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5 Family-Friendly Things to Do in Mesa

The idea lab at the i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa offers interactive learning experiences for kids.

A new, interactive space encouraging children to create art using cutting-edge technologies is coming to Mesa this fall. The i.d.e.a. Museum has partnered with the Mesa Data Center of Meta—the parent company of Facebook and Instagram—to create the idea Lab. The space will blend crafts and STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—through hands-on activities. “Play-based learning is an essential component of a child’s development,” says i.d.e.a. Museum executive director Jarrad Bittner. The lab also marks the first phase of the museum’s renovation, and the Mesa-Meta partnership will expand free admission days and evenings.

The i.d.e.a. Museum is one of many family-friendly places to explore in and around Mesa. Here are five other great places for kids:

1. i.d.e.a. Museum

150 W. Pepper Place, Mesa
The i.d.e.a. Museum offers hands-on activities and exhibitions for kids of all ages, centered on art, creativity and imagination – and promising to spark fun for the entire family. “Luminous: The Art of Light” is on display until Sept. 29, inviting guests to explore illumination through interactive art-making and viewing experiences. Admission is $9 for visitors ages 1 and older.

2. Pioneer Park


526 E. Main St., Mesa
Mesa’s Pioneer Park boasts entertainment for kids of all ages, including a historic steam locomotive, a splash pad that features a 15-foot water wall and a 9,000-square-foot playground, including a treehouse-like play zone. Older kids can play basketball on one of its courts. Pioneer Park is a place where you can spend the day with reservable ramadas, a food truck area and restrooms. Entry to the park is free; ramada rentals start at $13 an hour for residents.

3. Organ Stop Pizza

1149 E. Southern Ave., Mesa
A true dinner and a show, Organ Stop has been a destination for more than 50 years, featuring the largest theater pipe organ in the world, according to the restaurant. Dine on pizza and pasta, and visit the salad bar. Gather the family around a community table and share your music requests for the organist to play. Nightly shows from the orchestral 6,000 pipe organ feature dancing marionette cats and a light show.

4. Planetarium at Mesa Community College

1833 W. Southern Ave., Mesa
Mesa Community College opens its planetarium to the public for free shows, telescope viewing, hands-on activities and more during MCC Astronomy Nights. Available the first Friday of the month through May and again from September to December, reservations for a show can be made online. Tickets are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the event or may be reserved in advance online for $3.

5. Revel Surf

4503 S. Power Road, Mesa
Soon, you’ll be able to catch a wave in the desert. Coming this summer, Revel Surf is a 37-acre park that will include a wave lagoon, an indoor sports playground and restaurants, as well as a hotel. Revel Surf will offer lessons, or chill on the beach and take a dip in the tide pool. The sports playground will include a skate park. Revel Surf also says it will host events, activities and live music throughout the year, such as movie nights and s’mores on the beach.

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