This story was produced by #ThisIsTucson for Tucson Parks and Recreation and the Summer Chill-In for kids. Thanks for supporting the local organizations that support us!


When it's too hot to do anything outside, it's time to get creative and find things to do indoors. 

Sitting at home with a good book and the A/C is always an option, but when you and the kids start getting stir crazy, use this list to find something else to do. 

P.S. Wandering the aisles at Target totally counts, but can end up being $$$.

Skate Country

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Lance Ryberg, right, herds children towards the skating rink during his daughter's birthday party at Skate Country on Sunday Nov. 20, 2011. Daughter Jillian Ryberg, 6, foreground leads the way. 

It's active, semi-dark and nice and cool. In our book that's the perfect combination for a summer day.

Saturday mornings are perfect for families with kids ages 12 and under. The Tiny Tot skate session is geared for kids in that age bracket. Plus it only costs $4 to skate and $3 for skate rentals. Bring your own if you have them. 

Info: Click here for a complete schedule

Discount movie day

In case you didn't know, Tuesdays are discount days at Cinemark Theaters. Even the already discounted Gateway on Kolb. That means all movies, even at night are $5 at the regular theaters and $1.50 at the discount house. 

Where: Click here for a listing of Cinemark theaters 

Library

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Kids gather in the Kids Discovery Area during after school free time at Eckstrom-Columbus Library in Tucson, AZ on April 11, 2018.

We love the Pima County Public Library. You can find books, movies and fun activities for the whole family. All for free. So, take the kids to a class while you find a comfy spot to read. 

There are locations all over town. Click here to find one closest to you. Better yet, make it a point to check out different locations each time you go.

Info: Click here to find classes, workshops and fun family stuff to do

Go to an art museum

Ok, guys. If you haven't been to our local art museums — MOCA, Tucson Museum of Art or the UA Museum of Fine Art — you're missing out. And, now is the perfect time to go. 

Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave., has Second Sundaze the second Sunday each month, which includes free museum admission and special family activities. On regular days admission is $12 for adults; $7 for children 13 - 17 and free for kids 12 and under. Click here for info.

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The Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave.

MOCA Tucson, 265 S. Church Ave., is Tucson's only museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art. Visit for free on the third Thursday each month. Third Thursdays run from 6 to 8 p.m. and feature different themes, music and art making opportunities. You can also visit for free on the last Sunday of each month. Regular admission is $5 for adults and free for kids under 17. Click here for info.

The University of Arizona Museum of Art, 1031 N. Olive Road, is awesome to walk around. But, it also has kids' events like Tinkerlab, a makerspace for kids and storytime. Admission is $8 for adults and free for children. Click here for info.

There's also the Mini Time Machine Museum of Miniatures, 4455 E. Camp Lowell Drive, where you can see handcrafted miniature scenes depicting historical places, fantasy lands and more. Get a summer family pass for $30 and go all season. This museum also hosts kids workshops and fun events. Click here for details. 

Go bowling

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Bowling is a cool summer option.

There are LOTS of places to go bowling. Five of them participate in the Kids Bowl Free Program, where kids can get two free games of bowling every day all summer. You have to sign up though. Do that here. You can play with the kids or just take advantage of the excellent people-watching opportunity.

Cost: Free for two games if you're registered for Kids Bowl Free.

Go see Mr. Nature

Kids love Mr. Nature, and he does his interactive show at Whole Foods, 3350 E. Speedway, at 10 a.m. every third Friday. 

Cost: Free

Info: Click here

Bookmans family events

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Meghan and Jessica almost have their cacti ready for embellishment at Paint Nite at Bookmans East. The free event was available to all ages. Bookmans provided the supplies.

All of the Bookmans locations host free family programming, from storytimes to music hours and gaming meetups. If the event doesn't interest you, let the kids hang out while you look at books, movies and magazines. It's nice and cool in there. 

Click here for a schedule.


The City of Tucson has many ways for local kids to beat the heat and chill for free this summer — youth 17-and-under pay no admission fee at 10 Tucson Parks and Recreation centers and can swim for free at 18 city pools. Click here for more info and a list of participating recreation centers.

The fun continues into the summer nights with free pool parties hosted at six pools in June and July from 5-7 p.m. There will be games, crafts, music and snacks with a pool inflatable and water games going on in the pool. 

Or bring the whole family to check out one of the free movies in the park. Bring blankets and chairs to enjoy a free movie at the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center. Entertainment and games begin at 6 p.m. and food will be available to purchase from food trucks.

Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson