It was a Sunday morning with nothing to do (and a forecasted hot one) so I wanted to bring the kids somewhere early and cooling.
I found Desert Ridge Marketplace starts their Splashpad at 7am (SCORE!). We weren’t there that early, but since other pads we have gone to start at 10 or 11am, this was well worth the trip to get out early.
Actually called “The District” at Desert Ridge Marketplace, this was the very inviting entrance. There is a lot of shade and misters everywhere.
When I drove into the parking lot, I actually thought maybe I ended up back at Tempe Marketplace. It is very similar, even down to the Dave and Busters. But, I felt it was a little more family friendly. They even have a “Play Factory” which I was tempted to check out, before I got soaked! (this momma didn’t bring a change of clothing for herself!)
We parked near Barnes and Noble, but I suggest (if the Splashpad is your singular destination) you park near Target, as that entrance to “The District” will be the closest one. You won’t walk towards Target, but away from it to get to the Splashpad.
All the malls/shopping centers seem to have FREE events, and this one is “Radio Disney”. You can get more info about Desert Ridge Tuesday’s here.
As we were walking in (we walked in by Barnes and Noble) we looked around and found a “dry” play area.
It’s small, but efficient. There was some shady areas to it but not a lot.
The play area was to the side of Barnes and Noble. You might see a Water Fountain if you enter The District the way we did, but no, that is not the splashpad!
Our first stop was the bathroom, and this was not the easiest thing to find as it is tucked in right next to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The little itty bitty door (that has the arrow next to it) is where the bathroom is. The door is very narrow and my double bob just BARELY made it through that, down the long hallway to the bathroom. The bathroom door (women’s) obviously had a ton of stroller scrapes on it as well.
But there was a very clean changing station and the bathroom was in pretty good repair with larger stalls. **May 2017, the bathroom is looking pretty sad and the walls have some major issues with fiberglass sticking through near the entrance to the women’s door-inside.
We finally made it to our destination of the splashpad. There is a lot of seating near the splashpad, but, the it is on an elevated area, and there is only one area to wheel your stroller up to. The ramp is closest to Smashburger, and is hidden behind the fireplace (no it wasn’t going with the kids there).
I have to say, the beautiful Palm trees were gorgeous to look at and provided a bit of shade on the pad.
Lots of nice comfy seating to watch the kids play (but be warned, a toe on one of the spigots can easily make water splash out and reach you on the chairs. I’m telling you from experience!!).
There was even a Starbucks next to Coldstone Creamery (sorry I didn’t get picture proof) that was open as well. There were a ton of fast food options around as well as the movie theaters, so as long as you brought dry clothes with you, you could easily spend the whole day at Desert Ridge.
I do want to encourage you to have water shoes for your children. The splashpad itself had the gummy playscape flooring, but around the outside of the splash pad now has fake grass around it.
Nice New Greenery and palms (hopefully they unbunch them soon for the shade!)
Tile has been replaced by fake grass which can hold water. I wonder if they hose it down or vacuum it…hmmm
More seating and umbrellas, as well as the nice fake grass so kids aren’t slipping! Be careful of the electric boxes around the palm trees!
My children always seem to take other childrens’ buckets when we are there, so it might be a good thing (especially for me) to bring some with you as well.
We had an excellent time at Desert Ridge Marketplace, and will be going back soon. It is also near the Music Instrument Musem and lots of other shopping. I highly recommend this Splash Pad!
Desert Ridge Marketplace “The District”
21001 N. Tatum Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85050