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67 Family Activities to Stay Sane this Summer: Pinetop-Lakeside-Show Low-Greer-Snowflake

Small towns require CREATIVITY to entertain kiddos. (No shade: I grew up here too!) Let's take that burden off of your shoudlers, and explore adventures both big and small, many are free, and easy-to-prepare, so that we can all survive summer break. Insert that nervous and sweaty emoji here hah. **IF you have folks you love, or even like, SHARE THIS so that they can smile this summer, too!


What do these activities have in common? WATER, DIRT, BUGS, STICKS, and SNACKS! Plus a dash of day-trippin'.

  1. TODAY MAY 2, support local Future Farmers of America with $1 and get a unique root-beer-infused and brownie "Brown Cow Cup." AKA: limited-edition Culver's custard. Go no matter your motives!

  2. MAY 3 TOMORROW 6-8PM FREE Dustin Starks CONCERT AT CAMP GRACE in Show Low. Get there early and bring a chair! Real talent here annndd clean lyrics. Hallelujah!

  3. MAY 3 TOMORROW 5-7PM Dive into Snowflake-Taylor Community Pool. $3 entry lets you splish and splash with complimentary "fishy refreshments." Pirate Pool parties, teen nights, and more here.

  4. Craft a FREE butterfly biome at LOWES  MAY 4 AT 10AM  If it says full online, that's because they expect folks to show up in person without signing up ahead. Human grace am I right? Lots more classes to follow.

  5. Classic squirt gun fights! Celebrate a war won with luxurious paletas from PALETERIA Y DULCERIA TERESA beside The Hub. There, the sweetest folks sell refreshing flavors of handmade popsicles. Creamy avocado, spiced tajin-mango, arroz con leche, ferrero rocher. What dreams are made of folks!

  6. THE LOCALS MARKET at Buffalo Bills It's in a snooty area and I've tried not to like it but the exotic mushrooms and tortillas are too good! Sneak peek the vendors. 8AM-12PM MAY 4 + FOLLOWING SATURDAYS

  7. MAY 11, the SHOW LOW FARMERS MARKET opens! Hooray! (Fingers crosses, Stan Family Farms will be there with their life-changing coffees, and free-dried fruits. An artwalk expected. Let's also show up for our important local farmers and eat better!

  8. DIY MAY 12 MOTHER'S DAY with a flower bar at home. Fresh well-priced flowers come from ALL OCASSION FLORALS. Great prices and they are actually nice! Get a few different stems and have your kiddos arrange mini bouquets for mom or grandma themselves. Want to up the ante even more? Snag a few fresh macarons from SWEET CONFECTIONS beside Big 5 in Show Low.

  9. FREE KIDS GARDENING CLASSES beginning MAY 18 9-10AM . wmcgarden.org  We mountain folk like to be outside! Littles will learn about worms and their job to do in the garden, harvesting, and more.

  10. The chicest local juicery HARVEST JUICE CO., has smoothies available curbside! (Especially helpful with a carload of kids who hate shoes.) Mamas: the David and Goliath has a balanced caffeine boost. Littles with a sweet-tooth: the PB one is a hit and splits into two cups easily. Local Mama and owner Vicoria is the bees knees and cares about every single ingredient sourced. Salads, warm toasts, and acai bowls, dished up here with a smile. Order here.

  11. Train for battle during archery classes on Thursdays, at TIMBER MESA OUTDOORS. Draw inspiration to be the next Merida, at the 3D Youth Archery Contest MAY 18 AT 8AM. Signups.

  12. MAY TBA KITE FESTIVAL Admire the kid-crafted kites at the Kite Festival celebrating another year at The White Mountain Nature Center (anyone else notice how much they are pouring into our small town?!)

  13. 3D PRINT one cool rocket or another design at Show Low Libary. Call to reserve a time: 928-532-4070

  14. PLANT SALE for aspiring horticulturists (or foodies, whichever.) Starting with plants is the fastest way to get that garden harvet going! Event calendar with details here. Then yoga to follow for $10 at The White Mountain Garden Center. SAT MAY 25

  15. GIANT BUNNIES are just some of the friendly faces around CHRISTOPHER'S GARDEN in Lakeside. Do keep your eyes peeled for snails (FREE TO-GO, just ask our pet Romaan.) Locally owned.

  16. Praying they announce the SPRING CARNIVAL soon! It's the summer fun our small town always needed! Highly recommend the icy lemonade and funnel cakes. MAY TBA at Mountain Meadows Park in Lakeside.

  17. FREE fruit and vegetable seeds are ready at Pinetop-Lakeside Library, courtesy of the UofA. Quite a cute and kid-friendly presentation so they can pick some out too. Organic varieties abound and 4 whole packets allowed per visit! Geeking out here.

  18. MAY 31-JUNE 1 MONSTER TRUCKS AT THUNDER RACEWAY DEUCE OF CLUBS. In case there is mud, wear clothes you don't love-love! Earbuds for the wee babes. Beyond grateful somebody saved this place! Good teenage memories here. Click for more cool events.

  19. SNOWFLAKE SPLASH PAD (scheduled to reopen MAY 31) with a picnic from HIDDEN GARDEN BISTRO. Hidden within the Silver Creek Flower Shop. Do get the Caprese with balsamic! One salad is drizzled with chocolate. Kid-approved salads and hummus with pita. Locally owned!

  20. The bakery next door: BREAD N' BASICS is charm-city! Potato-spudnut donuts (the umami is real yummy), handmade sammies to-go, comforting loaves and cookies. Whenever I miss my family around, I head here. Feels like a grandma's house should: sweet with comfort. Owned by the sweetest local mama and daughter team.

  21. FREE Songwriting at the MUSIC AND MOVEMENT CLASS at Pinetop-Lakeside's library. Recommended ages 2-8 on the 1ST FRIDAY of the month. Mrs. Mandolin is pure magic! My music-loving littles collaborated with her live performance in awe.

  22. Full STEAM ahead: summer camp is in full-swing at the White Mountain Nature Center. Spots are already limited but maaaan do the oceanography and detective classes look cool! Azscience.org/camps (Ages K-6th grade all day.)

  23. FREE CAR SHOW JUNE 1 at Frontier Park. 200 classic cars and hot rods in the Cruz'n the Rim Car-cade ought to make you smile! The lineup.

  24. Fry bread annnnnd face-painting? Thank you Arizona, thank you. The local-mama of Sparkle Paint Play will be on the scene to create mini masterpieces. JUNE 1 8AM-1:30PM is National Trails Day and THE WHITE MOUNTAIN NATURE CENTER will be abuzz in the pollinator garden. A gazillion more cool details here.

  25.  FREE Fishing Day JUNE 1 All day SON! For all ages thanks to Arizona's Game and Fish Department. Still respect the limits so that the fish babies continue.

  26. Swim fresh streams, scale smooth boulders, or sit beside the certifiably-stunning trail AT WATER WHEEL FALLS. Coordinated correctly on google maps, for once phew! In Strawberry, AZ. Do pack a picnic and water shoes.

  27. Minions, Trolls, and Spiderman! Local viewings right after brekkie: 10 am Summer Family Movie series at WME Theatres in Lakeside. At an inflation-busting $4 per ticket. June 3-Aug 1

  28. Create some cash and trade-in gently-worn and new clothes to WHITE MOUNTAIN KIDS in Show Low. You cannot beat the prices here for kid clothing, strollers, they got it all. Local-mama-owned.

  29. GREER DAYS JUNE 7-8 Greer is the quanitest town in all of Arizona in my opinion. Expect western shootouts, a family fun run, bingo, and one adorable lucky duck race! Superstar schedule here

  30.  FREE Movie classics like Goonies and Back to the Future. Outside so bring a blankey or lug a gazillion chairs, your choice! Haha. Even comped snacks (by Carin Rubin State Farm: way to step up for our community!) June 8, July 13 and August 3 at Jack Barker Memorial Park in Pinetop.

  31. Lawn games with plates of deeeelish German lunch at MUNICH HOUSE in Pinetop. Our fam's faves: Ruben Balls, Schnitzel, Apple Strudel, and the Potato Soup. Super talented local musicians play easy going classics. Kids thrive here because of the flexibility to nosh and motor.

  32. FREE jammy run. Very simple steps: keep your jammies on. Do wear jammies okay? Next, find a paved path to race. Kids crave simplicity and it's fun and no-fuss!

  33. FREE GEOCACHING with the (also free) app to 160 locations around Show Low! Geocaching etiquette goes like this: take a treasure, leave a treasure. This is a phenomenal opportunity for kids to be rewarded to practicing generosity themselves! With a treasure as simple as a dice or cool sticker.

  34. FREE JUNE 14 8AM-12PM get artsy-fartsy at an annual Chalk Walk. Chalk provided but keep the images PG folks! Register by June 12 at the Show Low Aquatic Center.

  35. NINJA CAMP in Lakeside at Elevate Athletics. Time to tucker out the mini-est of Mountain Men! Coach and owner Shanlee is another local rockstar mama who works overtime to keep this place safe and clean. Summer camps fill up fast! Schedules and signups here.

  36. FATHER’S DAY JUNE 16: Though with hard-working papas and grandpas, Father's Day-day can flex for the best. CROCKERY CAFE has the most mouth-watering, man-approved Ruben sandwich on the mountain! Grab one for Dad and ask him to take a back road and adventure.

  37. FREE RAPTOR SHOW 3PM daily at The White Mountain Nature Center. Every year, the experience gains something new! (REC AGES 1-118) Pro tip: get there early to park and find seating. You would be amazed at how our town shows up in one place!

  38. FREE bucket list experience beside hot air balloons as they ascend with the sun(set)! HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL JUNE 21-23 at Mountain Meadows Recreation Complex. Playground adjoined for wiggly youngings waiting. It is a blast for all ages!

  39. COASTER-O-CLOCK at Sunrise Park Resort. Grand Opening in Greer to be announced! The 25 mph speed maxed out with the view at our altitude. Who mama! Add to that thrill, rock-climbing, 3D archery, tubing hills, and a zip-line. As they open, tickets will be shown here.

  40. Camp and fish at FOOL HOLLOW LAKE!. Full hookups and friendly park rangers? Plus nice playgrounds. Trust me, my entire family: human and canine, survived there for a month. Happily too. Fab dock fishing and Insta-worthy photos to last a lifetime! Kayak rentals available on site.

  41. Slide over to RENDEZVOUS DINER in Geer for a slice of pie or cobbler to comfort your soul and reward a creekside hike. Drive the main road til' it don't drive no mo', then park at the creek. Super easy terrain if you've got little-littles, or are entertaining grandparents.

  42. Sharpen your swimming skills (parents or kids) with thee (to us) world-famous-Ms-Morgan from AZ Mobile Swim. Patient and graceful with kids, Ms. Morgan has turned our water fears into unassisted underwater swimming! Owned by an equally awesome local Mama. Classes

  43. THE PERKATORY in Snowflake has fresh cinnamon rolls, acai bowls, cookies, dirty horchata lattes, annnnd a drive-thru peeps! Should you need to go in, it's the cleanest potty in town! Recovering germaphobe here.

  44. FREE WOODLAND PARK. Do it all at Woodland! Hipster Pickleball? Check! Disc golf? In the shady pines! Paved wheel-chair-friendly bird watching for grandparents? Check! Large open spaces alive with nature? Check! Playgrounds? 3. A quaint dock with fishing? Yes! Crazy-clean potties to boot.

  45. EDELWEISS in Greer is technically a Biergarten but has shockingly great food for the entire family! The Wienerschnitzel, Spatzle, Pogi, and German apple pancakes will transport you. Mama tip: it takes a little time to cook up such wonderful dishes, so plan snacks accordingly. Check their seasonal hours.

  46. Whilst a drive, for passengers that nap, Williams is worth it! GRAND CANYON DEER PARK and CANYON COASTERS are not too far apart to make for an epic day everyone will remember for years to come. That's our goal this summer right? FREE deer farm tickets for ages 2 and below. This is for animal people! The deer get up on ya, but not in a creepy way.

  47. DIY FOOD FIGHT outside your home! Ever notice how little humans love to throw stuff? An oldie but goodie. Nobody told you eggshells were good for your lawn?! Rinse off in a small (supervised) mini pool or sprinkler afterwards!

  48. Crazy cool CHALLENGER SOCCER CAMP JUNE 10-14 Amazing teachers/coacher with British accents (culture people!) After hit the Frontier Splash Pad, There may be fits if you don't. The deets.

  49. CRAWDADS, FROGS, + FLASHLIGHTS. Its hard to go wrong here! Rumor has it that Porter Mountain Creek and the bit under the Woodland Lake Bridge, boast the most.

  50. Waterslide and a kiddie fountain make SHOW LOW AQUATIC CENTER fun at every age! (Supervised fun of course.) Pre-swimmers and parents can enjoy the zero-entry pool. The fenced grass lawn outside makes a perfect picnic area to dry off on. Get bougie and rent the place out for a birthday or family reunion. More info.

  51. THURSDAYS at THE HOUSE, live music will be in full swing. Drool if you dare over the macaroni bar! Red Barn Creamery (the sister biz) will be baking up dreamy Seuss-like creations as usual! The tire swings and fried egg burgers are my jam but go early, in case crowds are not yours.

  52. QUILT CAMP and THEATRE CAMP FOR KIDS. The Arts are important! Read more here and sign up. Scroll to the very bottom for scholarships towards this. $50 FOR 1 WEEK 9AM-2PM JUN 25-JUN 28)

  53. JULY TBA SHOW LOW DERBY ON THE DEUCE shows off soapbox-style cars raced by families event details here to follow closer to July. Its hilarious fun with cash prizes for the fastest and coooolest-looking rides!

  54. RESORTPASS is the secret for getting into bougie pools at a fraction of the price. Day trip to Tucson;s Westin La Paloma to swim up to a smoothie. Or sneak into the Princess Fairmont Scottsdale with a complimentary fruit platter awaiting your arrival.

  55. Feed the ducks RAINBOW LAKE anytime! They tend to be the friendliest. Locals, see if you can spot the sunken physics-class "boats" of yesteryear.

  56. VERDE HOT SPRINGS in Sedona is within a half-day drive. The temps range 98-104 degrees F. Real off-roading here, so bring 4WD capabilities if you can! Between temps, and daring hikes, teens and up are the recommended age here, GPS: Child’s Power Rd, Yavapai County, Arizona, 86322

  57. Suit up (and by that I mean stretchy pants) for a big local $8 on the mountain at THE POURING STATION in Show Low. The bacon-potato is yum-tastic! That will fuel you up for a busy afternoon scoring on costumes at Goodwill. It may seem strange but those costume will save you. Go for a "Superhero walk" in costume, make folks smile at a Darbi's breakfast as Yoda and Elsa waltz in. Everything is more fun in costume! Mom Hack at the (very) bottom for 20%

  58. JULY 4 PARADE AND FREEDOMFEST fun begins in the morning with the parade and wet zone at Frontier park. Food trucks roll in by the afternoon (to the Show Low High School Football Complex), followed by live music, into the night. The grand finale: fireworks at JULY 4 9AM-10PM.

  59. SURPRISE DIY UNICORN BREAKFAST with a whipped cream mane, pancakes or waffles, and some berry (honestly whatever you got) eye. Add a dash of sprinkles for whimsy! Mom hack: SAFEWAY APP has $5 off coupons on most Thursdays.

  60. JULY 4 DIY TIE-DYING at home. Go patriotic with red, white, and blue, or chose something summery to cheer you up when summer fades. Too-cool grownups can dye bandana, and teens love the scrunchies. We up-cycle stained white clothes to celebrate our mistakes!

  61. Gooey Pesto Paninis that don't play! BELLA DIA COFFEE brews up organic (locally roasted) coffee, muffins, and paninis, outside Summit Hospital (main entrance) in the caautest little coffee trailer. Local-mama Alicia rocks the coffee scene and gives great advice about local adventures. Weekend hours here.

  62. FREEMAN PARK in Taylor is awesome! Gates younger-kids area with multiple play activities, a thrilling zip-line for all ages that can hang on, large climb-worthy structures. A walking path is tucked behind and paved for bikes and scooters. Our family LOVES this park because it seems to make all ages happy! On colder days in Pinetop, it's warm in Taylor.

  63. Boat people: SHOW LOW LAKE is for you! Bring yours or rent a kayak across the street from Show Low Campground. Our town has experienced tragedies plural here, please wear your life jackets. Do allow the locals a moment to beam with pride asking about their catches!

  64. Pulled pork on nachos with sauce? Mmkay. Macaroni stacked sky high for my kiddos to split? You have my heart! The "Tater Mac Attack" is not to be trifled with unless you have at least 3 forks (perfect for a family.) You will not be able to stop eating all that goodness loaded with bbq sauce! Local food truck's schedule.

  65. JULY 12-14 MEDIEVAL MAYHEM RENAISSANCE FAIR in Show Low showing out with bladework, fire and sword dancing, and of course armored knight duels! Tickets and lineups.

  66. JULY TBA Muddin' is not just for dad anymore The kids' MINI-MUD-RUN. I have heard rave reviews about the wonderfully messy obstacle course from close friends! Register by phone: (928) 532-4140 At Show Low City Park Ages 2-10. Dates to be announced here.

  67. AUGUST TBA Last year, fun was had mutton busting, corn shucking as fast as possible, showing off strength through farm tough competitions, and escaping to a FREE country dance beneath the stars. Teasers pending.


Caregivers, we got this! ~Jane



HONORABLE MENTIONS:


The BEST EVER and since closed, THE LITTLE PLAYGROUND (many of you knew as "Playydate." Local Mama April and her family forever stamped this kid oasis on our hearts. Thank you for gifting it to our community for so long!


KITTLES FINE ART: It's fasssst y'all. I'm not going to lie. The art ws beautiful Though the steps for a kid class were as fast as country line dancing. Recommended for kids ages 12-118.


LAVENDER FEST/FARM: Incredibly sunny and hot with slim picking for kid activites. Whilst the cheese paltter sustained us last year at cost), I'd recomend it more for the grown-people-crowd.



MOM BUDGET HACKS:


Thinking of an NPC Kid's class? Locals ages 6-14 may apply for the “KIDS COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS” and receive up to $40 towards a class. Too cool! (928) 536-6244 for more deets and the most recent application.


Sign up for Goodwill emails (not spammy like the rest) for a baller and monthly 20% off COUPON! Love to encourage money knowledge here and have my littles save up allowance to shop too.


Register for a MYLOWES ACCOUNT as you begin the kids-class-signup, and snag a $10 OFF $75 PURCHASE COUPON. Does Lowes take your entire paycheck too? Now we are the WINNERS!

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