11 outdoor activities to do before the heat sets in

Lifestyle | 23 Mar |

After a brief winter, Phoenix is starting to warm up again. Before the summer sun rears its ugly head, here are some outdoor activities to make the most of your warm spring days.

Slacklining

For those who aren’t sure what this is, it’s when you put a stretchy band between two trees and walk across it like a tightrope. If you’re really good at it, you can do tricks on it or turn it into a workout. There are a couple of groups throughout the Valley that get together to slackline, including Phoenix AcroYoga & Slacklining.

Chandler Bike Park at Espee Park

This area is dedicated to BMX biking, which is performing stunts on bicycles. The park was created to move freestylers from the business parks and streets of Phoenix into a community park. However, if you aren’t a trickster, you can always walk around the park and watch the bikers perform interesting stunts on really small bikes.

Desert Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden has a variety of spring events hosted in their expansive collection of desert plants. Each month, the garden hosts a Lit and Sip event where you can drink and see the desert light up, and they have Sunday concerts and margarita nights. Also, the spring is the only time you can check out the butterfly exhibit; you might even catch one coming out of its chrysalis.

Hot Air Balloon Tours

If you’re afraid of heights, this isn’t for you. However, what better way to see the Valley than from a bird’s eye view? There are multiple hot air balloon companies that can help you check this item off your bucket list, including Hot Air Expeditions and Rainbow Ryders.

Topgolf

Even if you know nothing about golf, you can enjoy Topgolf. Basically, you can hit golf balls from different levels (you can be on the ground level or three stories up) to try to get them in the various holes each at different distances away. Hit some golf balls and compete with friends. You can also enjoy a beverage or even sit down for some food.

Mini Golf

If hitting golf balls long distance isn’t your thing, or maybe you have little ones who are too small to hold a driver, try out mini golf. There are quite a few outdoor putt-putt places, including Golfland Sunsplash or CrackerJax.

Hiking

If you haven’t tried to climb Camelback Mountain, there’s no time like the present. However, if you don’t think you’re up to the challenge quite yet, there are many easier trails with amazing desert views, including McDowell Mountain Regional Park and Papago Park. It’s a good way to exercise and reconnect with the outdoors, and because you’re doing it in the spring, you don’t have to wake up before the sun rises for fear of getting caught in the unforgiving heat. Don’t forget to pack water! Just because it hasn’t hit triple-digit temperatures doesn’t mean you don’t need to hydrate.

Pickleball

What is this? It is what happens when you combine tennis and ping pong and badminton. The paddles are either wood or a plastic. The ball is a Wiffle Ball. Typically it’s BYOP – bring your own paddle. There are many places to play throughout the Valley. Most places are just courts, so make sure to read up on the rules beforehand!

Fat Tire Bike Tours

The Sonoran Outdoor Adventures rents out bikes with (yes, it’s a little bit self-explanatory) fat tires for mountain biking through Phoenix’s Sonoran Desert. They host tours every day and know where all the good views are, so you can maximize your experience and cover more distance.

Dog Parks

Instead of taking your dog on a walk around the block, take him or her to a dog park. Your dog can socialize with other dogs, and you can socialize with dog owners. There are quite a few places to take your pup in the greater Phoenix area, such as Steele Indian School Park Dog Park, Friends of Hance Dog Park and Chaparral Off Leash Area.

Picnics

Tempe Town Lake, Papago Park, Encanto Park and many more all have good picnic spots. Set down a couple blankets or sit at a picnic table, bring along some sandwiches, chips and don’t forget drinks and paper plates! Soak up some sunshine by tossing a frisbee or a football. It’s a good way to get outside that doesn’t require a large amount of physical activity, and it will help you disconnect from all the technology even for just a bit. It might not be the first thought that comes to mind for a meal, but can be relaxing and a good family activity with something for everyone.

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