This story was created by #ThisIsTucson and underwritten by Tucson Parks and Recreation, hosting swim lessonsfree pool access for kids and pool parties all summer. Thank you for supporting the local organizations that support us!


Don't let the thermometer dictate your summer fun.

Sure, our days of double-digit temps are numbered — at least temporarily — but that doesn't mean you have to be stuck in the house all day. 

So, go ahead. Tell summer who's boss with our handy list of fun things to do outside even when it's hot. 

Splash pads

This is the perfect option if you have kids, especially if they're little. Tucson has several splash pads to choose from. Make a fun mission to explore them all. Go here for a list of some of our favorites and keep your eyes out for a new splash pad at Palo Verde Park this summer. 

Movie nights at the park

Get the whole family and some friends, a few blankets and a bunch of snacks and head to Reid Park, 900 S. Randolph Way, for free movie nights.

Family-friendly movies play twice a month in June and July. These evenings include games, entertainment and food trucks starting at 6 p.m. Films start at 7:45 p.m. You can watch "Kung Fu Panda 3" on June 14; "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" on June 28; "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" on July 12  and "Aquaman" on July 26. 

Cool Summer Nights

Explore the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum at night. Bring a flashlight, grab a beer and wander the grounds. 

The museum is open Saturdays until 10 p.m. through Aug. 31.

Regular admission rates of $21.95 for adults and $8.95 for kids ages 3-12 apply. Go here for more info. 

Summer Night Market

On the last Friday of every month through September you can explore a family-friendly open air night market at the MSA Annex, 269 S. Avenida del Convento, starting at 6 p.m.

There will be live music, food trucks, art installations and beverages. 

Go here for more info and updates. 

Music in the Mountains

Listen to live music in the beautiful Catalina State Park, 11570 N. Oracle Road, on the first Saturday of the month during its summer concert series. 

The next concert is Saturday, July 6, at 6:30 p.m. Concerts are included with all day park admission of $7 per vehicle (up to four adults). 

Evening bike rides on the Loop

You can go to the Loop anytime of day, but in the summer we think it's pretty magical in the evenings. 

Grab your bikes and ride as far as you'd like without worrying about cars. But, do watch for walkers, joggers and wildlife. 

We especially like the Rillito River part of the Loop from Brandi Fenton Park to First Ave. If you go early enough the kids can cool off at the Brandi Fenton Splash Pad before or after. It closes at 7 p.m. 

Here's a map and info on the Loop, which can be accessed all over Pima County.


Stay cool with Tucson pool parties and swim lessons

Kids can get in free to 19 Tucson pools this summer during recreational and family swim hours PLUS Parks and Recreation is hosting free pool parties all summer long — find the dates and locations here — as well as inexpensive swim lessons with new sessions throughout June and July.

Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson