Surviving Summer Guide 2021

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We are so excited you found the Scottsdale Moms Guide to Surviving Summer. This is our 9th year of bringing you tips, tricks and things to do, all written to help YOU survive summer with your littles!

We are hoping this summer is better than last summer…..but we really have no way of knowing what places are fully open, so please double check the websites and use your best judgement to keep your family safe. 

We truly will get through this 2nd summer of a pandemic together! 

Scroll down to see tons of articles on Things to do, Inside Activities, Summer Crafts, Summer Recipes, and our Tips for making it through an Arizona Summer!

We couldn’t do what we do without our sponsors! Thank you to the following businesses for continuing to support Scottsdale Moms, our Guide to Surviving Summer and our community of readers.

Scottsdale Moms Sponsors

The Musik Box

Looking to get out with your little one while encouraging their social, emotional, & physical development? Kindermusik® at The Musik Box is partnering with AZ Musicfest to bring music and movement classes for little ones age newborn – 5 years to N. Scottsdale. Our small class sizes are perfect for exploring the joy of music! We are passionate about equipping parents and caregivers through the power of music so children can reach their fullest potential!

Phoenix Summer Arts Camp

Join Rising Youth Theatre in partnership with Phoenix Center for the Arts for an online Summer Arts Camp! A multi-arts experience where young people use theatre, dance, visual art and more to connect and create together. Choose from four different two-week sessions, where campers can bring their “fandoms” to life using their own creative voices, with the support of amazing professional artists. Different Mystery Bags containing all the camp supplies and surprises included for each session! 

When: June 7 to August
Time: 9 am to 12 pm
Where: Virtual Camp! 
Ages: 7-14

Prices: $250 – Early Registration before May 1, $300 – Regular Registration Starting May 1 – Financial aid available!

KidsTech Summer Camp

KidsTech Summer Camps go way beyond your average coding camp! Kids at our camps explore robotics, microprocessors, circuitry,  and even cybersecurity! Kids from ages 5 to 15-years-old of all skill levels (including advanced) are welcome – projects are designed around each child’s ability and age level. We also have a Chill Gaming Zone every weekday from 4-6 p.m. where kids can play on their own system or ours, including our Star Wars Jedi VR goggles!

Full and half-day sessions available.

Give your kid an awesome summer discovering the latest technology and book today

Engineering for Kids

Engineering for Kids is the largest STEM Summer program in the valley for kids age 4-14. Camps are located in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Central Phoenix and Anthem. Many of our camps are held at some of the coolest kid friendly venues in the valley and offer different, hands-on learning opportunities each week.

Full-Day and Half-Day and Virtual Camps are available.

For additional information, please visit us at www.engineeringforkids.com/phoenix and click on the Register Now button at the top of the page!

Name Bubbles

Are you sending your kids to camp? You need Name Bubbles to keep track of all their stuff! Order the family packs now and you will be thrilled all your kid’s things are covered! They are great for water bottles, shoes, t-shirts, hats and more! They have all the styles, sizes and types of logos that you are looking for. 

Places to go/Things to do

Splash Pad List 2021

You have to come up with all kinds of inventive ways to try to stay cool here in the Valley. Best local find is the splash pads! These glorious spots provided the perfect place to chat with a girlfriend, enjoy an iced coffee or tea and watch the kids have a blast in water that was […]

Scottsdale Moms Summer Camp Recommendations!

[updated from a previous version] Spring break is over, so you know what that means! Summer is right around the corner and we should start planning our camp schedules before the kids are out from school with NOTHING to do. My camp philosophy? Try all the things! During the school year, if my kids ask to add […]

SMB Summer Camp Recommendations!

[updated 04/2019] Spring break is over, so you know what that means! Summer is right around the corner and we should start planning our camp schedules before the kids are out from school with NOTHING to do. My camp philosophy? During the school year, if my kids ask to add a particular activity to their packed schedule, I […]

2021 Staycation Deals

Resort Summer prices come out mid May or early June. We do our best to update this page when we find great staycation deals, but check out each resort's website for the most updated staycation offers.  The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa The Westin Kierland- Lazy river, water slide, pool side drinks and food! Photo [...]

How to Celebrate National Beach Day in Arizona

If it seems like there’s a national day for just about everything now, you’d be right. In the month of August alone, we can celebrate National Days for mustard, oysters, and even cherry popsicles. Who knew? Like many Americans, I love to find an excuse to celebrate something – especially this year, when we’re all dealing […]

Top Ten Arizona Day Trips

You’ve probably heard of a “staycation” – a vacation within driving distance of your home that doesn’t require a hotel stay. Whether you’re short on vacation days, trying to build up your savings account, or simply don’t want the hassle of flying or staying in a hotel with young children, an Arizona day trip can […]

Perfect Day for a Getaway: Escape to Crescent Moon Ranch

After months of closures and slow re-openings, my mom lifer, Jennie, suggested we throw our boys in the car and escape Phoenix in search of the perfect day away. Our boys were long over due for a play date in nature and we moms were also due for our own play date. It had been […]

Summer Travel Adventures {all while staying safe}

Thank you to RVShare for being a sponsor of Scottsdale Moms and for supporting our community.

Fireworks, Food and Fun! 4th of July in Scottsdale and Surrounding Areas

Let’s Celebrate Independence Day! The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays! I love that it is a time to gather with family and friends, but in a more laid back style rather than the hustle of the winter holiday season. This year things will certainly look a lot different as we […]

Family Friendly Ways to Celebrate Armed Forces Day

Among the many things that living through a global pandemic has taught me, one significant realization has been that it is important to celebrate – pretty much anything. Big occasions, little events, half-birthdays, you name it, why not celebrate it? So, this year let us add Armed Forces Day to our list of things that […]

Indoor Play Places {to beat the heat}

When the summer heat has you stuck indoors, but your own house is getting a bit too small (and messy!) pack up the kids and try out these great indoor spaces for big and small. The kids get all that energy out and have lots of fun….all while staying cool. Arizona Science Center: The Arizona […]

Day Trips around AZ

Our state has so much to offer just a short car trip away. Check out one {or all} of these fantastic destinations in AZ. Quick Get Away in StrawberryI don’t know about you but when the temperature creeps up, I itch to get the heck outta town. My family has a cabin up north which [...]

Inside Scoop on Fun: Six Local Memberships You Haven’t Thought Of

  The Valley is brimming with kid-friendly exhibits and attractions! There are so many great places to visit again and again, why not consider a membership? Memberships pay for themselves after just a few visits, even if you only go when school is out. You can actually save money since you can visit the attraction as […]

Arizona Sunrays Summer Camp {sponsored post}

Are you looking for an active summer camp for your child?! We’ve got the place for you! Arizona Sunrays Gymnastics and Dance offers the highest quality summer camp available with SUPERCAMP! Whether you want to learn gymnastics or dance, move like a Ninja, jump on a trampoline, or climb a rope we’ve got something for […]

Inside Activities (for those 110 degree days)

Engineering Camp for your child!

Featured Summer Camp of 2021! Thank you so much, Engineering for Kids of Phoenix, for sharing this information with all of us.  Engineering For Kids of Phoenix Metro is the all-in-one solution for your child’s summer learning experience! Since 2014, we’ve been offering week-long STEM camps and classes to kids ages 4-14 at the coolest […]

The Best Year to Celebrate National Coloring Book Day!

August 2nd marks National Coloring Book Day and let me tell you, 2020 is the best year to celebrate this holiday. “Why?” you ask. Did you know that adult coloring has the same effects on a person as meditation? Mindfulness is an awareness that emerges through purposefully paying attention in the present moment, non-judgmentally. Have […]

Summer Sensory Bins

Try your hand at these easy summer sensory bins! This summer is the first summer that I’ll be home with three children ages five and under. I’m so excited, but slightly terrified. I am an introvert, as is my three year old. We can stay home and be very happy. My 6 month old naps […]

Indoor Play Places {to beat the heat}

When the summer heat has you stuck indoors, but your own house is getting a bit too small (and messy!) pack up the kids and try out these great indoor spaces for big and small. The kids get all that energy out and have lots of fun….all while staying cool. Arizona Science Center: The Arizona […]

Indoor Energy Busters for Hot Summer Days

Is the AZ summer heat making your kids stir crazy?? When my kids first got out of school it was still cool out! What? I wasn’t about to let this amazingly unseasonable weather fool me! I knew that hot 100 degree temps were right around the corner. My kiddos are the active play type. Don’t […]

Fun Summer Crafts

Melting Crayons with the SUN {DIY Summer Fun}

Feeling Crafty this summer?!  I have been saving small pieces of crayons for awhile with the intention of melting them into new crayons. We finally had enough pieces ready and I thought it would be a fun activity for the summer – but the thought of turning the oven on was dreadful. The house is […]

Easy DIY Home Projects Delivered Locally

Thanks to Craft and Vinyl Studio for providing this kit for review. I found easy DIY home projects delivered locally curbside.  This is so helpful for us now that we are staying home more. DIY crafts give us something to do too during this difficult time. But they do not come easy for me. I […]

Summer Sensory Bins

Try your hand at these easy summer sensory bins! This summer is the first summer that I’ll be home with three children ages five and under. I’m so excited, but slightly terrified. I am an introvert, as is my three year old. We can stay home and be very happy. My 6 month old naps […]

A Boredom Jar for the “Mom, I’m bored” Summer Moments

“Mom, I’m bored,” my six-year-old states after a full morning of summer camp, swimming and playing x-box. In my head, I exclaim, “really?!?!” Out loud, I say, “look around honey, there are many things to do.” And then I proceed to list the seemingly endless amount of things she might do to occupy herself. Next, […]

Indoor Energy Busters for Hot Summer Days

Is the AZ summer heat making your kids stir crazy?? When my kids first got out of school it was still cool out! What? I wasn’t about to let this amazingly unseasonable weather fool me! I knew that hot 100 degree temps were right around the corner. My kiddos are the active play type. Don’t […]

Flip Flop Wreath {a Fun and Frugal Summer Craft}

The long, hot days of summer have arrived, and so has the daily search for fun (but not too pricey or complicated) activities to do with your kids.  Flip flop wreaths are a great summer craft that are creative, easy, and not at all costly. Flip flop wreaths, or “door décor” (depending on their shape) […]

Create a Summer Bucket List {FREE Printable}

No matter where you live, the summer days can start to drag after the first week or two. An easy solution is to create a summer bucket list, so when the inevitable “I’m BORED!” statement starts getting thrown around, you can pull out your list and start checking off the fun things the kids brainstormed […]

Summer Recipes

All About The Dinner Bowls

Dinner Bowls are my jam lately. They might take a little extra work on the front end, but they provide some healthy, well-rounded dinner options, usually WITH leftovers. If you have picky eaters like I do, bowls can allow you to break down the ingredients and serve your kids what they will eat, along with what […]

The Appliance that Changed My life

My sister turned me on to Instant Pot several years ago. She had purchased one to give away as a Christmas gift, but ended up keeping it. 24 hours later I received a phone call telling me I had to order one of these amazing appliances right away. People always ask its worth buying one, […]

Watermelon Slushie {A Win for Every Member of the Family}

One of my kids favorite summer treats is a watermelon slushie. It is so easy to make and super healthy.  Here are the steps so you can make a pitcher for your family. Cut up a watermelon and freeze in a gallon size Ziploc bag. After the watermelon has frozen overnight, blend until smooth in […]

Creamy Broccoli Avocado Soup; Light & Fresh Summer Soup

I know what you’re thinking.  “Soup in the summer? Jennie, you’re crazy!”  I know, I know.  But trust me that this creamy broccoli avocado soup is so light and fresh that it’s actually perfect for summer.  Bonus points are given because it’s also delicious served chilled.    Broccoli Avocado soup is great for most dietary […]

Easy Summer Dinners – Minimal Effort Required

  It was a very busy day and when dinner time rolled around I was pretty much over the whole thing.  I surveyed what I had in my fridge, freezer and pantry and felt very uninspired.  What I ended up serving for dinner was avocado toast and hard boiled eggs.  Then I did what any normal person would […]

3 Ways to Avoid Using your Oven in the Summer

It’s juuuuusssst about summer time here in AZ. This means hibernating inside watching movies and coloring a million pictures. It means venturing outside into only 1) an air conditioned car or 2) a refreshing pool. And it means avoiding turning on your oven at all costs. Seriously, I avoid that thing like the plague for […]

Spring Salad

Every time I visit my parents in Newport Beach, I swing by Greenleaf Chopshop for one of my all time favorite salads. Since I don’t always have the luxury of being in Southern California, I decided to make my own rendition of their antioxidant-filled salad at home. Here’s what you’ll need: Ingredients 1/2 cup grapes, […]

Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches (For Your Mini People)

Did you know August 2 is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day? Now anyone that knows me knows that I L-O-V-E ice cream in all forms and flavors. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to celebrate this most wonderful of holidays. Despite the mess, these mini ice cream sandwiches were lot of fun to make with my […]

3 Foolproof Sides You Want At Your Next BBQ

Know what’s wicked? AZ summers. She been sayin’ it for 4 years, and Mama ain’t gettin’ tougher. #preggo #dueinAugust #wasntthinking But know what’s wicked yummy?  Summer BBQ’s!! And not like healthy, skinny people, I’ll-just-stick-with-the-veggie-tray BBQ’s.  We’re talking YOLO BBQ’s. Burgers and dogs on white buns, potato salad, slaw and homemade ice cream BBQ’s.  If a veggie tray shows […]

Sunday Meal Planning Series {Chicken Salad}

With the temperatures rising in AZ, I have zero desire to turn my oven on. One of my favorite meals to make when avoiding the added heat to my kitchen is chicken salad. I love that this meal is COLD, but also that there is room for variety. My husband eats his on a whole […]

Favorite Summer Salads You Want to Eat Every Day

When the summer temps start to hit the level of blazing hot, I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is… Eat anything heavy. Turn on the oven. Stand over the hot stove. So I live off of summer salads. My husband tends to be pretty agreeable to whatever food […]

Cheers! Summer Sangria Recipe

Whether you’re celebrating an occasion or just enjoying some time at the pool, sangria is a perfect summer addition. Here’s a sweet recipe to keep you cheers-ing all summer long. Ingredients: 1.5 L red wine (cabernet sauvignon, merlot, zinfandel, etc.) Try using a combination of wines around the $10 mark. Using a combination will give […]

Scottsdale Moms’ tips for surviving summer in AZ

The Benefits of Letting Your Kids Be Bored

That universal whine of childhood: “I’m bored.” As parents, we’ve all heard it countless times, and have all struggled with how to respond. Handing your kid some kind of screen is so tempting, with its almost magical ability to quiet them down instantly and keep them entertained for long periods of time. But we know […]

How to Make a DIY Reward Jar + a Chore Jar for Kids

I was looking online for suggestions for encouraging the kids to use good behavior. In the past I’ve used a reward system like reward jars which have worked for my kids and have worked for me. Since the quarantine took into effect, my parenting skills have gone down the drain. My priority at first was […]

No Pool? No Problem. 14 Summer Ideas When You Don’t Have a Pool!

The temperature consistently hit the 100s before the end of April this year. Usually, that would be met with lots of trips to the splash pad or neighborhood pool. But with most of the state still shut down due to the pandemic, what is there to do to amp up the summer spirit and tolerate […]

Our Tips & Tricks for Surviving the AZ Summer

Here is all the tips and tricks that we use during the summer to make it through the extreme heat and the predictable boredom. Whatever it takes to get us to September!  Read all the Tips & Tricks written by local moms! Surviving Arizona Summer As A New MomThis post was orignially published in 2016, [...]

A Boredom Jar for the “Mom, I’m bored” Summer Moments

“Mom, I’m bored,” my six-year-old states after a full morning of summer camp, swimming and playing x-box. In my head, I exclaim, “really?!?!” Out loud, I say, “look around honey, there are many things to do.” And then I proceed to list the seemingly endless amount of things she might do to occupy herself. Next, […]

How Teacher-Moms Really Spend Their Summer Break

There is an old joke that goes: What are the three best parts about being a teacher? June, July, and August!!!  And while most teachers will tell you they have chosen this rewarding field to make a change in the world or be the teacher they never had, most can’t argue that summer break is […]

Don’t Let Summer Interfere with your Exercise Routine

The kids are home from school and it is easy to use them as an excuse as to why you’re not exercising. Let’s face it – there are so many reasons why we avoid it: not enough time, too much to do, lack of child care or too tired to muster the energy to hit […]

3 Ways to Avoid Using your Oven in the Summer

It’s juuuuusssst about summer time here in AZ. This means hibernating inside watching movies and coloring a million pictures. It means venturing outside into only 1) an air conditioned car or 2) a refreshing pool. And it means avoiding turning on your oven at all costs. Seriously, I avoid that thing like the plague for […]

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