By Misty Newman
Are you looking for something fun to do with your family during the school year that will fit into your busy schedule and won’t break the bank?
We’ve compiled a list of activities in Maricopa and the surrounding areas for your entire family to enjoy.
1. Visit a Park
Local, state and national parks in Arizona provide many opportunities for fitness, fun, and leisure. Whether you want to go fishing, have a picnic or hike, there is a park to suit your chosen activity. Arizona State Parks website is a great resource for planning your visit to one of the 27 State Parks in Arizona. The Junior Ranger program encourages youth to be active in order to earn badges.
Get up close and personal with petroglyphs or go camping at one of the 21 National Parks including Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and Hohokam Pima National Monument.
2. Concert Series in the Park
This is a great event for your entire family to enjoy right here in Maricopa. The concerts are varied and include different musical genres to keep everyone entertained. This concert series will be held at the amphitheater at Copper Sky.
Visit www.maricopa-az.gov for more information on Concert dates and times.
3. Play in the Pool
This is probably one of the most common types of recreation that families enjoy together during the warm months. Don’t have a pool in your backyard or have a community pool? Copper Sky Recreation has a large leisure pool with a waterslide, rock climbing wall, lazy river and an interactive splash pad for the little ones.
Visit www.maricopa-az.gov for dates and times the swimming pool is open.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game that uses a GPS device. The goal is to find your Geocache (container) by using a specific set of GPS coordinates to navigate to the hidden location.
5. Have a Technology Free Night
Make it a point to have nights where no one in your family uses technology. Replace the video games, email, and twitter with taking a walk in the evening after dinner or going for a family bike ride.
6. Play in Your Own Backyard
Sky’s the limit on the games and fun you can have in your backyard. Set up an obstacle course and challenge your kids to come up with the ideas for it. The obstacle course doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. For younger kids, you can build an obstacle course with objects you already own, such as a hula hoop, jump ropes, and lawn chairs.
7. Disc Golf
There is more than one type of golf you can play in Maricopa. A popular disc golf course in Maricopa is located in the Maricopa Meadows community. Tortosa also has a course. It is a great way to spend an afternoon, be in the outdoors and get some great exercise.
8. Leaf & Feather Farm
This is a hidden little paradise just minutes away from Maricopa! Leaf & Feather Farm offers a spectacular variety of native trees, plants and cacti. While you are walking around, you will see numerous species of beautiful birds including macaws, peacocks, Amazon parrots and Alexandrine parrots. Leaf & Feather Farm is open Friday through Sunday to the public.
Hiking is a great way to get exercise and to get out in nature. There are many beautiful places to explore that are only a short drive away from Maricopa. There are many hiking trails that are family friendly and close to Maricopa. These trails include A Mountain in Tempe, Wind Cave Trail in Mesa, and Papago Park in Phoenix.
10. Dwarf Car Museum
Experience the uniqueness of the Dwarf Car Museum. Visit the handmade works of art by Ernie Adams, originator of the Dwarf Car. He builds Dwarf Race cars and replicas of classic cars called Dwarf Car Cruisers.
Admission is free, and donations are welcome. Times vary, so call before heading that way: 520-424-315, http://www.dwarfcarmuseum.com/#!about_us/c12dk
11. Visit the Library
The Maricopa Public Library is your one-stop source of information, entertainment and the connection to your community. The library has a vast collections of books, videos, music CDs and periodicals for everyone in your family.
So whether you visit a park, play in the backyard, or visit the museum, these are all affordable ways to fit in some great times with your family.
Misty Newman grew up in Idaho and was raised in the outdoors. She loves to go camping, hiking, fishing, & rafting. In her past life, two of her favorite recreational activities included bungee jumping and rock climbing. She was a ranger for a state park, a Recreation Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club, and the photo editor at the College of Southern Idaho. She moved from Idaho in 2007 and has lived in Maricopa since. She now enjoys exploring AZ with her two beautiful children. Visit http://www.maricopaoutdooradventures.com/
See her previous InMaricopa Outdoors stories: