We all know that carving out time for family bonding is essential. Luckily, having fun doesn’t have to break the bank! So put down the remote and step away from the cell phone…if playing hard and saving big are both on your to-do list, these boredom busters are a guaranteed good time for everyone.
#1: Hit the rink
Rollero Family Skating Center’s hard wood maple floor has been the place—for over three decades now!—to get in some eight-wheeled fun. The Phoenix-based family-friendly rink makes it possible for families on a budget to enjoy a night on the town. On Monday and Wednesday nights, $3 will get you 3 hours of skating and a small soda.
Where? 7318 W. Indian School Rd. Phoenix
How much? $3-$9 per person, depending on the day. See www.rollero.com for details.
#2: Be enchanted
Encanto Park, named by Forbes as one of the Top 12 Best City Parks in the country, has its own amusement park, Enchanted Island! With over a dozen rides and attractions—including trains, a splash zone, coin-op rides, parachute towers and a carousel—you’ll be sure to find something that suits everyone. Especially popular are the pedal boats and canoes, which start at $10 for 30 minutes. Admission to the park is free, but rides range from pocket change to a few tickets.
Where? 1202 W. Encanto Blvd., Phoenix
How much? $1.25 per ticket, or $20 for 20 tickets; separate charge for pedal boats and canoes
#3: Don’t pass on culture
Nearly all county libraries offer Act One Culture Passes which enable card holders to receive complimentary admission for two to a variety of the Valley’s top cultural destinations and events. Museums like the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, Pueblo Grande and the Challenger Space Center all offer free admission under this program. Also included are occasional concerts, like the Phoenix Chamber Music Society and shows by Ballet Arizona.
How much? Free!
#4: Keep America beautiful
You remember the commercials…now roll up your sleeves, break out the recycling bins, and get ready to promote sustainability in your neighborhood. Keep Arizona Beautiful (kazb.org) and Keep Phoenix Beautiful (kpbvolunteers.org) are always on the lookout for people willing to assist in community clean-up and improvement. You can also request trash bags for projects big and small. The best part about saving the earth? It won’t cost you a dime.
Where? Your own neighborhood
How much? Free!
#5: Eat frozen, fresh and local
Paletas are a traditional Mexican frozen fruit and cream pop—and Paletas Betty has them worked out to a science. These are not your typical Otter Pops—flavors are seasonal, spices are freshly ground. Canned fruit, preservatives and artificial coloring? Not in these treats. For under $3 a pop, you can sample such all-natural, frosty flavors as fresa con crema and cucumber jalapeno. Olé!
Where? 96 W Boston St., downtown Chandler, or 425 S. Mill Ave., downtown Tempe
How much? $2-$3 per paleta