and animal encounters hosted by Arizona Game & Fish Department.
150 W. Pepper Pl., Mesa
Desert Botanical Garden
Desert Night Cinema
The only bearable time to be outside in the summer is evening. And what better way to spend a summer eve than watching a family movie under the stars? Each month, Desert Botanical Garden screens a film to fit the season, with attendees voting on movie options on social media (March’s selection: The Sandlot). Festivities run from 6:30 p.m. to the end of the film on Thursday, May 10. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from local vendors Short Leash Hot Dogs, Triple Dot Empanadas and Cactus Corn Kettle Corn. Member admission is $14 for adults, $10 for children; non-members pay $16 for adults, $12 for children. PHOENIX is a sponsor.
1201 N. Galvin Pkwy., Phoenix
Phoenix Art Museum
Discount Tire Free Family Weekend
Is most of your summer budget earmarked for Disneyland or that family reunion? Fret not if you’re pinching pennies – Discount Tire has partnered with Phoenix Art Museum to provide free admission during the second weekend of every month. During the event, you can explore the exhibits during a free tour, scour the museum during scavenger hunts or relax during story time and live performances. Want to create something of your own? A featured local artist will be on-site to teach and help you create your own work of art. The event is open to the public this month on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, May 13, from noon-5 p.m.
1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
Arizona Science Center
Looking for all-day activities to keep your little ones occupied? The Arizona Science Center has weeklong summer camps in half-day and full-day formats for kids from preschool to ninth grade. Most camps start in June, but if you have kids in first through sixth grades, you’re in luck: The first weekly camp, On the Move, runs from May 30 to June 1. From 9 a.m.-4 p.m., campers will learn about everything that keeps humans moving, from horseback riding to self-driving cars. Cost of participation is $155 per week per child for members, $180 for non-members.
600 E. Washington St., Phoenix