Welcome to another installment of To-Do Tuesday! This week we ventured out in the unbearable heat (is it fall yet?!) and headed over to the Tempe History Museum. It’s tucked behind the Tempe Public Library, which we’ve been to loads for story time, but I didn’t even know it existed! Too bad, because it’s cool, fun, and FREE! My friend Robin suggested it as a location to meet for a play date with her two and a half year old twins, Sophie and Landon. Ollie’s daddy even got to come along on this one!
The entry is really impressive and beautifully designed, with an open, soaring ceiling, followed by a clean, minimalist lobby and small gift shop. I do love a gift shop! You are pleasantly greeted as you enter, and you just walk in. Remember? It’s free! Amazing.
Once inside, we made a bee-line for the kids area. Robin had brought her munchkins there before and knew where to go. There’s so much to do! Want to play dress up? There are costumes to transform your little one into a firefighter, a doctor, a construction worker or a cowgirl. They can then put on a show by opening and closing a red velvet curtain on a tiny stage, complete with stadium chairs for their audience.
Want to play farmer? There’s a cool old truck outfitted with a little farmers market in it’s bed. Kids climb up stairs to the back and gather fake veggies to take down to a sorting table where they can learn the difference between grains, fruits, vegetables and protein. And it’s in an old tractor tire. So fun!
Kids are also free to roam the rest of the museum, with adult supervision, of course. They can play drums (Ollie and his daddy’s favorite!) and touch an interactive map of the valley. They can even ride on a police motorcycle! There really is so much to do and see, and of course learn about Tempe. Who knew it had such a rich and fascinating history?
Kid rating: Two tiny thumbs up! Ollie never seemed to be bored, and bounced around from activity to activity.
Mom rating: So much to see! It’s a little tough to actually look at the exhibits while you’re chasing your wee one, so if you really want to learn about Tempe history, you should go back sans kids.
809 E. Southern Ave. Tempe, Arizona 85282 (Southern Ave. west of Rural Road, next to the Tempe Public Library)
The museum is totally free!!
Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed major holidays