Well Summer is officially here! The heat has reached egg frying temps (well it sure feels like it) and the local splash pads are CRAZY slammed with so many kids that it is hard to find a water spout to play in! My girls love getting out of the house but you can only go to Chuck E cheese, Target or thrift stores so many times before they start asking to “just stay in the car” (haha)! Because of this and other reasons, I decided to start looking into other activities that were free or cheap and even educational!
Here are some of the top tours that I would recommend:
Stuffington Bear Factory- This US teddy bear manufacturing factory is based in Phoenix and is fun for all the kiddos! They have daily drop in tours for groups of 10 people or less at 1:00 Mon through Sat! This tour is a short 15 min where you can tour the manufacturing floor up close! You can sign up for tour here! You can end the tour by purchasing an animal to stuff (they start at $20) You can get a coupon on their website!
Shamrock Farms – Although the drive is a bit far, it is very entertaining and the kids really enjoyed it! If you LIKE them on Facebook and mention it at addmission you will get a free ice cream! Of course a cone/cup of ice cream is only $1.50 and it is DELISH! The tour is mainly on a tram that takes you around to see the farm. The kids can enjoy some playground time, a short video on how they bottle milk and a two story viewing room to watch the cows get bathed and milked! You even get to hand feed some baby calves! After the tram tour you get a free bottle of flavored milk! Super fun, very exciting and definitely educational! You can reserve a spot here! Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for ages 10 and under and lap riders 2 and under are FREE! Of course is you book with 10 or more paying guests you get a discounted rate!
Cerretas Candy Factory – This family owned hometown candy factory is one of a kind! I personally have not been yet but have plans to go this summer with my girls! I have many friends who have toured it and my MIL is a school teacher who takes a field trip every year! Something so fun for kids to see ingredients being made into little candies!! It is a FREE 30min guided tour offered Monday through Friday at 10am and 1pm! No need to register unless you have 30 or more! You can find the information here!
The City Recycling Centers AKA The Dump, offer a fun fast paced 30 minute tour of where the things go after being picked up at your home. Kids enjoy the air conditioned facility with a short educational and entertaining video and follow up with watching the separation of materials as they move over conveyor belts! Super fun to watch all the trash being thrown and big trucks dropping off all the trash! My girls are not as into the trash trucks as boys would be so we haven’t toured this but all her buddies at school really enjoyed it!!
Local Fire Stations – We actually had a tour of our local fire station today!! This is our second trip though my oldest doesn’t remember her first complete with fire house tour and ride in the firetruck! I don’t know about you but any time my daughter sees men in uniform she is awestruck! The firemen are always so accomodating to her many questions and so friendly repeatedly waving as we pass them in the grocery store over and over again! Call your local station for tour hours! This visit also helps assure them that these men are here to help if they are ever in a true emergency!
I am sure there are a bunch of others offered out there! Go research your city, I bet you would be surprised at how many places offer free AIR CONDITIONED tours!
What do YOU do to keep out of the heat and your kids brains active during summer break!? 🙂